Category Archives: Culture

On Culture: Hull 2017 reveals Tell the World season

The CultureJukebox team have been really impressed with the work going on in Hull, throughout the City’s capital of culture year. So it’s great to read about the wonderful new season of programming Tell the World.

Running from October to December,  Tell the World brings theatre and live performance, literature, visual art, festivals, spectacle and more. There are events and activities across the city to entertain, challenge and bring people together, cementing Hull‘s reputation as a cultural destination, with a profile that is growing nationally and internationally.

New commissions with Hull Truck Theatre include The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca, written by the award-winning actor and writer Maxine Peake, a site-specific commission that will take place at Hull‘s historic Guildhall, and a brand new play by acclaimed writer James Graham (This HouseInkPrivacy, The Vote), a behind the scenes comedy about the City of Culture year, which is due to open in 2018. Hull Truck Theatre also has the world premiere of award-winning writer Tanika Gupta’s adaptation of the best-selling novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, directed by Mark Babych.

Visual art includes Turner Prize 2017 at Ferens Art Gallery, which runs until 7 January 2018, with awards night on 5 December. A partnership with international photography co-operative Magnum sees Martin Parr and Olivia Arthur‘s photographic study Hull, Portrait of a City at Humber Street GalleryBritish Council and Royal Institute of British Architects are partners for the spectacular Look Up public art commission, A Hall for Hull, in historic Trinity Square.Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hulla Principal Partner, presents works from the Government Art Collection inAn Eyeful of Wry.

Martin Parr: Hull, Portrait of a City

A Hall For Hull

Hull 2017’s commitment to innovative and experimental new work, supported by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence, sees the culmination of the epic year-long project Slung Low‘s pioneering multi-format Flood, as well as Blast Theory‘s landmark 2097: We Made Ourselves Over and curious directive‘s virtual reality project Frogman, which has just premiered in Edinburgh.

Also embracing technology are virtual reality wizards Marshmallow Laser Feast, whose A Colossal Wave is a major partnership commission with the British Council and Partenariat du Quartier Spectacle, Montreal, and the world renownedJason Bruges Studio work their innovative light-based magic in Hull‘s Old Town with Where Do We Go From Here?a new art installation that runs into January 2018.

Following its £16 million rebuilding programme, the newly opened Hull New Theatre‘s first season includes work from Opera NorthNorthern Ballet and National Theatre, plus The Kings of Hull, a world premiere from John Godber.

Tell the World builds on the city’s strong literary heritage with an unprecedented number of nationally renowned as well as local writers, poets and spoken word artists coming together for a variety of events to suit all tastes and ages. Kicking it off, on National Poetry Day (28 September), Contains Strong Language, produced by the BBC alongside Hull‘s own Wrecking Ball Press and the annual Humber Mouth festival, plus many other partners, is the UK’s biggest poetry and spoken word festival.

Running alongside this exciting new event is Out of this Word, a month-long showcase of top writers, poets, playwrights, artists and musicians from across the UK, being presented by Hull 2017 Principal Partner, East Riding of Yorkshire Council. In November Hull Noir celebrates the best of British and international crime fiction and also host the prestigious Iceland Noir from Reykjavik.

Hull Noir

Returning and continuing events include Back to Ours, the popular festival of music, performance, film, art and circus brought to the heart of local communities; the Creative Communities Programme, which has seen 60 projects across the city; and the No Limits learning programme, which has ensured that every school child in Hull has had the opportunity to take part in the City of Culture year.

Tell the World also reflects on how Hull is redefining itself, celebrating the qualities that make it a fabulously unique city. In December Substance brings together artists, thinkers, commentators and creative mavericks and visionaries for a weekend of art, performance and debate that focuses on Hull and the North’s future as a dynamic cultural and creative powerhouse.

