MDR Selects – LEAP Festival

MDR Selects, a series where we invite our favourite artists, record stores, labels and more to curate a playlist of songs that hold specific meaning to them.

This time, we dip our toes into something a lil different by teaming up with LEAP Festival. Celebrating the world of dance, global touring production company Motionhouse will begin 10 days of dynamic, internationally renowned performances from the 3rd October. Produced by MDI – otherwise known as Merseyside Dance Initiative, a dance development organisation and charity based on Hope Street – these innovative experiences will be brought to our much-loved venues including Constellations, Invisible Wind Factory, Unity Theatre and the Bluecoat. Check out the full programme here

We invited the performers of LEAP Festival to team up with MDI and their little black book of dance artists to show us what makes this years’ LEAP Festival performers move…

“Thick & Tight (performing at Edge Hill University, 9 October) will use mime and lip syncing to embody Derek Jarman, Marcel Proust, Winston Churchill and Barbara Cartland for On the Edge. Their chosen tracks include The Four Freshmen’s ‘It’s A Blue World’, chosen to reference Jarman’s seminal film ‘Blue’ (documenting his deteriorating health and eyesight as a result of AIDS), whilst The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ inspires a solo piece from Vidya Patel, addressing racism, colonialism and immigration policy within the British government.

Cupid’s Revenge (Unity Theatre, 4 October) tackles all kinds of love, with New Art Club citing Nick Cave’s ‘Into My Arms’ and the melodic looping cello on Zoe Keating’s ‘Sun Will Set’ as key inspiration. Nightcrawlers – ‘Push The Feeling On’ actually features in the show as the finale, as well as soundtracking a hundred messy break ups.

Motionhouse’s WILD (Hinterlands, 3 October) promises stunning acrobatics and breathtaking feats of strength. Their song choices are playful and reference the titular concept. These songs (‘Born to Be Wild,’ and ‘Jungle Boogie’) won’t be in the show, but they do offer a taster of the WILD energy audiences can expect!

For Rosie Kay’s Fantasia, the classical score of Vivaldi, Purcell, Beethoven and Bach has been central to the development of the show (Capstone Theatre, 8 October) – raw, baroque, emotional and ornate. But in the studio, the company are more used to warming up to the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Thelonious Monk and The Tuss.

Performing Puzzle Creature at the Invisible Wind Factory (7 October), Neon Dance’s picks are a nod to collaborators past and present. These include Anne Müller, Sebastian Reynolds and Nils Frahm, as well as Missy Mazzoli’s ‘Vespers for a New Dark Age – Wayward Free Radical Dreams’ – a track PuzzleCreature’s choreographer is currently obsessed with!

Finally, its no wonder the Afrofuturist Black Holes cites Parliament’s ‘Unfunky UFO’, ‘Loopzilla’ by George Clinton or Sun Ra’s ‘UFO’ as inspiration. Alexandrina Hemsley and Seke Chimutengwende’s composer used Miles Davis and music from the movie ‘Under the Skin’ (2013) as references for the far-out score. 

Eclectic and honest, this playlist represents the variety of performers, themes and styles of this year’s festival.”

|| MDI || TICKETS TO LEAP 2019 ||

Photo credit: Motionhouse – Wild taken by Dan Tucker