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Alive - Rachel Gadsden and Deaf Men Dancing 2011

Alive Tour 2011

Rachel Gadsden Mark Smith & Deaf Men Dancing

What does it mean to be truly alive?
To celebrate the wonder and miracle of our shared humanity? Through dance, image, sound and spoken word, Alive! gets right to the heart of the matter.

When four 'suits' find themselves caught up in a carnival parade they cast off the trappings of their corporate culture and get down to the business end of being in their skins. A dynamic collaboration between choreographer Mark Smith and four of his male dancers (Deaf Men Dancing), and visual artist Rachel Gadsden, this antidote to our economic woes is an energising and liberating affirmation of the corporeal joy of being Alive!

This dynamic collaboration brings together Rachel Gadsden, Mark Smith and Deaf Men Dancing in an outdoor visual art and dance commission .

Mark is a deaf choreographer (of Sadler’s Wells’ Shoes), who uses a fusion of different styles of dance incorporated with sign-language to create exciting and unique work for his company Deaf Men Dancing, an all male deaf company who have performed at The Place and Dance East. Rachel is a visual artist, whose methodology is expressionistic, energetic and raw, echoing the deepest motivations of what it is to be human.

Through dance, visual art, sound and spoken language Alive! expresses the interior world and spirit of the dancers, narrating emotional stories that express the true dynamics of what it is to be Alive!

During the performance Rachel and the dancers collaboratively create artworks. The dancers paint and in turn the artist will dance.

The overriding motivation of Alive! is to turn the mundane reality of our current economic climate on its head and to reach out and remind individuals and the audience that life is joyous and that despite the current world economic climate we must still embrace and celebrate being Alive!

"Alive" toured with the Without Walls Festivals in 2011 and was part of the Ardent Hare's Upstream Festival.

Commissioned by Bradley Hemmings in collaboration with Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and Ardent Hare.