Points & Pathways
Dance performance by Surface Area Dance Theatre and Artist Tom White
13 January 2024 (historic exhibition)
Dancer and Executive Director Nicole Watson of Surface Area Dance Theatre, together with long-standing collaborator, sound artist Tom White, have been invited to collaborate on a newly commissioned dance performance that has been developed as part of the public programme of the Matt Rugg: Connecting Form exhibition at the Hatton Gallery. This specially commissioned work will mark the final day of the exhibition on the 13 of January.
The two performances will bring a new, exciting interpretation and conversation between the three artists, Rugg, Watson and White. The dance ‘Points & Pathways’ has been inspired by and will be performed amongst Rugg’s captivating hanging wire sculptures called the Anatomy series. The dancer's movement and soundscape have been directly inspired by Rugg’s materials and way of working, which often exemplifies the term coined by Victor Pasmore, “the developing process”. This process, in which adaption and reappropriation are in constant flux, are added to and reassembled into something new.
Making and applying contact, whether physical, virtual, or imagined, is a set of ideas that Watson and White apply to much of their work. As long-standing collaborators, the pair often expose the inner workings of performances by creating space and time for creative processes to inform performed actions. The attitude of performing improvised material is naturally energised; during this performance, Watson and White seek to contain and re-use the energy of Rugg’s sculptures within the sound and movements they perform. Although these two performances will be similar, space has been allowed for improvisation and exchange. Therefore, each performance will be different and completely unique.
Surface Area Dance Theatre is an award-winning UK-based charity based at Dance City in Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland. As a company, they work across live and digital performances, interdisciplinary collaborations, and international cultural exchange.
Nicole Watson has over fifteen years of experience working in the arts and holds the position of Executive Director and Founder of Surface Area Dance Theatre – which she established as a Community Interest Company in 2007; under Nicole’s Direction, Surface Area Dance Theatre has joined Arts Council England’s 2023-26 National Portfolio. Nicole’s work is collaborative and produced with leading national and international organisations; The British Council, Arts Council England, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, The Barbican, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. Nicole works best at facilitating creative projects across disciplines by communicating ideas through multiple platforms to all audiences.
Image: Nicole Vivien Watson: Studio image, a self-portrait.
Tom White is a Ramsgate-based artist focusing predominantly on sound-based practices such as live performance, installation, recordings, and composition for dance and film. He is interested in the physicality and phenomena of sound and how it can be felt by the body and experienced in architectural space. Past projects include commissions and appearances for Radiophrenia, Glasgow (CCA); BRAUBLFF (KRAAK & De Player); Whitechapel Gallery, London & Colour out of Space Festival, Brighton. Recent collaborators include Surface Area Dance Theatre, Maya Dunietz, Ben Knight, Renato Grieco and Lia Mazzari. He has performed extensively across the UK and Europe, travelled to North America & Japan and had work published by labels such as Takuroku (Cafe OTO), Glistening Examples, Vitrine, Chocolate Monk, Calling Cards Publishing and South London Gallery. He won the British Composer Award in 2014 (Sonic Art) for Public Address, commissioned by South London Gallery.
Image: Tom White: Ise City Council and the British Council Japan; photographed by Nicole Vivien Watson.