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Wandsworth Arts Fringe

Wandsworth Arts Fringe performers hoping for opportunity after lockdown

The performers for this summer’s Wandsworth Arts Fringe have been announced and some of the groups involved are preparing for art after lockdown.

They’re all hoping the Fringe will go ahead as normally as possible, but some contingency plans have been made to keep the festival going.

The Wandsworth Arts Fringe will take place from 25 June to 11 July to help local art groups to get involved in the Wandsworth community.

Ballet Soul is a ballet company which fuses classical ballet, contemporary dance and Africanist movement, they have produced short film which will be the basis for workshops they will run at the Fringe.

Ballet Soul founder Ben Love said: “What Ballet Soul does is we run workshops and last year we did a performance of Othello 21, a 20-minute, modern version of Othello.

“We’re doing a workshop with choreography based on what we did in the film on the streets, like in West Side Story but in a studio space.

“I come from a classical background, and I wanted to bring classical ballet technique together with contemporary technique and my African heritage.

“We put soul into ballet, to bring it to a wider audience.”

Ballet Soul will run taster sessions of the particular kind of dance they do and hope to produce a full-length feature version of Othello 21.

World Heart Beat Music Academy will also be involved in the Fringe, as they are organising the Congrego Festival celebrating Latin American music.

World Heart Beat Music Academy’s Lottie Parsons said: “We’re going to open it up to get other young people involved in live workshops in advance, where we’ll get together and learn some music.

“We’re going to get some guest bands involved.”

There will also be some dramatic work at the fringe including the interactive puppetry of the Missing Pages Company.

Missing Pages performer Alena Skalova said: “I will have two shows: one on my own and one with my fellow puppeteers. We will have one online theatre show just to be on the safe side and one small audience show in a venue for 10 to 15 people.

“It’s a visual theatre piece with a collage set and its experimental puppetry involving objects, landscapes and it’s called Siddhartha’s Journey. It’s based on Herman Hesse’s book and it takes a few images from the book which it explores to go deeper into the philosophy and imagery and to offer the audience a visual and imaginative interpretation of it.

“It’s accompanied by an installation, a small interactive one around the room.

“People will be able to walk around and there will be stalls with extracts from the book and materials so they can make collages to respond to what they read.

“In an ideal world people would be able to touch the shapes and move them around and make a proper collage to put on a board of responses but we are also preparing a version where people cannot touch anything in case.”

Skalova was upbeat about the impact the pandemic has had on art.

She added: “It’s stimulating I think there are so many ideas that we wouldn’t get if we could do the first thing we had planned, that’s a positive side to it, it pushes us to be quite creative.”

Weave Studios productions have produced a short film which will be shown during the Wandsworth Arts Fringe about a Wandsworth resident.

Weave Studios founder Laurence Dollander said: “It is very much related to the pandemic.

“It’s inspired by my own experience for the last 12 months but especially spring 2020.

“It takes place outside, in parks near where I live and it’s very representative of people’s lives at the moment, which seems to be about going somewhere outdoors to do something other than sitting at home.

“It is the story of a man who slowly descends towards poverty, but doesn’t realise it is happening.

“But there is hope in this project, as it’s about how we stick together and how we get through difficulties bit by bit without even knowing it’s happening yet. 

“Restrictions are good for me from a creative point of view.

“It is the same as having to work with a small budget, it forces you to look at things in a different way, and great ideas usually come out of having to overcome obstacles.

“I want this project to go ahead, no matter which decision the Government has to take regarding covid, so I’m going to film it outside and if necessary, at its strict minimum, it can be made just with myself behind the camera and one actor.”

More details about the locations and exact dates of performances will come at a later date.

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