After a quiet Christmas break, a number of exciting programmes have recently been announced for the upcoming Spring season and, by the looks of things, live art and performance are going to play an even bigger role in Manchester’s art scene then last year. For one of the first times in what feels like a while, Contact (just down the road from the SU, Fallowfield direction) has a programme of performances to really get excited about with Live Art production company Word of Warning, the people behind last year’s fantastic Domestic festival, heavily involved in the curation of the programme. Coming up in a couple of weeks’ time on the 18th February is The Good, the God and the Guillotine – a new piece by multi-disciplinary and Manchester based company Proto-type Theatre who, despite their live work, are a collective of artists with a variety of backgrounds and interests (recent work includes an installation in a Roman garden in Chester). The piece, based on Albert Camus’ landmark absurdist novel L’Etranger (The Stranger), involves hand-drawn animation, laptop musicians and haunting live music – check out the sinister trailer on both the Contact and Word of Warning websites for more info.
As we move into March, Word of Warning and Contact bring us another collection of fantastic looking performances in the form of the annual ‘Flying Solo’ festival (12-22 March), a collection of performances that celebrate solo performance with 10 days of live art, spoken word, performance and dance at the Contact. One of my favourites from Domestic festival, Exposure, is being shown and if you want to witness something intimate, personal and truly tender, then you need look no further than Jo Bannon and this captivating one-to-one work (showing every 12 minutes from 5-7pm and 8-9pm on the 12th-13th March). Towards the end of March, we see the return of Manchester’s annual ‘Future Everything’ festival (27 March – 01 April), which, upon first glances, has a truly diverse and exciting range of different performance ranging from Miwa Matreyek’s live animation piece ‘This World Made Itself (at the Royal Northern College of Music at 2pm on March 30th) and Zoomwooz Live Cinema’ to the listening post sound installation, ‘The Longplayer’ (a piece of music that is programmed to last 1000 years!). Both pieces are taking place at the RNCM alongside many other interesting-looking works. One that particularly caught my eye was an installation called ‘The Hall’ by artists Emmanuel Baird and David Leonard which apparently contains ‘2 gigantic circular flexible mirrors sealed into a frame with vacuum pumps’ and is a direct response to the RNCM’s own studio theatre!
All in all, it looks like its going to be an exciting and packed Spring season of performance, installation and live art so try and see as much as you can! Tickets are available for ‘Flying Solo’ on both the Contact and Word of Warning websites and all tickets for Future Everything can be found through the RNCM website. Enjoy!
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