The Closer I Get The Distant I Am was developed as part of the Exchange for Change programme and was presented on the Festival Day, 24 June 2010.
A Note from the Director:
From the outset two things had been at the forefront of our minds. One was for the artforms to have equal status in the process and product, the second was to interrogate the concerns, aspirations and preoccupations of a 14 year old in 2010. While it was comparatively easy to dance, play music and recite poetry together, getting inside the mind of a 14 year old was not. Our conversations second-guessing young people’s thoughts tended to rely on our own experiences. Further insight was provided when we let our artforms do the talking and came to realise how our individual experiences had universal themes, which could shape and affect anyone, including teenagers. Thoughts such as: how to negotiate a place in the world, the nature of love in its complex, multi-faceted incarnations and how truthful is anyone when simply trying to fit in? Our thoughts were unpacked during encounters at Limehouse Youth Centre. Once we had moved beyond the importance of Facebook and mobile phones it became clear that teenagers are the masters of adaptation – shaping themselves to the various and many places they ‘hang out’ throughout the day (and night). Our ‘scratch’ performance showed the journey of a female through different places in her life and the resulting scars and marks. In a world where communication takes place through the screen, more than in the flesh, where the virtual becomes real, and where, in the absence of social interaction, release is found in the simplest of ways.
Vipul Bhatti is a contemporary and Kathak dancer, who worked with a musician and spoken word artist on Half Moon Theatre’s Exchange for Change programme. This encourages collaboration between artists from different artforms, who develop their work in direct collaboration with their target audience. Here Vipul describes showcasing the work-in-progress of The Closer I Get, The Distant I Am to teenage boys at a pupil referral unit. Interviewed by Caitlin Ralph.