Laban Theatre is proud to present the powerful Without Warning, the first professional production wholly commissioned and produced by the leading South East London venue. This intriguing dance and music collaboration is inspired by the author Brian Keenan's experience as a hostage in Beirut. Using the stage space in a unique way, the audience is immersed as eye-witness. The performance is accompanied by Peter Anderson's Darkroom, an exhibition of photographs that intimately capture the cast in rehearsal.
Without Warning is performed and devised by an outstanding cast
of alumni from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, led
by choreographer Lizzi Kew-Ross. Four dancers and four musicians
enter the anguished territory of being relegated to 'meat'. Working
with images from An Evil Cradling, Keenan's compelling account of
his four and a half years in captivity, Without Warning explores
how the mind and spirit find ways to claw back reality,
half-reality and meaning.
An original sound score frames the work. Voice, strings and
percussion become a conduit for rage and resistance, playing out
the erratic states of euphoria, ridiculousness, compassion and
uncertainty. The musicians enter the performance stage; they aren't
accompanists on the sidelines. The music pushes the dance; the
dance pushes the music.
Without Warning began in 2007 as a collaboration between two
Trinity Laban staff members: choreographer Lizzi Kew-Ross and
Dominic Murcott, Head of Composition. The aim was to find
collaborative possibilities between their two art forms, music and
dance. They wanted a source that would be equally new to both of
them, and a subject that could be encapsulated in one word.
The word they chose was 'Hostage'. It was at this time that Alan
Johnston, the BBC journalist, was kidnapped in Gaza; hostages were
(and are still) at play in the politics and configuring of
Some years ago, Lizzi read Kennan's An Evil Cradling. Its poetic
images and huge emotional landscape have stayed with her. Lizzi
says: "Looking back to my first reading of An Evil Cradling, I am
struck by something Keenan said in the Dutch Embassy in Damascus
just after his release:
I felt like a cross between Humpty Dumpty and Rip Van Winkle - I
have fallen off the wall and suddenly awake I find all the pieces
of me, before me.
There are more parts than I began with.
All the King's horses, and all the King's men, cannot put Humpty
It's from this epigraph and the power, honesty and poetry of
Keenan's text that Without Warning takes shape."
The company comprises percussionist James Keane (Hofesh
Shechter, Political Mother), vocalist Natasha Lohan (Crash
Ensemble), cellist and vocalist Laura Moody (the Elysian Quartet),
baritone Peter Willcock and dance artists Sonia Rafferty (V-Tol
Dance Company), Megan Saunders, Daisy Thompson and Simon
Accompanying the performance is Darkroom by Peter Anderson, an
exhibition of black and white photographs of the Without Warning
cast in rehearsal. A staff photographer for NME in the 1980s, Peter
is known for his striking portraits of musical icons including
Madonna and Mick Jagger. Darkroom will be displayed in a black box
installation in the Laban foyer from 25 October to 12 November, and
entry is free (Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm; Thursday 11 and Friday
12 November, 10am-9pm).
Last updated on Thu 04 Aug 2011 13.09h