Artificial Things

This is the first year of the ‘iF Platform’ – a new showcase featuring the UK's top disabled artists and integrated arts companies. Artificial Things, brought to us by Stopgap Dance Company, is part of this innovative programme

A piece that celebrates diversity without sugar-coating the truth of it.

This contemporary dance piece sets out to challenge our perceptions of how humans co-exist, through the story of five individuals. As they interact and dance, relationships and friendships are created, leaders are formed and a disjointed hierarchy seems to take shape. However as they start to reflect on themselves and see each other not just through each other's eyes but also, for the first time, truthfully through their own, the situation descends into something much bleaker.

The use of an almost arcade-like tank, which later creates an onstage snow globe, proves effective due to its fantastically simple design. Lucy Bennett's collaborative approach to the choreography is so individually respectful to each dancer's ability, but is seamlessly integrated. A highlight for me was Chris Pavia's solo, which was simplistic but strong with bold motifs and obsequious skill.

There is a definite abjectness within this piece, that is at times uncomfortable to watch. However I am more than confident that each decision has been made with the utmost consciousness and the dark nature of it in no way compromised its strong spirit. I would recommend that you do your research a little with this one – it is abstract and may get a little lost on some more conventional, contemporary fans.

However this company promises a piece that celebrates diversity without sugar-coating the truth of it. Its bold and honest and forces you to – and you'll be so glad you did. 

Reviews by Hannah Lucy Baker

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Red and The Wolf

The Edinburgh Academy

Spring Awakening

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

The Rules Of Inflation

Assembly Checkpoint

Confessions of a Justified Songwriter

Assembly Hall

9 to 5

Sweet Grassmarket

Drink! The Musical




The Blurb

Following the critically acclaimed premiere at Sadler's Wells, award-winning Stopgap bring you cinematic contemporary dance that questions our notions of co-existence. Slowly suffocating in each other’s company, a group of individuals seek escape through rock’n’roll. Wild disorder descends into playground politics and reveals uncomfortable truths, pushing you to look at the world differently. ‘Exhilarating, funny and truly innovative’ ( ‘A pioneering collective … powerful … bold and disarming’ **** (Exeunt).