Spiltmilk Dance tell us all about their Love Project
| Thu 30 Jun 2016
This July Spiltmilk Dance will be carrying out a two week research and community consultation process at artsdepot and in the surrounding area. This will culminate in two heart warming events that celebrate the things that unite us and all the things that make our lives brilliant. We caught up with Spiltmilk Dance to find out more about the Love Project, including some of their favourite things, their first loves and the funniest thing to happen in a rehearsal.
Can you briefly tell us about Spiltmilk Dance and the work you create?
Described as "Dance but not dance...like hiding vegetables in kids’ food", Spiltmilk Dance have been sticking a big fat ray of sunshine into the world of contemporary dance since 2006. As a company, we are fascinated by the things within popular culture that unite people from different walks of life; the trends we follow, the food we eat, the songs we listen to and the dances we do on a night out. We aim to bring fun and intelligence in equal measure and entertain new audiences with a unique brand of intricate and charming performance. We love working with people of all ages in community settings, to bring a fresh, down to earth approach to participating in dance. In our participatory projects we bring people together to celebrate their community, to get creative and have fun. Our work has previously been shown at venues ranging from pubs to piers, and from car parks to the Royal Opera House!
Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired The Little Love Cabaret & Lovefest Family Event?
We get the most excited about making work which celebrates the things that unite us and the things that make our lives brilliant. The media, especially at the moment, spends a lot of time telling us about the things that divide us – and so we really think it’s worth shouting loudly (or dancing!) about all the wonderful things we have in common! People get very excited when talking about the things that they love and we found that hugely inspiring. From the small, everyday things like food, clothes, music or TV programmes to the bigger stories like our long, lost loves, love for our families or the place we call home – we’re interested in it all! We’re weaving all these things together to make funny, inspiring, silly, tear jerking, heart warming events which celebrate what the people in the UK love.
What can we expect from each of the events?
The Little Love Cabaret and Lovefest will be the culmination of a research and community consultation process we are carrying out at artsdepot and in the surrounding area. At the start of July we’ll be in residence in The Creation Space at artsdepot and during this time we’ll be visiting, speaking to, creating with and dancing with as many community groups as possible. We’ll be talking to the members of these groups about what they love. The stories and info that we gather will then inspire the choreography for The Little Love Cabaret – so it will all be brand new and specifically inspired by local people. There will also be two local artists making brand new cabaret acts inspired by the love stories we gather so it will be a jam packed, eclectic night with a celebratory, upbeat feel.
All the information we gather will also inspire our Lovefest event. This is a family friendly, day time event that will have lots of different activities available and games to play. It will feel a bit like a summer fete with stalls and tea and cake but of course it will all be themed around love. You can try out a heart treasure hunt, tell us who your heart throb is, craft a lovely love letter and have a go at shooting cupids (child friendly!) arrows. It will also be a chance to read and see all the information and stories we have gathered from the community so you can find out what other local people love and add your loves in too.
What do you love most in the world?
Even though we keep asking people these kinds of questions they don’t get any easier for us to answer! There’s always so many possibilities. Our biggest loves in the world are our families but then there’s also a long list of ‘stuff’ that we love too. We’re both big food fans and there’s a list as long as your arm of the foods we love! If we had to pick one, for Sarah it would be a good cup of tea (preferably Yorkshire tea!) and for Adele it would crisps but specifically big ones that have curled over when they’ve been cooked so they are extra crispy!
We really love games, from board games at Christmas, to rounders in the park, to a pub quiz and an organised treasure hunt – any excuse for a good game and we are there!
We also really love a good bargain – there’s nothing like boasting about how cheap you managed to get something for.
Do you remember what was your first love?
Both of us are children of the 80s so when we’re thinking about a first childhood loves it’s the fashions that spring to mind – cycling shorts and bum-bags really set our hearts a-flutter! Then there we’re our teenage crushes – Robbie from Take That and Pacey from Dawson’s Creek. Of course we both loved to dance when we were little – it was tap dancing that we loved the most back then, it must have something to do with the fancy shoes!
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened in a rehearsal?
We’ve been experimenting in the studio with a dance about chocolate and that has led to some messy moments! Adele has had to eat a kitkat chunky, malteasers, a cream egg, a curly wurly, a mars bar, a Ferrero rocher and a scoop of Nutella – all in one sitting and all precisely choreographed to match with a speech Sarah makes about her favourite chocolate. It might sound like the best day of rehearsal ever but imagine doing that 3 times in one day!
What has been the most useful thing to have in the rehearsal room?
All our research! Every bit of choreography that we make in this project is directly inspired by something that a community member has told us that they love. That means that we are surrounded by bits of paper in the rehearsal room – there’s love letters, poems, drawings, lists, images, music suggestions and more. It’s great to have all that rich content right at our finger tips.
What are your next steps for this project?
After we have spent our time in residency at artsdepot we will then be visiting two other communities, in inner city Birmingham and rural Norfolk, to carry out a similar process. The idea behind this is that by the end of all the residencies we’ll have gathered a wealth of varied research that will be a true reflection of what the diverse communities of the UK love. We’ll then see where this takes us – maybe we’ll be creating a new touring show about what people across the UK love, maybe it won’t be a show but it could be a day time participatory event celebrating love or maybe we’ll just pick out one key theme that kept coming up in our research and explore that further. We’ll have to wait and see!