It’s 2030, and dance is a crime.
We should have seen it coming. We spent the first two decades of the new millennium gripped by fear. Facing the war on terror, financial turmoil, climate change, and global pandemics, an anxious public turned to big tech and invasive surveillance for a safety blanket – but at what cost?
While tax breaks were bestowed on the tech giants, funding for art lessons was cut. A generation of children forgot how to sing, paint, and dance, instead absorbing a curriculum of obedience, conformity, and compliance.
One after another, societies around the world watched as their paranoid leaders criminalised the arts in the vain hope of quashing subversive ideas and dangerous acts of collective expression.
Every life is now defined by an irreconcilable tension between the desire for free expression and the desire for safety. A former dancer must hide her past to protect her daughter. A politician suppresses not just his fellow citizens but also his own ethics. Under pressure from the government, an activist leading his disciples in an artistic rebellion must confront an impossible choice.
In a world where morality is painted in shades of grey, vibrancy can be found in resistance: with dissent silenced, the expressive power of movement brings together artists of all disciplines. This disparate collection of creative souls must motivate and mobilise themselves and their communities in order to harness their collective power against oppression.
Illegal Dance explores a future where artistic expression is forbidden by oppressive regimes around the world. Dynamic contemporary choreography with innovative technical stagecraft to portray the tensions in a society that pits order against chaos, security against freedom, and individualism against collective will.
Director and choreographer Tony Adigun uses a synaesthesic blend of movement, music, and design to pull at tangled narrative threads, explore complex character relationships, and expose fragile morality. Where his last work Fagin’s Twist used poetic dialogue, here Adigun’s script is sparse and stripped back: audiences must derive their own truths from more abstract expression.
★★★★ “Fagin’s Twist, is a daring, dynamic and hugely enjoyable rethink of a much loved Victorian tale.”The Times, Debra Craine
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