Kicking of our 30th Year Anniversary with a brand new show

A note from Charlotte on why she made PLAY.

Since 1994, Vincent Dance Theatre’s live work has remained at the heart of the company’s practice, the space from which all our other work flows: on film, online and in mentoring, participation and professional development contexts.  So we were thrilled to start our 30th Anniversary celebrations by presenting a brand new production at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange on 14 March 2024.

It was an absolute joy to be joined in our home town by so many familiar faces who have been following us since the beginning, as well as new audiences who experienced Charlotte’s work for the first time. We also received a a fantastic write up in The Guardian by Lyndsey Winship:

‘It’s fascinating to glimpse the worlds she’s created – wry, amusing, wistful, eccentric – and her progression as an artist. Vincent’s commitment to working with young people suggests a faith in the future… There may be uncertainty about what’s to come, but PLAY does make you think we should appreciate dance’s back catalogue more often’
The Guardian

In March 2020, along with the rest of the world, Covid stopped us in our tracks, on tour in Folkstone. It took two years of planning and replanning to get back on the road in November 2022, and when we did the audiences weren’t really back ready and neither were we. Another two years on and we are still in recovery: rethinking our practice, its purpose, its value, its distribution methods, fighting strains of new viruses just to stay in a room together. Coupled with the cost of living crisis and high unemployment over the past four years, many mature and experienced colleagues are exhausted and moving out of the arts sector, reframing their immense collaborative skills into more sustainable contexts. Younger generations keep training, building skills for a career in the performing arts whilst dance and theatre courses close across the country and the cultural infrastructures in major cities across the UK are slowly being torn apart. In this serious, challenging context it’s easy to lose your nerve, lose your confidence and most definitely lose your sense of humour.

So, in making PLAY, the only way forward seemed to be to look back, to remind myself of all the company has achieved and remind myself that we never start from nothing. There are always foundations to build on. We know how to imagine. We know how to move. We must trust the creative process.Making something together is an excellent reminder of what once felt more possible, necessary, vital, full of life. We. It’s essential in the current political and social climate that we find ways to PLAY, breathe life into ideas, stay curious, remain grounded, with each other and alone.

So, here we are, in 2024, inviting young people to PLAY within VDT’s past works to explore ways of moving into the future. To find strength in the solidity of what has already been made, tried and tested, to conquer anxiety, to build resilience, to have fun with it.

That’s what live work does.

Charlotte Vincent
Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Vincent Dance Theatre, March 2024