The lovingly restored 1960s Vintage Mobile Cinema is also coming to Hull as part of the This Way Up film exhibitors’ conference (7-8 November), including documentary shorts from the British Council/Scottish Documentary Institute Storiesprogramme, which, since 2011, has trained filmmakers from countries as different as Jordan, Libya, Pakistan and Syria, in the art of creative documentary; First Acts: bold, daring expressions of creativity, delivered in short film form by young artist filmmakers. Commissioned by the Random Acts Network for Arts Council England and Channel 4; New Animated Shorts from the UK, curated by Abigail Addison; One Minute: artists’ films, curated by Hull based artist Kerry BaldryFlare Films: from a British Council international touring programme in partnership with BFI Flare.

For more information: https://www.hull2017.co.uk/

On Culture: We Are Now – UK’s only performance & creative technology festival

The CultureJukebox team are always reporting in new developments in art and tech – so great to hear about We Are Now coming to London in September, a live events that explores the creative use of technology in the performing arts to create sensory experiences for audiences.

The team showcase emerging companies alongside established names to offer a platform to artists pushing the boundaries of their specialism, to develop their work and professional networks and pioneer new methods of immersive experience.

The September event takes place on the 1st & 2nd and is an eclectic programme of boundary pushing theatre by the best of emerging and established companies, free interactive installations, 1-1 immersive virtual reality performance, an interactive audio theatre adventure and an arresting and electric late night show that harnesses the sonic capabilities of the Tesla Coil.

Find out more: https://www.wearenowfestival.com/

On Culture: the progressive new intersection of VR and promenade performance

The intersection of art and technology is one of the most interesting creative spaces – so great to hear about progressive new performance WHIST coming to London this month and then touring the UK.

‘WHIST’, created by dance company AΦE, is a new production combining VR with interactive promenade theatre. WHIST incorporates 360˚ interactive film, soundscapes and an architectural art installation to create an environment that blurs all boundaries – between consciousness and unconsciousness, reality and fiction, the physical and the virtual.

Inspired by Sigmund Freud’s dream theory, WHIST invites audiences on a journey into the unconscious mind, where instincts will be the guide through a narrative of surreal dreams and fears. And you, or your subconscious, choose your own path.

The performance incorporates 360˚ interactive film, soundscapes and an architectural art installation to create an environment that blurs all boundaries – between consciousness and unconsciousness, reality and fiction, the physical and the virtual.

Using interactive ‘triggers’ positioned in the virtual world by its makers, WHIST allows for a total of 76 narrative possibilities to exist, creating a unique experience for each viewer. No simple ‘red pill vs. blue pill’ format, WHIST implements interactive elements, subtly woven into the film to effect unconscious decision making.

According to the team behind the show, this puts the production at the very forefront of immersive storytelling innovation – leaving the strings that bind and pull at all times invisible. You, or your subconscious, choose your own path.

So, what are the upcoming dates?

  • Ugly Duck – London
    • 23-25 June 2017
  • Pavilion Dance South West – Bournemouth
    • 3-4 July 2017
  • Colours International Dance Festival – Stuttgart, Germany
    • 6 – 15 July 2017
  • Festival Theatre – Edinburgh
    • 21st July – 3rd August 2017
  • The Old Market – Brighton
    • 19-20 September 2017
  • (further dates to be confirmed)

Check the website for more information: http://www.aoiesteban.com/whist/

 

On Culture: HighTide Festival comes to Walthamstow

Fantastic news for East Londoners who love progressive new writing and theatre – HighTide Festival is coming to our capital.

The Suffolk festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016, and later this year makes its debut in Walthamstow in a temporary theatre space in partnership with Waltham Forest Council.

