Image credit: Tess Letham by Kerstin Hollube
Scratch Night | Sunday 17 March | 19:00 – 21:30 | £10/8 | Book Now
After another sell-out show last Autumn, our Scratch Night is back for Spring 2024 with a brand-new line up of outstanding artists!
The Dance Base Scratch Night is a unique platform in Edinburgh which brings live dance work to audiences and creates a supportive platform for dance and movement artists to try out ideas on the stage, experiment with an audience and share their work with their peers, the sector and the public.
This special edition of our Scratch Night will be curated by Scottish dance-theatre company Shotput and will feature new work by Scotland-based artists Adrenalism, Craig Manson, Greg Sinclair, Tess Letham and Yuxi Jiang!
The evening will be hosted by Shotput co-directors Lucy Ireland & Jim Manganello alongside Dance Base Artistic Director Tony Mills, who will create a safe space for artists to receive feedback from you the audience through a relaxed facilitated conversations.
Along with space in the theatre for conversation during the show there will also be networking drinks in the interval and at the end of the show, providing space for audiences and artists to connect.
Book your ticket now!
More about Shotput
Founded in Glasgow in 2018, Shotput is a dance-theatre company whose work focuses on exploring the darker corners of contemporary life with athleticism, humour, and a healthy sense of the absurd. Shotput is led by co-artistic directors Lucy Ireland and Jim Manganello and creative producer Helen McIntosh. Find out more about them on their website.
Punchline by Adrenalism
Set up: punchline. Set up: punchline. Set up…
Andrew and Lewis often perform as a double act. One of them is the straight man and the other the fool. One is the servant and the other the master. One’s the thinker and the other the do-er.
But what happens if these roles get mixed up: can they both be the straight man, or both the fool? Will it all fall apart if there’s 2 servants and no masters? Can we both think, and do we really want to?
Andrew and Lewis are in the beginning stages of developing a new piece of outdoor theatre that examines the habitual patterns of behaviour we can get stuck in and how we can escape and transform our roles. Using tasks, games, scores to find the links between the playful, the interactive and the physical.
Image credit: Chris Scott
Adrenalism is a theatre company with Lewis Sherlock, Andrew Simpson and Christiana Bissett.
They are based in Glasgow, Scotland but make work for everywhere, creating performance starting from games, movement and jokes. Their work is often humourous, surreal and values energy and spontaneity. More often than not, their work is created for and presented in non-traditional theatre spaces such as streets, parks, festivals in which it’s not expected. They believe that the best performances happen with diverse audiences in unexpected places and in unexpected ways.
Their background is in physical theatre, clown and street theatre. Recent works include ‘The Good, The Bad and The Poultry’, ‘The Party Shrimp’ and ‘Hey Idiots, Text Me Your Climate Change Solutions!’
The Horses by Craig Manson
The Horses reimagines the poem of the same name by Edwin Muir. First published in 1956, the poem describes a rural Highland landscape in the aftermath of a nuclear war. A group of survivors on an isolated farm cultivate their land by hand – leaving their former machinery behind to rot – when a strange herd of horses arrive at the farm a year after the event. Both human and animal seek companionship amidst the devastation, and their arrival symbolises hope for a new, better world.
This performance attempts to reimagine the poem as a choreographic discovery of queer self-actualisation. An isolated performer moves from a languid, heavy physicality of the old world, to a more fluid language that finds strength in its ability to transcend boundaries of gender and sexuality. He finds within himself an inner horse to charge forth into this newly cultivated land, with high heels instead of hooves.
Image credit: Thomas Abercromby
Craig Manson is a performer whose work spans theatre, live art, dance, cabaret and club performance. He usually uses humour and movement to make performance about gay stuff. Whether he’s flopping around like a naked glittery seal, or deep throating a Starbucks cup in time to Grindr notifications, his work is provocative, captivating and silly. In 2022 his show GAYBOYS was part of the Made in Scotland showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe, subsequently being selected for the Melbourne Fringe Onward Touring Award. He has presented work at venues and festivals such as The Southbank Centre, Tramway, Dance International Glasgow, The CCA, The Yard and Camden People’s Theatre.
Created by Craig Manson, with thanks to Anya Sirina, Thomas Abercromby, Cameron Howard, Tramway, The CCA & Take Me Somewhere.
Content Warning: Contains partial nudity
John by Greg Sinclair
John is a personal homage to composer John Cage whose music and thinking around silence has been a vital influence on artist Greg Sinclair’s artistic practice.
Cage’s 1952 composition, 4’33”, is 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, intended to draw the listener’s attention to the sounds of the environment around them. 70 years on, the composition still provokes controversy. For Greg the work has always offered a personal invitation, that everything is possible.
