PuSh Blog

Moments from Wallflower

January 24, 2017

Wallflower challenges its performers to remember every dance they’ve ever danced… it’s an ever-expanding archive of memories, a portrait of the life of each performer, told through the dances they remember on-stage and in rehearsal. Since they began in summer 2015, they’ve archived over 1600 dances. Each time Wallflower is performed, one performer sits out and takes charge of recording every memory in their own way, with varying amounts of detail, to add to the physical archive which is updated and displayed at every performance. Below is a visual selection from the archive, in no particular order.

Archive entry #310
Jo: Blondie “Atomic” this dance comes from a moment when they didn’t know what to do, they didn’t have any ‘dances’ dances, it’s a sort of indulgent dance that she danced with Sonia, allowed them to dance and not think, just to let go.

Archive entry #139
James: Caribou “Hannibal” – memory he’s just remembered – been in Manchester about 6 months. Met one of his really close friends Jordan Barbour, and Ben Moody, and Scott who only brought string and a condom with him and someone else he can’t remember, getting ready to go to a rave in Withington. Remembers asking Jordan if he should leave his new phone at home, Jordan said no bring it, the other boy was a sailor he didn’t like which is why he doesn’t remember his name. Everyone ran and left the taxis, this rave was under a motorway bridge, lots of bass, all very high, other people were quite thuggish they were a bit scared, there was a river there and James remembers thinking that’s going to be dangerous later, seems like a really good memory but it was horrible because it was the first time he’d ever gone anywhere. They were caught outside, still very up, 3 guys, a guy in a mask, put a gun to James’ chest and said give us your things. For some reason James lied but he said give me your phone, pressed the gun closer and James gave it to him, they left and spoke to the police outside, they didn’t do anything really, asked if they could take them home because all their money had been stolen, they said no, James still had his card so paid by card to get back to Manchester, they got back and just had a cup of tea, Scott stayed.

Archive entry #522
Jo: A dance she doesn’t want to do. Doncaster High street. Can Can. Dance teacher’s daughters 18th birthday. Jo is made up wearing Can Can dress. She screams a few times. She tells us she does cartwheels. She does cartwheels. Jump – Splits.

Archive entry #678
Nic: Childhood dance. I’m 6. Mother is an opera singer. Can’t always sit out front. Can’t talk or play. La Traviata – chorus. Going to do it in my adult body. Ballet, hold on one leg. Applause.

Archive entry #330
Sonia: First show she ever wrote and was in. It was at the Purcell Room. It was about 3 backing singers, they were at the back of the stage, shows us how they had to count, click and know where you were in the count to go “yeh yeh”

Archive entry #541
Jo: 90’s music? Ecuador.

Archive entry #121
James: Sometimes you find yourself feeling like you can’t, every time’s different, you don’t know how to enter, but he has a dance, Rolling Stones “Let’s Spend the Night Together”. Used to do this thing when he was younger, he used to think it was cool, thinks the dance is pretty accurate.

Archive entry #544
Jo: Body Rock in a pink leotard. She does it like she wants. Lost hits of the 80’s.

Archive entry #833
Nic: Zoo bar. Underage. 16 worked there. Rock bar/dnce bar. Shit List – L7. Lot’s of hair. All her dances are here.

Archive entry #1140
James: Dad took me to the attic. Don’t go on the soft bits. Explicit. Brown, brown, record player. Michael Jackson. Smooth criminal. Heart thumping. Flicks shirt. Head across arms quick. Angry teeth. Owwwww! Walking arms. Lips bounce. Swings leg. Hits out. Arm out.

This post originally appears on the Quarantine blog. Catch Wallflower as part of the PuSh Festival February 1–3, 2017.