Kanye the First: Photography by Helen Maybanks and Rebecca Pitt

HighTide Theatre will present two world premiere productions in 2017, Heroine by Nessah Muthy (Host) directed by the Festival’s Artistic Director Steven Atkinson and comic dramaKanye The First by Sam Steiner (Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons) directed by HighTide Theatre Associate Director Andrew Twyman. A co-production with Theatre Clwyd, Muthy’s devastating exploration of patriotism and nativism in modern Britain follows young ex-soldier Grace as she struggles to reassimilate into society following a medical discharge from the army. Steiner’s first commissioned, and highly original, play will chart the second coming of global pop icon Kanye West. The play takes a timely look at identity and guilt in contemporary culture. Kanye The First is a co-production between HighTide Theatre and Paul Jellis in association with The Marlowe and The North Wall. Alongside these productions Theresa Ikoko’s Girls, joint winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), is set to return. Telling the tale of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, Ikoko wrote Girls to highlight the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news. Girls is a co-production between HighTide Theatre, Talawa Theatre Company and Martha Rose Wilson.

New work: Heroine, Photography by Helen Maybanks and Rebecca Pitt  

This year we’re focused on what HighTide Theatre is renowned for: commissioning bold and timely plays from the best new writers. We look forward to developing and previewing these world premiere productions in our beautiful home of Aldeburgh, and then for the first time bringing the whole festival to Walthamstow, alongside showcasing work by local artists. This new producing model for HighTide Theatre of two festivals allows us to take risks and continue to develop our productions with the input of our audiences in Aldeburgh. And then our new partnership with Waltham Forest Council and the National Theatre enables us to bring our fully formed productions all together to Greater London, where they can be seen by a wider and diverse community who would like a greater cultural provision in their area.” ~ Steven Atkinson, Artistic Director of HighTide Theatre 

It will be in Walthamstow town centre for 12 days after its Aldeburgh season, bringing an eclectic arts programme to an area of London. The programmes in both locations will include three headline plays (two of which are world premieres) and a programme of comedy, cabaret, talks and music.

HighTide 2017 Walthamstow Artist’s Impression, by SKA

The Walthamstow Festival will run 26 September – 8 October with Press Nights on 26 & 27 September.

“Waltham Forest Council is delighted to be partnering with HighTide Theatre for the first time this year.  Whilst the borough has a thriving cultural scene we do not have any bespoke theatres and a recent survey of residents showed that this was the cultural provision they felt was most lacking.  By bringing the Festival to Walthamstow Town Centre we are able to provide theatre right on residents’ doorsteps. Some of our talented local artists are included in the programme and a number of our young people will have the chance to gain first-hand experience of a professional theatre. We’re proud that our borough is home to one of the most diverse populations in the country and it’s of the utmost importance to us that our cultural programme reflects this diversity. We’re sure that the range of shows on offer will appeal to a wide cross-section of our residents. We also look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide to experience Waltham Forest’s creative buzz.” ~ Lorna Lee, Head of Culture & Heritage, Waltham Forest Council

Free or discounted tickets will be available to those with a Waltham Forest postcode and HighTide Theatre will be working to help young people find routes into creative roles, in collaboration with local organisation Big Creative Training, hosting a traineeship and work experience placements. The full programme in Walthamstow will include a late night comedy and cabaret strand, a series of talks, a site-specific production,Mobile, and a strand of work showcasing and supporting local creative talent. The comedy line-up is set to include: Phil Wang, Suzi Ruffell, Dane Baptiste, Tez Ilyas and Jayde Adams. Cabaret and music artists include Joe Stilgoe who will perform Songs on Film, The Beatbox Collective and an exclusive preview of new music from Arthur Darvill.

More information is online.

On Beer: East London’s Burgeoning Beer Mile (and a bit)

The CultureJukebox team are fond of a real ale or two (or three or four…)  So, it’s great to hear about some awesome new breweries opening up close to our home in East London.

In fact, the team here thrilled that some of these new breweries are putting purpose before profit too. Opening up near each other, this new brewing scene is top tribute to a fantastic beer culture that is brewing in our corner of the capital.

So, what’s new?

The Magic Spells Brewery, Leyton

The newest and latest independent Craft Brewery in East London currently produces three bottled beers:  A Craft Lager, a Pale Ale (called Hackney Hare) and an IPA.

Magic Spells’ beers are a somewhere between modern brewing techniques and old styles and methods; taking inspiration from classics and adding a modern twist. The brewery creates distinct flavour profiles for the beers – an up front and bold hoppy flavour, a satisfying bite to the beer, smoothly balanced due to a nice malty body and warming alcohol.

