10 days four slots a day performances

Taking The Air

Taking the Air was a site specific show commissioned by Showzam Blackpool to play in the Olympia Space at the Winter Gardens. The commission was submitted in Oct 2013 and funding confirmed in late November. The Showzam festival wanted regular, short but large scale pieces to be performed throughout the day. Devising and production began in January for 2 weeks with Director, Orit Azaz, and Choreographer and Circus Director, Paul Evans, creating a series of aerial, tight wire and raised ground based pieces. The venue was a very large cold empty hall and all routines needed to be raised above head height for maximum audience engagement. We also developed the moving podiums that would feature in future Open House Shows. The theme was inspired by the concept of doing what is good for you, taking the air, exercise, cure all remedies, walking on the prom, Epsom salts and cold baths etc. We created 7 new 15-20 minute ensemble pieces of which we performed 4 pieces a day on rotation.

With regular composer Peter Reynolds being initially unavailable, we contracted a new MD Stacey Blythe to create music alongside rehearsals. Unfortunately, she contracted Pneumonia during the final rehearsals and the regular band members Peter Reynolds and Ron Phelan stepped in at the last minute to play alongside Matt Fischer. The performers had to quickly adapt the newly created routines to music from previous Nofitstate shows. We had fun here as Peter couldn't play all the show so left an empty chair and a soundtrack which was promptly filled by Ali miming air piano and sax.

The cast was a mix of trainees, emerging artists and professionals
Sam Goodburn, Mike McCallum, Eric McGill, Kaelyn Schmitt, Rachel Schiffer, Juliette Christman, Janos Foldi, Anna Leone, Solveig Weyeneth, Kaely Michel Gualtieri, Tarn Aitken, Paul Evans

Creative Team
Director -Orit Azaz
Choreographer- Paul Evans
Creative producer- Ali Williams
Assist producer -Clare Fitzsimons
Costume Design- Rhi Matthews and making- Catherine Embleton
Stage manager- Ash Deeks
Set design and construction - Tarn Aitken
Riggers-Tarn Aitken and Saul Baum

Taking the Air provided a great opportunity to work with new performers and circus disciplines and also, for some of the core collaborators involved in Open House to test and develop new design and creative concepts for day time performance in public space. Many of the performers and elements created as part of this process have informed the subsequent development of Open House 2015.


Blackpool Waltz