Restless Blue
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Dragon's tale

With one wave of its wings the Dragon will take you back to a time when fairgrounds were run by steam. You will see the fairground folk arriving in a muddy field to set up the fair and running the merry-go-round, the swing-boats and the helter-skelter. Then, led by the Dragon flicking its tail, they find themselves crashing through distorting mirrors into the present day. Here the tempo lifts, and as the day changes into night the rides get louder and faster and there is romance in the air. At the end of the day the dragon takes the fairground folk back through the mirrors to the quieter, older place where they sort the days business before settling down for the night. The Dragon moves on to tell the tale in another town.

How this piece came about

The original structure of the piece was devised by the musicians and artistic director. One of the musicians has worked in and around fairs for most of his life, and Dragon’s Tale is inspired by his deep interest and knowledge of them. The dragon was a popular image which is found on many of the original fairground rides. The nine dancers and the three musicians spent four days in November researching and playing with ideas. The musicians then composed the music, and the dancers developed the choreography with them in January. Dragon’s Tale is being premièred at Warwick Arts Centre and will then tour nationally for the next 18 months. The next time the piece will be performed on 11th March at The Oxford Playhouse, it will be in a longer version with a cast of 200 dancers. The company intends to follow the pattern of touring fairs, visiting various towns and villages and including local communities in the work.

How we make work

The dancers are very used to working in collaboration in the process of making a new dance piece. The choreography that you see in Dragon’s Tale illustrates this process. The ‘steps’ are not decided by one person alone, but by the group all having an input into crafting the piece, all the dancers having made up sections of this work. The artistic director’s job is to facilitate everyone’s creativity and to mould their work into a complete dance piece.

The Company

  • Dancers: Roly Carline, Akasha Daley, Tom English, Bee Evans, Vicky Fisher, Alan Kenny, Cecilia Macfarlane, Jeremy Spafford and Joel Stanley-Cunning.
  • Choreography: The Dancers
  • Artistic Director: Cecilia Macfarlane
  • Music: Restless Blue: Dave Bowmer, John Duggan and Dave Holmes
  • Design: Kay Sentence