The brewery sources most of the malt used in its beers from the UK plus British hops boosted by punchy flavoured hops from New Zealand and America.

It was founded by Jas Hare, an Eastender born-and-bred, who has a fantastic track record in the drinks industry as well as being a craft beer enthusiast.

Magic Spells Beers are available in both 330ml and 500ml bottles with an RRP of £2.49 and £2.99 respectively. They’re all available online, and in venues around London too.

 

Nirvana Brewery, Leyton

Another new brewery for 2017, Nirvana does something completely different. A low / no-alcohol brewery – sure a great idea for our increasingly health-conscious times.

It’s the UK’s only micro brewery dedicated to zero and low ABV craft beers. Beers on offer include Mantra (an IPA at 0.7% ABV), Kosmic (a stout at 0% ABV), and Chakra (a stout at 1% ABV). The team at Nirvana promise “no compromises” on flavour, so we’re excited about our first visit!

Pretty Decent Beer

Opening up just down the road in Forest Gate, Pretty Decent Beer Co has just opened its doors.

On Sheridan Road in Forest Gate, near Cann Hall Road, this brewery looks like one to watch. The team promise: “We make decent beer and do decent things with the money you spend drinking it. We brew our beer in London and every bottle helps to fund sustainable water projects around the world.”

 

The CultureJukebox team hasn’t had chance to visit yet, but this brewery promises to be really superb – we like what we’ve seen on Instagram so far.

And Pretty Decent Beer Co is just a few minutes walk from some of Forest Gate’s best independent venues – The Wanstead Tap for an incredible selection of real ale and provocative programming, Burgess & Hall for beautiful wines; and the quirky and delicious Hawkes cider HQ.

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A proper round-up of some of Forest Gate, Leyton and Leytonstone’s best watering holes for this summer is coming soon. Where do you think should be on the list? Send us a Tweet and let us know where we should visit..

 

On Culture: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything – “gig theatre” at Hull 2017

As regular readers will already know, the CultureJukebox team grew up close to Hull – so it’s been great to see the energy of the city be unleashed throughout this year. And a press release about theatre outfit Middle Child piqued our interest further..

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything opens at the wonderful Welly nightclub in Hull on 6 June 2017.  If you’ve never been to the Welly, it’s one of the city’s very best clubs. The home of a lot of indie, alternative culture and the odd lost night out or two.

So, whats the show all about? It’s “gig theatre”, which means it’s a fusion of live music, theatre performance and an immersive experience. It mixes original live music from James Frewer with bold new writing from Luke Barnes.


This three-act anthem, set across three decades, from 1997’s Cool Britannia to 2007’s Broken Britain and today’s Brexit Britain, is a story about the world we inherited and the one we’re leaving behind.

The story follows two young people from Hull over 20 years as they struggle to realise their hopes and ambitions, against the backdrop of an asteroid heading for Earth. Alice Beaumont performs behind a Daft Punk-inspired mask as The Asteroid in the production, using synths and drum machines to give the character a distinct electronic music sound, in contrast to the guitar-based music of the human characters. James Frewer also performs live on stage alongside the actors, playing guitar and keyboard.

The show is from the creative minds of Hull-based theatre company Middle Child. Check out the website for more on the music, the story, and to buy tickets (they start at £8, and there are concessions too).

The All We Ever Wanted Was Everything EP features original electronic music written by James Frewer and arranged with Alice Beaumont. The EP is a great idea, introducing the audience to the characters and themes from the show.

James said: “One of the sole reasons you go to a gig is to hear the band or DJ’s big tunes and so we thought we’d get on it and release some of the tracks from All We Ever Wanted Was Everything before the event. “The character of The Asteroid in this show has her own techno vibe so we thought we would release the majority of her songs as a concept EP, detailing the journey of her view on humanity, from the euphoria of its possibility to her broken hearted execution of the planet. “We want people to play this EP loud, have a dance to it and then come along to hear it live at Welly this June.”

