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HATCHWORK 2024 - time to engage,

BirdGang Ltd Movement Architects presented HATCHWORK 24 - a two-week professional development residency designed for eight artists, during which artists received mentorship in areas such as music, lighting, costume/set design, and business development. Throughout the residency, artists explored diverse innovation methods, and were encouraged to consider how film and immersive technologies can impact their work, expanding the work's accessibility.

As the first melodic preamble hung on the opening performance, promptly the attitude had already been set, emphasising the emotive composition of the moving body and meaning making. The “subject” was thrusted, and gyrated, with rhythm changes and tempo slowed, and with themes of fragile human experience, intense emotions and their fragility explored, the subject of ADHD was conveyed, with dialogue, amongst the props of any given living room, fused with dance that spoke life; the heavy panting, glistening sweat, theatrically pure; the artist reliving the torment the piece conveyed, of which left you in no doubt that you knew somebody just like him.

Amongst the audience you could sense the almost fervent curiosity to identify the very human movement, curiosities physically ducking and weaving a gaze, as to catch the immersive nature of one piece in particular, whereas the audience, with seating removed, and permitted to stand anywhere in the available space, effectively became obstacles, of which formation, and movement would measure the course of the performance. In quintessential immersive style the piece became a near, and not so, seamless task of ‘crisis management’, with the dance manoeuvring in and around the audience, and before long the audience following where the artist led, it was as if the insight became that much more real, closer, moving in the same manner that you; the audience quickly adopted. (Maybe because you know the steps?) Beautifully done.

Interpreting identity through dance, discerning the unorthodox cultural imaging, and social meaning-  Apparent was the appetite for a deeper role of creativity, a role of which transcended beyond the “conventional” dance performance, and whilst the aesthetics of any dance piece, almost, always, pre-determines the product of any performance- was it enjoyed, or not, and why- still sweating, and halfway through wardrobe, welcoming a Q&A session was invaluable.  

Not only did the audience member delve into the conviction of the dancer, and their reasonings, and motivations, disclosed was the soul of the dancer; their fears, their experiences, their passions, rages and toils, the explosions, their art, more importantly, and maybe surprisingly, given the added element of immersion with the audience, it was clear from the questions asked, and the answers retorted, that the audience, and the dancer were two of the same people; same thoughts and similar anxieties, and notwithstanding the consistent appetite to convey, as such sanctioning the audience to partake in the performances, in-turn encouraging co-authorship.


We’re often left to ourselves to determine how we felt about a performance, often a performance we expect the norm from- how did the piece relate to our lives, how did it relate to the environment we find our collective individualism a part of- the immersive nature of the show unveiled a social mouthpiece, into which, expressed, was a dance to the social rhapsody of realities faced by everybody alike.  Beautifully choreographed, immersive performances, where absorbed in a nation you experience the story, and though you cannot change it, you can change yours, at the very least express your own narrative,

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