Pioneering companies NoFit State Circus and Motionhouse join forces to perform BLOCK as part of Worthing’s Summer of Circus programme on June 27-28 at the Pavilion Theatre.
Revealing what happens when circus and dance collide, BLOCK is about life in the city; its contradictions and challenges. Twenty oversized blocks are deconstructed and reformed to create different cityscapes for the performers to play on, move with and explore. The show promises daring physicality, split-second timing and thrilling feats with original music.
The constant shifts of forms echo the transitory nature of city centres, the changing landscapes of our environments and within this context, creates a platform on which the bodies talk about change, barriers, obstacles, repetition, failures and successes.
Created in 2016, BLOCK is a collaboration between NoFit State Circus and Motionhouse. Created and directed by Kevin Finnan, with the original concept, design and production by Ali Williams, and circus direction by Paul Evans, BLOCK will be taken as far as Australia, Germany, Budapest and Belgium this year.
Kevin said “The modern city is a nest teeming with activity. Human life streams through it. BLOCK is about living in the city, its contradictions and its challenges. Living large, living fast and sometimes living in the cracks, this extraordinary cast stay on their toes to thrive and survive in the world of blocks.
“The tower block, the urban block, danger, love and excitement streaming through the day. The fusion of house styles creates a new theatrical language mixing circus and dance in an extraordinary and seamless way. Fusing the fluidity of dance with spectacular circus to continually reshape the modular staging negates the need to perform acts, allowing the skills to be fully integrated in the movement vocabulary, creating a new and exciting form.”
Motionhouse create and tour a wide range of inspiring and powerful dance-circus productions to theatres and festivals in the UK and across the globe.
NoFit State was founded in 1986 by five friends.
Artistic director Tom Rack said: ““I am one of the founding members, and we have been going for 30 years now. It was back in the day when they called the artform new circus, back at the beginning of the contemporary circus movement.
“We were pioneers in that respect. We were all inspired by what was happening in France and a few other parts of the world. Contemporary circus was a reaction against the traditional circus structures. It was about trying to expand the artform to bring in theatre and theatricality rather than just circus technique. We made it not drama, but dramatic. It is full of images and informed on a cinematic scale. There is an undercurrent of themes. There is no story with a beginning and a middle and an end and a resolution going on. But there is a narrative and each character has their own narrative.”
As for the name, as Tom explains, the company set up in the days when circuses such as the Moscow State Circus, the Chinese State Circus and the Netherlands State Circus would bring across exotic acts.
“We were just a bunch of reprobates from Cardiff, so we called ourselves the NoFit State Circus.
“It just made us laugh, but it has become satirical now when you think of the quality of the people we are now working with.”