World premiere of Refuse

15 May 2023

Company Chameleon invites you to the world premiere of Refuse, our newest dance work, exploring migration and following the stories of six refugees.

Choreographed by Kevin Edward Turner and incorporating a set and a cast of six dance artists, the production is Chameleon’s most ambitious outdoor choreography to date.

No matter where you are in the world, you can join us for the premiere on Friday 9 June at 7pm! You can join us at our studio in Manchester to watch the performance in-person and you can join us online for the live broadcast.

A play on words, Refuse brings home the raw reality of people being refused and treated like refuse, when they leave their homeland in search of a better life.

Inspired by the painting, The Raft of the Medusa (1819) by Théodore Géricault, Refuse explores the relevance of the artwork, in relation to the plight of asylum seekers today.

Talking about the subject-matter, our Co-Artistic Director, Kevin Edward Turner, said:

“As a mixed-race person I’ve always been interested in the social and historical forces that made me. I’ve taken an interest in the movements of people and the motivations behind the journeys they choose to take.

For me, Refuse is a response to the toxic rhetoric that surrounds the migration and asylum seeker debate, how often the humanity and the human story is left out of the conversation.

When we other or dehumanise people, we are not only damaging the target but ourselves.”

The choreography Kevin has created for Refuse is physically powerful, vigorous and intense. The dancers use their bodies, props and the set to explore different feelings, experiences and scenarios.

The set imaginatively transforms the landscape, as the dancers move emotively through each scene, on a harrowing journey where it’s hard to find hope.

Kevin said: “I think the audience can expect quite a full-on and intense experience. The work is very physical and ever-changing. Some people will be captivated by the physicality, others the concepts or performance. My hope is for all three.

I hope everyone who joins us to watch the performance will be moved to think and feel, and hopefully motivated to shift their own perspective, towards the humanity of those involved in real life.”


Refuse world premiere
Friday 9 June 2023, 7pm
Company Chameleon, 6 Barrass Street, Openshaw, Manchester

Notes on the performance:
Refuse is an outdoor choreography and will be performed in the outdoor space at Chameleon’s studio in Openshaw, Manchester. This is weather dependent. If it is wet or raining, the performance will take place indoors.

Film & photography:
Films stills and teaser video by Ben Williams.

Creative team:
Direction and choreography: Kevin Edward Turner | Cast: Alice Bonazzi, David Colley, JP Hon and Yue Ying Ho, Kadafi Mulula and Cameron Woolnough. | Set & costume design: Celia Perkins | Music: Brendan Williams

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"10 was such a wonderful experience - I cant wait to see more of your incredible work!" "Effortless grace, strength, humour and athleticism - a visual treat!" "We brought 65 young people to your performance tonight - every single one loved it! What an amazing show!" "This show reminded me why I dance and what I’m constantly working towards! Thank you for this experience!" "Such beauty in the small moments of this show - please don't stop doing what you’re doing"

Thank you to everyone who comes to watch us perform and for all your wonderful comments and feedback!