Inala in China
Updated: Feb 2
The Photograph below, taken by Nick Gutridge, shows one of the scenes from Inala, with dancers and the Soweto Gospel Choir (sung beautifully in Zulu). A rich and truly collaborative experience for audience and performers, INALA is 'an antidote to everything', said one of the London reviews when recently performed at the Peacock Theatre and Royal Albert Hall, before it's first tour of China.
Well done to the producers, Sisters Grimm, Pietra Melo-Pitman who appeared in the show, and Ella Spira, one of the composers. It was a joy to teach in China; I was often joined my musicians or a producer and, although we were briefed as to the nature of the attendees i.e. who, location, set-up, we got used to dealing with unexpected situations, often different to given brief. A dance workshop in China is often thought of as a lecture, where those attended would expect to remain seated rather than actually take part, but we wanted these workshops to be based on physicality and rhythm,using the impulses of the show's creative process. Happily, the students were willing to move to a different space and join in. China has great enthusiasm and curiosity for contemporary dance, other cultures, and the embracing of new ideas and ways of thinking. The students emanated from huge institutions, indeed like small cities with shopping centres, lakes, gardens, sports centres, art schools and cinemas.
The tour ended on the 23rd of December, followed by a mad rush to get home for Christmas, in my case to the Algarve in Portugal where I spent Christmas Day on a sunny beach painting onto my new, really-difficult-to-manage Chinese calligraphy paper - I love allowing things to happen in art and giving up perfect control. Roll on the next Inala tour in the meantime you can see my "Mark Making" with inks on my new paper on my instagram@markphillipbaldwin and Saatchi Online, Mark Baldwin OBE. Happy 2020 everyone.