MAYK to work with The British Paraorchestra and artist Jo Bannon on two new works commissioned by Unlimited.

MAYK are delighted to be working with The British Paraorchestra and Jo Bannon, who have today been awarded funding through Unlimited, a three-year commissioning and support programme for disabled artists. MAYK will work with both to produce new work over 2017 and 2018.

The British Paraorchestra – Velocity

The British Paraorchestra is the world's first large-scale professional ensemble of disabled musicians, a boundary-breaking outfit that is unlike any orchestra you've seen or heard. Their mission is to perform phenomenal music that captivates an audience, pushing the artform and proving beyond a doubt that disability is no barrier to talent.

Velocity will be a music performance piece devised by Paraorchestra musicians with Goldfrapp's Will Gregory. The brief is for a long-form composition with an added dimension. For the first time, Will's music will be crafted to be danced to as well as played. Partnering with a six-person integrated dance company, this is the perfect evolution for Paraorchestra's unorthodox approach. Will's trademark electronic soundscapes, plangent melodies and obsessive rhythms will provide the perfect vehicle, both for the Paraorchestra's strange and hypnotically-eclectic line-up, and for a brace of dancers.

Jo Bannon – We Are F**ked

'We must no longer be objects of desire, but subjects of our own desires’ – Susan Sontag.

Jo Bannon will create a new group performance work called We Are F**ked, a new large scale performance and participatory project exploring the internal and external experiences of female desire, sexuality and neoliberalism. Led by leading female disabled artist Jo Bannon as director/choreographer and performer, We Are F**ked will bring together a diverse company of performers and participants who identify as female to contribute to the work.

As well as a large-scale performance, Jo Bannon will create Sex In Public Places – a participatory programme of events, podcasts and publications further exploring the research process behind We Are Fucked.

Jo Bannon is a UK artist making live art and performance. She has presented her work internationally, including The Barbican, Art Gallery Western Australia, Itau Cultural and the National Theatre. Jo’s work is concerned with human exchange and encounter and attempts to unpick the ways we look, hear and sense our immediate environment in order to make unfamiliar these intrinsic behaviours. Her performances often manifests as intimate encounters designed for single or small audiences alongside staged theatre work and installations.

Director/Choreographer and Performer: Jo Bannon
Mentor: Claire Cunningham
Performers: Louise Ahl, Rosana Cade and Jamila Johnson Small. 
Dramaturg: Nic Green
Sound designer: Yas Clarker
Production manager: Jo Palmer
Lead producers: MAYK

MAYK have a long history of working with disabled artists, including a long-term producing relationship with Bristol-based company Firebird Theatre, whose new show A Spark and a Beating Heart premieres at Trinity Centre in Bristol this May. MAYK has also worked previously on Jo Bannon’s Unlimited-supported tour of her one-to-one performance Exposure. This will be the first time MAYK have collaborated with The British Paraorchestra.

Image: The British Paraorchestra. Photo by Paul Blakemore

MAYK are one of the partner organisations on UWE's brand new Creative Producing MA

MAYK are one of the partner organisations on UWE's brand new Creative Producing MA

Immersive theatre, choreographed construction cranes, and streetlights that interact with passersby. A new kind of creative experience has emerged from Bristol's PMStudio fusing performance, sculpture and installation with technology. Innovative projects like these require a new kind of creative producer. Watershed and UWE have designed a new Creative Producing MA which is 50/50 practical and analytical. We've teamed up with producers across Bristol who will host MA students during the course. And we're a placement partner on it!

Mental Health & Flexible Working Survey

Mental Health & Flexible Working Survey

As part of our work on ACE's Agents for Change programme we're developing a 'mental health, wellbeing and flexible working in the arts' policy. To inform this, we're launching a survey with the hope that you'll let us know what works (and maybe what doesn't) so we can shape this policy around lived-experience. And make something that'll really work.                                   

Mayfest Futures

Mayfest Futures

Hello friends. We have some Mayfest news.

We're taking a year off next year. Mayfest has been rampaging all over Bristol for, well, years. In the past few years the festival has increased quite dramatically in terms of reach, scale and ambition. And this year, we've really struggled to secure the additional investment we need in order to bring you the festival to which you are accustomed. As you may be aware, the pressures of fundraising in the current climate make delivering an annual festival very demanding. So we'll be back in 2018, and every 'even' year after that. In order to keep thriving, we need longer to make it all happen.