Mercurial Dance of Coventry celebrated its second phase of the Bubble Chamber project with a performance by Lyng Hall School students this month. Housed in an empty shop space and toying with the implications of the current economic climate, the Bubble Chamber brings dance to the fore-front of urban daily experience.
Oliver Scott, artistic director of Mercurial Dance launched the project in 2010 with the vision to 'explore the relationship between dance and new technologies and promote dance through improvisation'. Over eight sessions, 7 students visited the Bubble Chamber afterschool and during half-term to rehearse and structure their digital dance. With Oliver, they explored ideas about the framing of movement: as technology happens within a frame, for instance a camera frame, computer monitor, or TV screen, the students introduced physical picture frames into their choreography. Having had little or no prior experience of dance, the students seemed to gain a lot from the project, the rehearsals make me feel better about dancing. It works well with the audience because they get involved too' said Shabnam.
The opportunity to allocate a vacant shop unit to Mercurial Dance’s Bubble Chamber has had positive socio-economic effects too. Andy Jack from the Coventry City Council stated that
'The project has helped to address key elements of the Council’s property management strategy by raising the profile of the area and encouraging footfall to support existing trade and promote future relocation'.
With good attendance figures, hopes are high for the next installation which will see 40 young people from Sidney Stringer Academy perform a new piece of work.Showing that dance does not always have to be ‘staged’ and that it can hold its own as an artistic medium, The Bubble Chamber speaks of unwavering commitment on the part of its contributors and welcome acceptance on the part of its surrounding urban community.Commissioned through the People Dancing programme, the Bubble Chamber is indebted to its sponsors.
The Bubble Chamber is inspired by London 2012 and is a Dancing for the Games project - part of the Cultural Olympiad in the West Midlands. The Bubble Chamber has also been supported by Arts Council England WM, The Higgs Charity, Coventry Sporting Futures and Warwick Arts Centre.