Gleam Clean

Together with members of the StopGAP Youth Group, Chris, Sophie and myself have been preparing for the City Of London Festival.  Our latest offering to the Summer Street Arts scene is a comic, chaotic comment on cleaning and Capoeira.

Seeing it on paper, it sounds like a strange mix of ideas for an Integrated Contemporary Dance Company to be turning their talent to, but after a series of Capoeira workshops with Mestre Ponciano, I soon realised how perfectly matched his Capoeira ethos was to our own integrated philosophy.

The main element we took away from Ponciano and his leaders was that in Capoeira, anyone could play if they work to their full potential.  A novice can play with a Mastre and it can still be exciting to watch and be challenging for both individuals.  By absorbing one another’s movement styles, and reacting to each other’s physical decisions, a dance is pursued that brings two individuals together through maintaining eye contact with each other.  Although the movement can at times be virtuoso, dramatic and crowd pleasing, the resulting dance remains an observation and reaction to your Capoeira partner, and it is a dance dedicated to each other.

My Gleam Clean Team is Chris, Sophie, Gordon, Natasha, Dermot, Hannah and Daisy.  Whilst we were working on our new outdoor work David and Laura worked with the other members of the Youth Group: Katy, Sarah, Nick, Lana and Olli on a piece for Celebrating Surrey entitled Under The Ocean.

Gleam Clean has been choreographed in response to the steps outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London, where we have been asked to perform by The City of London Festival.  We wanted to utilise the steps and so decided to disguise ourselves as cleaners.  Not just any cleaners though, cleaners with a passion for capoeira, samba and dancing together.

We have had a lot of fun in preparing the performance, working hard on our dance and Capoeira skills alongside a Samba rhythm workshop with Jim Pinchen and creating our costumes and props.  I know all our hard work will pay off, we just have to keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t get rained off!  Never the less, come rain or shine, it has been a great experience for all.  We have all really enjoyed dancing with each other, but more importantly we have all enjoyed watching each other whilst dancing with one and other.

Catch the Gleam Clean Team in City of London Festival on Tuesday 6th July and Thursday 8th July.