Kathryn Chan Theatre Design - Badejo Arts Emi Ijo 2000

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Kathryn Chan Design Archive

emi ijo . Heart of Dance Badejo Arts 2000 . London, UK



emi ijo - Heart of Dance 2000 was an interdisciplinary live performance in three parts: on a boat which sailed on the River Thames from Greenwich Pier to the London South Bank Pier; on the Riverside Terrace; and on the rooftop of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The production celebrated the migration of peoples, the multicultural nature of society in the UK, and the achievements of the African diaspora and their contributions to British society. emi ijo 2000 was an inversion of novelist Joseph Conrad’s book The Heart of Darkness.

(Conrad. J, (1995) Heart of Darkness. Penguin Books a fictionalised account of colonial


The Windrush generation



Graphic Design

land . water . crossing . journey elements . wind . rain . sun . moon .









Set Design

river . road . path . line . journey . mirror . reflection connected earth warm . unconnected concrete cold




Universal elements travel . movement . music market bags . sacks . clothing


The South Bank Center, London environment provided a harsh and brutal concrete backdrop for the performers, dancers and musicians that embodied the intense human realities, vulnerabilities, feelings, and emotions of the migrant community. The choreography hinted at a people's hard work, contributions, sacrifices, strength and resilience. The set included a rigid square space that performers could inhabit as theirs alone. A long broad line, like a river, stream, or path - mirrored so that the people traversing it could see themselves and their realities. (If possible, this was meant to be a real canal of water.) Wind from the River Thames conducted its intervention, continually reminding us of the water, the river, the sea, and the many crossings of waters to arrive in the New World and the UK.


Photo credit: K. Chan


The familiar form of a clothesline displays sacking bags used for transporting goods in many cultures worldwide) and high-visibility jackets and gloves that migrants and other workers around London wear daily. The mirrored pathway reflects the items on the clothesline, adding layers of thought and intensities. Artefacts and objects that inhabit the stage or landscape hint at the subjects of migration and history. At the same time, domestic tools remind us of the types of jobs that migrant workers are employed to do in adapting to their new homeland. The sun casts the shadows of the items on the clotheslines onto the concrete floor. These shadow drawings interact with the performers and the audience's sightlines.


Photo credit: K. Chan

high visibility clothing . wear . sacking bags underground / street jobs . transporting belongings


Props

Immigrants . musical instruments Culture . cases . utilitarian objects . tools





artefacts of migration . everyday tools and objects


Photo credit: K. Chan


Photo credit: K. Chan

brooms and sticks


Screenshots from the video


dancers perform across shadows . shadows interact with the audiences site lines and connect the performers to the audience


Photo credit: Unknown


Costume

Texture . colour . Life . meaning



Photo credit: Anthony Levy



Transparencies . skin . vulnerability . protection







Photo credit: Anthony Levy



The fabric used for the costumes has two layers of meaning. The undergarments echoed the high-visibility clothing on the lines above and called to mind the hard work and roles migrants take on in their adopted home. The outer garments of transparent lycra call to mind skin, underlining the vulnerability that migrants experience. This fabric helps to extend the psyche of the performers and lays bare the way migrants are perceived, as if unmasked, naked, insecure, conducting lives in visible situations. One intention noted in the drawings was to dust things in metallic colours, to underline the notion that "everything is dusted in gold" in this newly developed world". The fabric shimmered, creating an illusion or symbolising progress or hope?



Photo credit: Anthony Levy



Photo credit: Anthony Levy



Select documents from the Archive Kathryn Chan for design of emi ijo 2000 Part One - Lori Omi emi ijo - Journey to the Land of Hope Greenwich Pier to Royal Festival Hall

Part Two - Ipile emi Ijo - The Emergence Riverside Terrace

Part Three - Lori Oke emi ijo - The Arrival Queen Elizabeth Hall Rooftop Maureen Salmon, Chair, Badejo Arts Peter Badejo OBE, Artistic Director, Badejo Arts Francis Angol, Assistant Artistic Director and Choreographer Dr Olu Taiwo, Scripter Writer, emi ijo Kathryn Chan, Graphic and Costume Designer Photography Yves Salmon, Anthony Levy, Kathryn Chan Dancers Andrea Franklin, Karen James, Landing Mane Rita Natacha Mendes, Sheba Montserrat Musicians Sam Maitland, Bucarr Ndow Tobias Sturmer, Emmanuel Tagoe


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