Impermanence is back in Town! Before their evening of short works, we asked them a few questions about what they’ve been up to recently…
Hi Josh Hi Rosie ! You have presented work at Ugly Duck a few times already, and we are super looking forward to hosting your event Impermanence Presents… An evening of short works on November 9th.
You both founded Impermanence, can you tell us about you and your journey? what is it like to run a company when you are dancer yourself?
Well Ugly Duck runs through the Impermanence journey in a lovely way…! We started Impermanence in 2011 soon after graduating, looking to find a way to keep agile and creative after having a child… we did lot’s of experimental work wherever we could find a stage in the first few years, and then in 2015 created ‘DA-DA-DARLING’ which was an hour long dance theater piece made collaboratively by 7 dancers in response to Max Ernst’s collage novel: ‘A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil’… We’d just done a month long run at the Edinburgh Festival which went really well and we were looking for a venue in London to bring the show too, and someone mentioned Ugly Duck. It felt like we were able to get the dates locked down and all put together in a really short space of time which was really exciting. That energy of “DIY” and just making stuff happen is what’s amazing about Ugly Duck, and I think is a good match with how we run Impermanence. We then premiered our show ‘SEXBOX’ in 2016 which was a similar 7 piece collaborative affair, and was staged in the round in the beautiful loft space at Ugly Duck, the show went on to be part of the British Council showcase and gain critical acclaim – but the first show at Ugly Duck was arguably the best one of it’s tour! And most recently we bought our film ‘THE BALLET OF THE NATIONS’ to Ugly Duck in 2018, organizing a screening in the loft… it was the rainiest day ever (!) but as with every event we’ve put on at Ugly Duck the turn-out was great and the energy amazing. It really feels like our London home in a way. So yes, a little off question, but basically, it’s been a very exciting twisty turny journey which is always exhausting but always rewarding!
What’s a typical day like for you ?
Absolutely no regularity in terms of work – the only constants are childcare and cigarettes. But really, there’s always a lot of producing work to be done, interspersed with sporadic but very intense periods of research, creation, rehearsal, performance, shooting, pre-production, post-production, teaching, touring and sleeping.
You recently went to Jakarta – Indonesia to present one of your most recent works “BAAL”, how was that ?
Unbelievably amazing… we were so struck by the perceived seriousness that people making and consuming art had about their work, it was really refreshing, and not in the least earnest, it felt genuine. Probably in no small part due to the fact that most people, even those who are well respected creatively, are working in an “amateur” capacity – ie. Not with a sense that they’ll be able to make a living from theater, dance, writing etc. Something about the over-professionalization of the art sector here felt quite apparent.
Also, recently you have won the bid to take over the St Michael Church in Bristol to turn it into a dance studio and performance space. We know how much work this must be ! How is the project going?
Blimey – it’s going to be so great! There’s a lot to do until we open the doors, but we’re working with some really amazing people, and there is such a lot of good will in Bristol to make this happen so we’re feeling really confident. It’s going to be so beautiful and it’s right in the center of Bristol – basically a dream come true… But, we’ve been holding the image of a dance center in our minds for years now – so does also evidence the sense that we can all manifest whatever we want.
About your event Impermanence Presents… at Ugly Duck, what can the audience expect ?
Well true to form we’ve left the programming quite late… but the line up is basically confirmed now, it’s kind of a tapas of beautiful and intriguing solos and duets. TOM THOM (Tom Cassani & Thom Shaw) are a duo who individually are making amazing work and have this brilliant live art / magic / dance number which we’ve programmed one already in Bristol. JANE MASON is a Devon based choreographer who worked with Wayne McGregor in the early years and has been carving out a really distinct and beautiful creative practice that we admire greatly. KIP JOHNSON has worked with some amazing people (Ultima Vez, Charlotte Vincent, Protein…) and when he’s not on the barricades of extinction rebellion is one of the most amazing dancers we know. OWEN RIDLEY-DEMONICK used to dance in Impermanence, and has latterly been working with Trajel Harrel amongst others, this bit of work is a homage to the Diva. Then we’re both doing a turn, Josh dancing to a bit of Schubert, and Rosie has made a piece based on the Vorticists. Not sure why we ended up listing everyone’s CV just now (!) but basically, a bunch of amazing dancers intimately sharing small nuggets of work. And there’ll be plenty of booze too – !!
Thanks for your answers, we can’t wait to see what you are cooking for Ugly Duck !
Thanks again for having us – !!
Josh Ben-Tovim & Roseanna Anderson