Encompass 360 Digital Dance is an exciting new installation that is surprising refreshing but incredibly hard to describe.
Imagine dance, interactive experience and the latest technology gathered together in a dome-like architecture that promotes dance and theatre.
That is Encompass.
Encompass is part of Dancing for the Games, inspired by London 2012 part of the Cultural Olympiad. The idea is to connect people internationally with the common thread of dance. The organisers have worked with kids from Shropshire (it is located in the fabulous Much Wenlock) to all over the world via the internet to choreograph a unique program that integrates film, archival material sent to them and live performances in a ‘huge 21 metre 360-degree digital dome.’
I had seen the dome at a business demo launch over a year ago (not related to Encompass) and I must admit, I could not figure out how they were going to marry the dome with dance and make it work. I am so pleased to say they managed to do so magnificently! After seeing the demo on the official launch of Encompass last week, I couldn’t see it working any other way.
The team behind Encompass consist of Artistic Director Toby Norman-Wright, Choreographers Sonia Sabri and Anna Belyavin however, they encouraged input from the young people as much as possible. From dance moves, lighting and sound, music and technical ‘strategies’ the team ensured those involved had a voice in what was happening (and learning!).
They have been running workshops in schools throughout Shropshire where the Digital Team goes in and works with teams of about 30. They have dancers doing motions like tracing shapes. The piece is then taking away and edited by the kids (with technical help) with digital overlay which is processed with digital enhancements. They looked at the 8 Olympic values for inspiration.
The kids involved in the project spoke with complete pride in their input and how their input was valued.
Very memorable – working with people within my own school that I don’t normally talk to and suddenly we’ve became a family working on it.*
Performance run from Thursday 19th and Friday 20th of July from 7pm. This is a standing show with strobe effects. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information, see here.
*Quote taken from interview done with Genevieve Tudor, Sunday Folk presenter BBC Radio Shropshire