As part of our commitment to nurturing Greater Manchester’s dance community, Company Chameleon is thrilled to welcome Kapow to our headquarters in Openshaw. From this month, the female dance circus theatre company will be based from our studios to choreograph, rehearse and develop their work.
The support provided is part of the initial programme of work funded by GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authority), which sees Company Chameleon support local dance artists in their development. Additionally the activity works towards Chameleon’s vision of raising the bar for dance in the region, through building a community of dance artists with different voices, histories and stories.
As we welcome Kapow to the Chameleon HQ, we take the opportunity to find out more about them and their work.
Hi Beth and Eithne, tell us about yourselves!
We founded Kapow – Dance Circus Theatre in 2015 as a creative partnership. Our key aim is to share the joy of imagination, physical storytelling and the moving body with audiences and we are hugely passionate about creating playful and meaningful dance work. Prior to forming Kapow, we both worked as professional performers. Beth with Tilted Productions, Earthfall, National Dance Company Wales, National Theatre Wales, Jo Fongand Theatr Iolo. Eithne with Tilted Productions, Joli Vyann, Opera North, The National Theatre, Madeline Shann, Jorge Cresis and Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre.
To date Kapow have created three pieces of touring repertoire for outdoor spaces; Adrift, Grow and Climb The City and tour them extensively nationally and internationally. As well as creating professional touring productions we also create works for schools, universities and community groups.
How does it feel to have your own space?
Amazing! It’s so grounding to take ownership of our own space. It hasn’t been long since we officially moved in but it already feels like so much more is possible. It’s great to be able to have a space available to us to be able to tap into our creativity whenever we feel it. It’s so focusing and beneficial to our work.
The building itself holds so much character and history and as creators, we’re really sensitive to our surroundings and work space. Rogue Artist’s Building is such a hub of creatives, and being able to surround ourselves within that environment daily is great.
The new space will also really help us feed into and development of the educational side of Kapow. It comes full circle when the work we are able to create directly influences what we are able to pass on through our workshops. It means we are able to provide a much more beneficial experience and develop our offer for participants.
How important is it for you to be based in Manchester?
We love being in Manchester! It’s been so great to be able to root ourselves into the Manchester dance scene. We’ve discovered so many fantastic dance artists since being here and feel like we’ve been welcomed into the web of support that they create. Just being able to see how Company Chameleon function on a daily basis is so helpful for us to progress and we’re really excited to be committed to the North West now. Manchester feels like a really healthy place to be a dance artist – there is so much space to grow and the atmosphere feels supportive, vibrant and exciting.
How do you think having your own space will help develop your practice?
We think we’ll see a difference in our approach to creating and developing our teaching practice. Practically, having a consistent space allows us to be able to jump into creation whenever we need to. Creatively, this allows us much more time to dive in depth into our work, without the worry of travelling a long way to pre booked space! We hope this will also feed into the development of our teaching style and material and help us grow the educational side to the company. We’d love to be able to open up the space to more artists and young people in the future!
We already feel so much creative energy surrounding this new space. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for us and is a really exciting time for the company. We’re really grateful to be able to be here!
What’s next for Kapow and where can people find you?
With our summer touring finished for 2019, we’re looking forward to getting stuck into Climb the City, a new site specific project funded and supported by Surf the Wave and Arts Council England. Our team is also growing, we recently welcomed Sarah Trist as our tour booker which is a great step for us! 2020/2021 will also see the development of Mayfly, a larger outdoor piece of work that is currently ongoing in creation.
Keep an eye on Kapow’s website for full tour dates and upcoming projects!
If you are interested in the studio spaces available at Company Chameleon please contact email@example.com.
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Thank you to everyone who comes to watch us perform and for all your wonderful comments and feedback!