SWAGGA is dance crafted out of everyday bullshit, strong wills and trembling flesh. SWAGGA is for anyone who is habitually pushed aside, spoken over, ignored, misrecognised and snubbed. SWAGGA unfolds the map, draws the battlelines and readies an arsenal…We are hungry, we don’t know our place and we don’t play nice…
Project O, Jamila Johnson Small and Alexandrina Hemsley met social worker Kay Hyatt and psychotherapist Charlotte Cooper in 2013, after they came to see Project O’ s first work O, and expressed a desire to dance but a prevailing feeling that dance wasn’t for them. Charlotte voiced fears about the validity of her body in a dance context in her blog:
“I want to dance so much. Ohh God, there’s so much vulnerability and regret in that statement. I wish I’d known that dancing was a possibility when I was young, I’ve internalised it as a young woman’s game and now I’m too late. I know that injuries can happen very easily. I move tenderly, without gusto. There is often pain. There are so many things getting in the way of how I want to move: with fluency, without fear, with power and aggression, as a fat dyke, a working class woman of total wrongness, as a motherfucking queer aged 45 with arthritis in my knees and shitty lungs and shitty experiences and many many many things to say about everything.” ‐ Dr Charlotte Cooper, Death to the Fascist Insect, 2013.
SWAGGA is the first show where Project O have choreographed bodies that are not their own. Through intuiting and considering the various intersections between the four of them, SWAGGA is about finding space to be, crafting self‐awareness and harnessing the movement potential of a body meeting a moment. This can also be seen as a project about permission and a trampling of the internalised social barriers between people and their dancing.
During the performance, original music is performed live by Trash Kit , along with commissioned music by Verity Susman.
Contains nudity, flashing lights and strong language
Created by: Project O with Charlotte Cooper and Kay Hyatt
“As political provocation, SWAGGA scores” – The Observer
“A work of scouring, cleansing intensity. Because of that, it is transfixing” – Exeunt
“In a world of performance seemingly ubiquitous with chiseled torsos and streamlined posture, SWAGGA stands out as a ray of individual flair in the face of more routine expectations of the genre.” – EQ View
There will also be a discussion event on Fat Activism at the unity theatre on 19 November, find out more here: www.dadafest.co.uk/the-festival/event/fat-activism-a-public-conversation.
Visiting multiple DaDaFest events at the Unity? Get a Festival Pass to all Unity shows for just £40 or see 3 Unity Performances for just £24.99 or 4 Unity Performances for £35