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Bangers And Mash, Dome Concert Hall, Brighton, May 17
More than 100 musicians and dancers – the overwhelming majority of whom are local – will take to the stage on Sunday for the world premiere of this unique dance piece.
Devised by Brighton Dome’s acclaimed company-in-residence the Hofesh Shechter Company, this free event will see a host of local dance companies and three bands made up of young city musicians team up with the company to perform an entirely new work.
“They have all worked very hard and a lot of care was put into the piece,” Hofesh says. “The atmosphere has been great and I think the end result is pure joy.”
He jokingly admits there has been an element of “crowd control” in supervising so many young performers in rehearsal, but says the results have been worthwhile. “Young people are very flexible – they tell you when they like something and they tell you when they don’t. It’s much easier than working with adults.”
City bands Mirror Image (average age 13/14) and This Is Massacre have been working under the supervision of Hofesh Shechter – a drummer and composer himself – to create the soundtrack for the performance. A third group, comprising violin players and percussionists, will provide a more downtempo backdrop for the piece.
“Some of the scores have some of my signature sounds: electronic loops, atmospheric sounds which they play along to, and some of the groups are playing their own music, while some are doing both,” Hofesh says.
This Is Massacre will be playing to their biggest audience yet. Guitarist and singer Dan Goddard says working with Hofesh on a dance piece had been “weird, but great”.
“He’s a great guy, it’s been really interesting seeing things from his perspective,” says Dan, who is in year 11 at Blatchington Mill School, Hove.
The band, all aged 16 and 17, formed two years ago after meeting at school and draw their influences from classic metal. “Making the music for it didn’t actually take that long, because we took different parts of our songs and put them together,” Dan says.
Hofesh is one of the most distinctive voices in dance. The Israel-born choreographer has already made an impact in the city with his performance of Uprising/In Your Rooms, and this specially-commissioned piece (his second for the festival) will include elements from his previous shows.
The ten local dance groups were mentored by Hofesh’s dancers, borrowing movements and themes from existing work, before the separate parts were drawn together to form a single piece.
“I wanted to take some movements from this piece or another,” he says. “So in a sense I was controlling the atmosphere, making sure it has its ups and downs.”
His work with young people in the city for Bangers And Mash seems particularly appropriate. After choreographing a stunning opening sequence for the second series of teen drama Skins, he has continued to find a captive young audience. The Brighton wing of his fanbase greeted his piece at the Dome last year with the kind of screaming you’d expect from the arrival of a pop star.
- Starts 9.15pm. Entry free.