Birmingham Hippodrome Associates Motionhouse is to perform its critically acclaimed production of Nobody for two shows only on Friday 4 February, marking the company’s first performance at Birmingham Hippodrome since 2018.
Since its world premiere in London in September 2021 which saw packed houses, Nobody has been delighting audiences and garnering critical acclaim throughout the UK and overseas.
Spectacular, fast-moving and highly physical, Nobody explores the tension between our inner lives and how we make sense of the world around us. Motionhouse’s renowned dance-circus style combines with mesmerising choreography to tell this emotional and ultimately uplifting story, full of twists and turns.
Louise Richards, Motionhouse’s Executive Director, said: “We are extremely proud to be an Associate of Birmingham Hippodrome and we very much look forward to performing in the heart of Birmingham. After such a difficult year last year with the pandemic, it’s great to be back on tour and to be getting such an amazing response to our work.”
Kevin Finnan, Artistic Director of Motionhouse, started exploratory work with the dancers for Nobody in late 2019 and was just about to start creating when the pandemic struck. Abruptly halted, creation resumed in January 2021 when the Company returned to the studio, operating within strict Covid guidelines.
Finnan said: “It was a challenge to make Nobody during the pandemic, but the process was interesting because the pandemic entirely reshaped my original vision for the production. When the dancers and I came back in early 2021 after a long period of lockdowns and furlough, we had an incredible urge to be creative and to explore new ways of moving. I think the energy and emotions of the extraordinary collective experience of dealing with the pandemic shaped the content and the movement we were coming up with as a group. The narrative arc of the production reflects this: the first act of Nobody is driven by the raw emotion of our experiences during the lockdown. There is a sense of isolation and being alone and the effects this has had on us all during the pandemic. In the second act, there is a sense of coming together and the strength we all get from that.”
Finnan works collaboratively with the dancers to create the choreography and movement vocabulary as he develops each new work. He sets creative tasks and allocates time for the dancers to explore ideas on the set, in order to tease out the possibilities that this offers in terms of being an ‘apparatus’ for the movement to take place.
Kevin Finnan adds: “We’re very pleased with Nobody and absolutely delighted by the response from our audiences and the critics. It’s quite different from our recent work, and as a company, we’re excited to be breaking new ground. We’re embracing the relationship between dance, digital and circus in a new way in this production; developing our movement language and expanding our use of on-stage digital technology. This has proven to be an exciting show for audiences – it’s a significant leap forward in the merging of our dance-circus language and the use of spectacle. Its messages are pertinent to the time we live in, and audiences have been relating to what they are experiencing and have certainly been moved by it.”
Nobody is packed with visual magic: the world on stage is transformed before our eyes, with the set seemingly moving by itself or being moved by the dancers. Digital projections and the shape-shifting set create a constantly changing environment where nothing is quite what it seems…We follow seven characters on their journey of self-discovery to find strength and support in each other, while a group of curious crows questions their every move. As they negotiate their ever-changing reality, the performers search for answers as the world unravels around them.