‘John’ is a collaboration with sound artist Ben Fletcher. Together, they seek to establish a game between silence and sound, between movement and stillness, and between performers and audience. The performance is a study of focus, chance, precision and repetition. This is the first development stage of an intended diptych of durational performances: ‘John’ & ‘Johann’, inspired by composers John Cage and Johann Sebastian Bach. ‘Johann’ will be a 3-hour long performance of the Prelude to the 1st cello suite by J.S. Bach, with each note played for around 20 seconds to create a real-time, time-stretched rework of a familiar piece of music.
Image credit: Minttu Mäntynen
Greg Sinclair is a performance artist, composer and cellist from Edinburgh. He makes embodied composition performances in a variety of forms: from small, intimate happenings to large-scale stage works. His work is often made in collaboration with other artists, children, young people, community members, or its audience. His most recent work, An Eagle Swooped Out of Nowhere (created as part of an artist residency with Catherine Wheels), was a promenade piece performed by 12 teenagers in a high school in the evening. He is currently developing Holy Magic, a solo dance theatre piece inspired by the 1518 Strasbourg dancing plague, and Tongue Twister, a solo performance for young audiences where he will perform tongue twisters in as many different languages as possible.
Lucian Fletcher – sound artist
Content Warning: Loud noises
What ever happened to Harmony Banks? by Tess Letham / Fair Play
An interdisciplinary live mockumentary.
Harmony Banks is an alter ego, a character crafted by delving into mainstream contemporary culture, prompting reflections on societal expectations, particularly those imposed on women. Harmony exists in an alternate realm, embodying a famous figure in the commercialised wellbeing and love industries. She shot to fame as a special guest in prime time show, Remedy for Memory.
This is a tale of one woman’s career ascent in the spotlight and subsequent downfall.
Image credit: Kerstin Hollube
Tess Letham is a an award-winning performer and dance-theatre maker based in Edinburgh. Her work spans theatre, film, outdoor and large-scale spectacle and has included performance projects by Shotput, Simon Fildes/Cagoule, David Zambrano, PanicLab, and Mairead McClean/The Wapping Project as well as her own productions.
Her creations centre on human experiences – constructing both obscure and deeply authentic environments, immersing the audience fully into an intriguing theatrical world. Her work combines passions for multi-disciplinary theatre, dynamic physicality and high quality integrated design.
Her own work has included inaugural show, ‘How to Survive the Future’, and mid-scale work, ‘Remedy for Memory’, both programmed for Dance Base Fringe Festival, 2018 & 2022. She is now developing her new creations under the project handle Fair Play, including ‘Where We Used to Wander’ commissioned for Hidden Door 2023, and currently in development, ‘What ever happened to Harmony Banks?’
Lucas Kao – Videographer
In the Round by Yuxi Jiang
In a world governed by perpetual cycles, from the rotation of day and night to the intimate rhythms of our daily lives, circles emerge as profound symbols within our reality. This dance theatre performance delves into the essence of these endless loops, probing whether they represent a confining labyrinth or a path to enlightenment and self-discovery. Drawing inspiration from the ancient wisdom of Pythagoras and the spiritual practices of Tibetan culture, the performance explores the circle’s dual nature as both a symbol of monotonous repetition and a source of infinite knowledge and interconnectedness. Merging dance with voice-over narratives from interviews, and a visually immersive ‘third space’ via video, the piece embarks on exploring the complexities of societal roles and personal transformation. It features two dancers embodying the circular motion, their movements a conversation between tradition and modernity, between inertia and progress, and the constant amidst the ever-changing. This multimedia exploration seeks to bridge cultural divides but also invites audiences to reflect on the circular paths of their own lives, encouraging a deeper understanding of the cycles that define and liberate us.
Image credit: Luca Vaccari
Yuxi Jiang is an Edinburgh-based dancer, choreographer, and creative director with a professional career spanning over 15 years. Her work transcends international boundaries, allowing her to perform and collaborate across the globe. Jiang’s artistic repertoire is extensive, encompassing contemporary dance, Chinese dance, theatre arts, environmental dance, screen dance, and beyond.
At the core of Jiang’s artistic endeavors is her passion for merging Chinese and Western dance practices. She immerses herself in aesthetic concepts and the nuanced language of movement, exploring the multifaceted meanings of dance from a cross-cultural viewpoint. Jiang’s work is a vibrant exploration of the fusion between different cultures, creating a unique dance vocabulary that harmonises the essence of tradition with the spirit of innovation. This innovative approach establishes her as a distinctive voice in the dance community, resonating with both tradition and innovation.
Dance Base is a charity with a mission to encourage and celebrate the potential for dance in everyone. We use the power of dance to improve people’s health and wellbeing, and we support professional dance artists at all stages of their careers. We’re grateful for the generous support of out funders and donors.