Interview with Tim Casson

Here is an interview with Tim Casson, sharing his experiences and thoughts behind his new work Night at The Theatre

Tim Casson is working with Nadenh and Hannah to create his new Casson & Friends family show Night at the Theatre, which opens in February 2016. We asked him a few questions about the show and what it’s been like collaborating with Stopgap.

Can you tell us more about your ideas for the family show?

In all of the work I've made, I've been really interested in making dance and visiting the theatre more accessible on every level. Stopgap approached me with this in mind after having seen my previous show 'The Dance WE Made', and invited me in for a few 'play days' with Hannah and Nadenh. We decided to make a show that would be an introduction to dance for young people who didn't know much about it, but that would also challenge the perceptions of what dance can be for parents and people that have seen dance before. It's also about what it's like to go to the theatre too, as the theatre is a really magical place where all kinds of amazing things can happen, but can also be a scary place too, so we decided to play with that idea. As the characters go through the show, they start to ask questions about what dance is, and in doing so realise that they're also really creative. We hope that the audience watching will have a similar journey! 

What’s it been like working with Hannah and Nadenh?

It's been amazing to work with new dancers and to learn how they each move with their different qualities. Hannah has a beautiful fluidity when she moves and a real attention to detail, so it's been great to start drawing upon that. Nadenh is fearless, has loads of strength and energy and I can see that he really loves new challenges. It has been very interesting to work on blending the movement of the three performers together too and getting to explore their unique qualities. It's also been fun working with them both theatrically, which feels quite new and exciting!

What have you had to change about your practice (if anything)? And what have your learned? (so far!)

To be honest there's not been much I've had to change so far. The first session Nadenh led a warm up and it was a serious abdominal workout, so I immediately knew that I was working with some seriously fit dancers! I have a tendency to add in quite a lot of turning movements, so that's been interesting to work out, as turning can sometimes be different with wheels, so it makes me think differently about how we use the space. However, I've been really impressed by the creativity and willingness of the dancers in the studio. We've been drawing on lots of different skills such as theatrical skills, use of voice and playing with characters, so it's been great opening up the dancers to those skills that they might not have had much experience with and quite literally helping them to find their voice.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about your company/ the way you work/ the project?

The show will be my first full length work for a theatre, as I'm used to working in unusual spaces such as hotels, shopping centres or abandoned buildings, so it's a new challenge - but I'm trying to think of it as a site specific work, specifically for theatres! 

I've also been looking into interactivity in performance so am hoping to have moments that the audience might be in control of elements of the show, but you'll have to wait to see what that will be!

You can find out more about Casson & Friends at cassonandfriends.com 

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