This sounds awesome, check out the show website here.

 

On Photography: Impossible Project collaborate with Eley Kishimoto

The CultureJukebox team are big fans of The Impossible Project – analogue film for the digital age. So was great to see a press release land in our inbox about an on-point collaboration…

 “Instant photography is a media we have always loved for its spontaneity and the honesty of no post-editing that captures moments truly. We are personally very excited to have the beautiful images in our life again, better still, framed by our Flash print with the Impossible x Eley Kishimoto collaboration. We look forward to sharing the joy with the rest of the world” ~ Eley Kishimoto Founder, Mark Eley

Love this. Impossible Project and London-based fashion and design company Eley Kishimoto have joined forces on a special edition instant film.

Kishimoto’s iconic monochrome Flash print is featured on the black and white film’s frame which is part of a limited run, available now.

The Impossible X Eley Kishimoto Collab Film is part of an ongoing series of collaborations with people and brands from fashion to art and music – makers and creatives who share Impossible’s analogue sensibility: a love of quality, craftsmanship, and the tactile nature of things made to last, to be kept and treasured.

Check the website for more information: https://uk.impossible-project.com/

On Arts: UK City Of Culture? Hull 2017 Makes It Mark

It was one of Hull’s best known voices that said: “Nothing, like something, happens anywhere”.

That was Philip Larkin, and this year *something* is happening in Hull – it’s the UK Capital of Culture this year and has a mind-expanding programme of events, arts and cultural happenings going on that is really going to put the Humberside city on the map.

On New Year’s Day thousands of people gathered to watch fireworks and a stunning multimedia installation to open the year of culture in the City. This brought to life stories of the city and its people from the past 70-years.

Image c/o Getty

Sean McAllister, a documentary filmmaker from Hull, said the Made in Hull event – would show the world that Hull has a remarkable hidden culture.

He said: “We’re finally going to share our secret. If you’re from Hull, we always knew we had culture, it’s just the world didn’t know, so the secret’s out. Finally we’ve had to let them in. In a way we’ve kind of had these doors up to keep everybody out of our culture.

Sean added: “It’s just for us, we’ve had it as a subculture but, damn it, we’ve finally had to open the door to the international world and let them in. They can come and see what we’ve been enjoying.” 

Image c/o Getty

From the devastating bombing during the second world war, to the disappearance of its fishing fleet in the 1970s due to the cod wars, to the decimation of its shipping industry, Hull has struggled during the last seven decades.

Officials hope Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2017 will breathe new life into the city. It is the second city to be given this honour, following Derry-Londonderry four years ago. Hull was selected four years-ago from a shortlist which included Dundee, Leicester and Swansea.

I grew up a few miles outside of Hull and will be covering 2017 in some detail. Here are a few highlights to watch out for over coming months:

Voices Across The Humber, April 1st

This sounds like a fantastic introduction to the region’s character, through its unique voices.

Ours is a place with distinct DNA, inimitable character and high spirits – a true energy estuary. Rich in history and talent, both banks of the Humber will come together to perform an exciting choral, orchestral and visually stimulating concert celebrating our region’s proud maritime heritage.

Led by Hull Choral Union, one of the area’s longest standing and best loved choirs, the show will unite choirs aged 7 to 90, renewing old partnerships, forging new relationships and connecting communities from across the river.

Flood, Feb 1st to October 1st

This experimental performance works with the city’s unique geography and brings to mind some of the recent heartbreaking disasters in and around the region.

image c/o Hull 2017

An epic adventure about the end of our world, set in the future, told in many parts.

Flood is the story of what happens to Hull when the waters come.

Slung Low makes adventures for audiences outside conventional theatre spaces, each with a powerful, moving story at its heart. Their political, mythical and explosive storytelling has wowed audiences nationally, transporting them to new worlds and making them see familiar places afresh.

