In Haunt

Crackle.Dust. is a show set to stun audiences as it unveils the silence breakers, survivors and strivers in our society – expressing the real-life stories of Northern women on the theme of ‘endings’ through dance, drama and haunting soundscapes at Manchester’s Z-arts on the 26th April.

‘Endings’ is a striking subject choice, allowing for an encounter with deep emotions, thoughts and stories – all which Crackle.Dust. opens up, as created in collaboration with a number of women whose accounts have informed the work. These stories were gathered from across the North of England by the production’s Artistic Director Nadia Iftkhar and will be presented through choreography, live sound and spoken word.

Company of Others

Newcastle dance-based theatre group Company of Others (of which Nadia is founder and Artistic Director) has produced Crackle.Dust. as their first ever show. The audience therefore will be part of a truly unique experience, as hard-hitting accounts come to life, presented by a diverse ensemble of seven female performers aged 21 to 60.

From exposing fears and the horrors of hardship to emphasizing the intensity of love, the production peels back the layers of what ‘endings’ mean to women, with the initial call-out allowing participants submitting their stories to decide what ‘endings’ meant to them. A time in life coming to an end? The breakdown of a relationship? The closure of a difficult phase? Death itself? From hard to humorous, this performance will explore the array of feelings behind what an ‘ending’ can be.

According to Nadia:

Crackle. Dust. reminds us of our shared experiences as women whilst opening up our world to understand those who have stories that feel worlds away from our own history. The stories we have received range from fleeing southern Nigeria to save a daughter from FGM, leaving an abusive marriage after 20 years to finding a new life at 73 as a singer in a band. They are joyful, traumatic, triumphant and heartbreakingly sad. Audiences will hear some of the women’s voices in the show and the performers are close to the audience so you can really see the smallest movement and hear their quietest whispers. It felt important to create a show you can feel close to.”

This closeness and intensity will be emphasized by the show’s sound designer and composer Caro C. Based in Manchester for12 years and widely recognised for her work as a  music maker, sensitive sound engineer and creative facilitator, Caro C reflects on her involvement with Crackle.Dust.:

Crackle.Dust. is a powerful show, not for the faint hearted as of course many experiences are not pleasant. Therefore, I feel a golden opportunity for the story sharers to speak in their terms.

“I love working with the intangible communication that can come through dance and movement. Hence doing the sound and music live feels most right - I can respond more intuitively with each performer and performance. I hope the story givers feel honoured, acknowledged and heard.”

The show begins its tour of the North on Saturday 13 April in Bradford before Queen's Hall Arts Centre in Hexham in Northumberland on Tuesday 23 April, Z-arts (The STUN Studio) in Manchester on Friday 26 April, Dance City in Newcastle upon Tyne on Saturday 27 April and ARC Stockton on Wednesday 1 May. The tour will end at Byker Community Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne: a place where Nadia frequently attended as a child. All of these performances (except at Dance City) are ‘Pay What You Decide’, allowing people to pay a price based on their experience and what they can afford.

To find out more, watch the trailer and book tickets, visit the Company of Others website.

By Emily Oldfield 

Photography: with thanks to Alicia Clarke




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