9 Windows is a Corali performance commissioned by the Southbank Centre in 1996. We are incredibly proud to have been commissioned again to reimagine this original work in 2018 for their Concrete Dreams weekend. Concrete Dreams, was a three-day festival to mark the re-opening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall after its recent renovation, as they say in their own words to ‘celebrate the rich and varied history of the Southbank Centre’s 1960s buildings, offering encounters with its past while looking towards its future’.
With the context of Concrete Dreams in mind, we knew from the outset that we wanted our new work to be forward looking and for our reimagining to also be an imagining. For this reason, we were keen to bring together dancers from our youth company, Kick Up, with the professional dancers of our core company. It was exciting to see how all the dancers involved developed and flourished from this experience and how fluid, easy and genuine the sharing of ideas was between them all. This confidence in exchange stemmed from an understanding of Corali’s creation process and ways of working that is fully owned by each dancer individually, and which translated into excellent performances from every dancer without exception.
Incidentally working with performers from different generations meant that the age range of 9 Windows Reimagined spanned the mid-teens to mid-fifties, and it was exciting for us to realise our new work could also be classed as an intergenerational. Even more pertinent for us to acknowledge was that working with dancers of different ages is not unusual for Corali, and is actually an important aspect of our practice.
Another lovely part of re-imagining the work, was that we tracked down the cellist with whom we had worked back in the 90’s, Ian Burdge. It was a delight to meet and work with him once more, and to see the dancers that now make up the company enjoy collaborating with a live musician.
In reimagining 9 Windows, it was fascinating to draw inspiration from specific qualities and textures of the original performance, and to create something relevant to the location of the Queen Elizabeth Hall today. What a treat to reimagine a past work now over 20 years old, and witness how our ideas and aesthetic have changed over time but that they remain vibrant and alive today, transfixing our Concrete Dreams audience.