Flood is the company’s most ambitious and experimental project to date, using live performance, special effects, digital manifestations and other platforms to tell a story across an entire year.

Back To Ours, Feb 22nd to Feb 25th

As part of the celebrations there’s creativity coming to every corner of the city.

There’s a buzz in the air as we bring award-winning shows to every corner of Hull, with big names sharing the stage with familiar and favourite local artists. We’re transforming venues in the heart of local communities; from schools to shopping centres, there’s a festival hotspot right on your doorstep.

We’ve got something for everyone as we shine a spotlight on comedy, music, circus, theatre, cabaret, dance and film. There are stories that will bring a tear to the eye, belly-laugh jokes, magical moments and even a bit of puppet nudity. So what are you waiting for?

Bring a friend. Bring your parents. Bring your kids.

Heck, bring everyone Back To Ours.

COUM Transmissions, Feb 3rd to March 22nd

A subversive exploration of the Hull-formed artists who challenged societal conventions.

Explore the life of COUM Transmissions in the first exhibition of materials drawn from the personal archives of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge. Live events organised by The Quietus will trace the conception and legacy of COUM, combining music, talks and discussions among original COUM members.

Founded in Hull during the late 1960s by artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, COUM Transmissions was a collective whose work confronted, subverted and challenged societal conventions.

Labelled ‘the wreckers of civilisation’ by a Conservative MP following COUM’s Prostitution show at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the group’s end in 1976 heralded the formation of the musical collective Throbbing Gristle.

 

Mind On The Run – The Basil Kirchin Story, Feb 17th to 19th

Another experimental ambient happening – inside the mind of a post-war sonic genius.

Image c/o Anna Bean

What connects the first British rock’n’roll discs of the 1950s, Vincent Price and The Abominable Dr. Phibes, the Nagra tape recorder and the industrial sounds of the north? The answer is Basil Kirchin.

Basil Kirchin is the forgotten genius of post-war British music. His remarkable life stretched from the days when British dance music mutated into rock’n’roll, through a headlong succession of film scores and pop songwriting, before retreating to Hull, where he created sonic landscapes that still challenge convention while seeking out an increasingly reclusive existence until his death in 2005.

A pioneer of musique concrète described by Brian Eno as “a founding father of ambient”, Kirchin’s intriguing history represents a collision of popular and experimental musical cultures that predate and define much of the music we hear today.

A live music festival celebrating the legacy of Hessle Road’s creative genius.

John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay, TBC

A four-day music festival celebrating the best in Nordic creativity and influence taking over Hull city centre.

Hull goes international as it celebrates the city’s Nordic links in this experimental music festival.

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter John Grant will curate a brand new, experimental music festival celebrating Hull’s Nordic and international links, while exploring the best in sonic creativity as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

A host of Nordic and international artists are coming to the city over May Day bank holiday weekend, including Icelandic electronic dance collective GusGus, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer Lindstrøm and Wrangler, a project that brings together Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire fame, Phil Winter from Tunng and John Foxx collaborator Benge.

Fila Brazillia’s Steve Cobby and acclaimed writer Russ Litten have teamed up for a unique musical journey. In 1968 three trawlers from Hull sank off the coast of Iceland within two months of each other. 58 Hull men died. There was one survivor. Combining Litten’s prose poetry with Cobby’s soundscapes they will perform four commissioned pieces to reflect the experiences of trawlermen. Making a ghost ship out of words and music and bringing their fore-fathers back home.

North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay will feature a variety of electronica, contemporary classical, avant-garde and experimental music, as well as one-off collaborations. Venues around the city hosting the festival include Hull City Hall and Gate Nº5, with other venues to be confirmed. More details about performers and shows and what to expect at this major music event will be announced in due course.

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More than £30m is being spent on the year’s events and £25m has been invested in revamping the city centre and refurbishing the (brilliant!) Ferens Art Gallery and the city’s main theatre.

Other happenings planned for 2017 include a visit by the Turner prize and a much-anticipated one-off gig from David Bowie’s old backing band, the Spiders from Mars.

