What does it mean to be male and how has everyone’s view of men changed over the last 100 years? That is the theme of the brand-new dance show being premiered by Legacy Dance Company UK at Norwich Playhouse this summer.
The Evolution Of Man[sculinity] will take the audience on a two-hour journey through the ages mixing dance styles and music at Norwich Playhouse on June 22-23.
It is the latest chapter for the company, which was initially formed from the male dance talent selected to star opposite members of the world-renowned Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures in Lord of the Flies around four years ago.
Since then, Norwich-based choreographer Cat Chapman has run Legacy, made up of male dancers aged 10 to 21, through a mix of live performances, workshops with some of the globe’s top choreographers and leading companies from the dance and musical theatre worlds, and the chance to hone their skills in sessions every weekend.
She was inspired to look at the subject of the show during a Legacy session. Cat explained: “I was looking at the lads in rehearsal one day and I thought we have such a diverse set of them in one room. Some are just typical teenage lads and others are just completely comfortable in their own skin, and I thought if you go back even 50 years, they couldn’t have been how they are now. It got the cogs turning and I thought let’s go right back to the twentieth century and see how things have changed for men, particularly young men.”
It will include an extract from the acclaimed collaboration between LEGACY, New Adventures, and Norwich Theatre Royal writing students which was performed at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, earlier this year. Cat explained: “It told the story of young men who were drafted to serve at Duxford in the Second World War and what they went through in terms of being in training, conflict, fighting and flying. What gave it extra impact was that we were performing among the historic planes that are on display there.”
While she is at the helm of the company, she also stressed it is really important that the Legacy members themselves have a big part to play in the creation of this show too. She said: “These days, you can’t just be a dancer. You have to be able to do everything. It is also very important to me that they have an input because it is their show and they are on stage doing it and in the studio with me. I am always up for giving them creative input. It is also about giving them a voice.”
The Evolution Of Man[sculinity] will be at the Norwich Playhouse on Friday 22nd-Saturday 23rd June at 7.30pm. Suitable for age 7+. Tickets £12, and £8 concessions. For more information or to book, visit www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk or call 01603 598598