Preview: Found, On The Rocks 2018

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Preview by Violet Chaudoir, photography by Charmaine Hiller

Whether you are first or fourth year, St Andrews can quickly feel very familiar, we have memorised the ins and outs of every shop, street and corner and while this allows the town to truly become our home, it also means we can quickly become creatures of habit. Annually On The Rocks breaks us from these routines, sparking the town with creative energy, as a plethora of exhibitions, plays and events pop up each evening. Over the course of this year’s festival, which runs between 6th-15th April, prepare for the town to experience an even more unusual event, named Found organised by the University of St Andrews Dance Club. 

Found is not so much a show you attend, ticketed and advertised by the Byre, Barron or Union, it’s more a show you stumble upon. Found involves a series of contemporary dance pieces, which are to be performed across town, every day during the festival - although the time and location of which are undisclosed.

Be prepared to chance upon this ephemeral event, drawn into contemporary dance when you least expect it, or instead, perhaps wander into the streets during OTR and seek the group out, catch a performance before it disappears. The choreographers were given the highly interpretable prompt of the 'human connection, what it means to be human’, which allowed for a wide range of performances to be constructed. Rather fittingly, the locations of these performances have been selected to allow audiences to get up close and personal with the contemporary dance form and learn from its artistry. 

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The Found project begun last year with the well-received performance of fate: in three parts, a full length contemporary dance show. The group's ambition extended beyond the Union’s StAge, as the group wanted to stray from the traditional proscenium arch format. Found intends to explore how site-specific performance can impact and test choreographers, as the dancers have learnt how to move in relation to various spaces and surfaces. Venturing into the streets provides as much challenge as it does opportunity. While the weather is an obvious problem for the performers, interactions with the public have been part of the groups preparations for performance. During rehearsals the group has been testing structured improvisation techniques which allow the dancers the freedom to alter their work in the moment, trained to respond to all eventualities. The dancers and choreographers wanted to maintain the beauty and spontaneous energy of live performance and welcome audiences to interact with contemporary dance as it travels throughout the town. 

Artistic Director: Alison Thomas

Choreographers: Charmaine Hiller, Juliana Zaharevich, Agnes Valovics and Alison Thomas

Producer: Emily Hepher

Marketing / Social Media: Lauren Noel Golledge

Graphics: Hannah Longworth


The Dance Team

Grace Reid

Flora Betts

Alex Upshaw

Patrick McLaughlin

Ana Fati

Sarah Williams

Claire Smrekar

Brooke Siegler

Kristian Smith

ST.ART Magazine