And it’s not just culture. The city recently secured a £310m commitment by the German-owned firm Siemens to build new offshore wind turbines in the city, creating up to 1,000 jobs. More information and ticket details are on the Hull 2017 website here.
 

 

 

 

On Art: The Waldorf Project’s Remarkable Journey Through Time, Taste & Touch

The CultureJukebox team have been fans of The Waldorf Project since day one, writing about it a few times. We were invited to Chapter Three last week, and the third instalment is in our opinion the most powerful work yet.

It’s a journey through time, taste and touch and is unlike anything else. It invites people to really feel.


Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Stepping into the show (taking place at HereEast – the Olympic Park / Hackney Wick) you step into somewhere other from the very first moment. The room is dark, and the atmosphere is dark too.

You’re dragged backwards, forwards, and manhandled by a series of beautiful and strong performers. The Waldorf Project is part dance, part immersive theatre, and part experimental food & drink experience.

It’s the drinks that really focus the mind. The first involves balloons and some sort of chemistry experiment. Later, the audience kneels at an altar as a warm, sweet drink is aggressively poured down your mouth.

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Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Things get weirder throughout the show. You’re bundled through tunnels, you have to grasp strangers, and you do things in-between large sheets of plastic. It’s just brilliantly imaginative.

The production is based around the Japanese emotion of AMAE, a temporary surrender. And that’s what you have to do.

The audience has to surrender their comforts, surrender their conceptions of taste and also disconnect. This disconnection from technology and the usual sounds and distractions of everyday life has a huge impact on the feeling around the performance.

There’s strictly no phones, which means you’re focused on the music, the flavours and the people. I was dreaming of lost nights in warehouses in East London, the sounds making me reconsider what these nights meant and what the future holds.

We often don’t consider these things, or how other people consider us. But surrendering to The Waldorf Project’s spell allowed new connections to be born, and started a new way of looking at things.

The superb lighting design helps focus these unconnected thoughts, and drives a loose structure that holds the experience together – illuminating the space and the spaces within ourselves too.

8c9f562d035436ae00adf81253e93d13Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Everyone is separated, but brought together by the light, by the characters living in this remarkable place, and by the sound and structure as you experience this unique show. You’re never really alone.

And maybe that’s the truth. Maybe we do have more in common, and maybe we are more connected than we first thought? Perhaps, by tasting, trying and touching new things we can grow and see things differently?

We thought the show was truly amazing, well done Sean Rogg. It’s open until December 4th, tickets and more details are here.

On Culture: Napapijri brings nature and urban culture together

The CultureJukebox team were invited to a special Napapijri event in London’s Shoreditch this week, a remarkable expression of the brand’s values and launching its AW16 collection.

A truly immersive event, the night brought together striking light installations, unforgettable video & projections and a breathtaking musical performance from four international pianists sat at grand pianos.

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The sound and visuals were all powerful, inspired by nature and passionate explorers, celebrating tribe of individuals who see the world with a thoughtful mind and an artful touch.

The space was designed by VJ artist Heleen Blanken, four concert pianists played Simeon ten Holt’s Canto Ostinato on four raised grand pianos. The pianists – Fred Oldenburg, Irene Russo, Sandra van Veen and Jeroen van Veen – are all internationally celebrated for their work, and to be surrounded by the four performing together was an elevating adventure.

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While the music played, the musicians and audience were enveloped by Heleen Blanken’s video artwork, enabling each art-venturer to interpret their own fantastic sonic journey through the various themes: the forest, the starry skies, the mountain and shelter. Like Napapijri itself, Heleen Blanken’s artwork is concerned with the discourse between industrial destruction and the beauty of nature; the urban and the wild. Guests were invited to lie down in the comfort of the Napapijri experience as the music rose and swelled around them, transporting them into the four simultaneous harmonious worlds.

Of course, the event was also live streamed through Napapijri’s Facebook channel, allowing consumers in other countries to join in with the evening online. There’s loads more information on Napapijri’s website here.

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