Still House presents: Ours Was the Fen Country. Created by Dan Canham and the company. Produced by MAYK.
For the past two years Dan Canham has been capturing conversations with people of the fens in East Anglia. Eel-catchers, horse breeders and young farmers have all been interviewed. In this ethereal piece of documentary dance-theatre Dan and his team fuse movement and sound with the words and memories of their native collaborators to get to the heart of the fens – a beautiful, bleak and mysterious expanse of flat land.
Ours Was the Fen Country is a celebration of and eulogy to universal stories of rural communities that are fading from view; an exhilarating, poetic look at the inevitability of change from the voices of those who still know the old words.
“One of the most original talents around” Independent
“Canham and his cast provide a living eulogy: harsh, bleak and richly beautiful.” The Guardian
“It fills you up with a sense of lightness and freedom, whether you are from the fens or not.” Cambridge News
**** The Scotsman
Ours Was the Fen Country is a Bristol Old Vic Ferment, New Wolsey and DanceXchange commission. Produced by MAYK. Research and Development supported by Ferment, Arts Council England, Pulse Festival, BETA at Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Dartington Arts and Norfolk Dance. Rural touring supported by Dance4. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Ours Was the Fen Country is available for touring. If you are a producer or programmer and wish to discuss booking the show, please contact Matthew.
Still House / Dan Canham
Through his company Still House, Dan Canham is developing a portfolio of visually poetic work within a variety of forms that includes dance-theatre, short film and audio-visual installation. Dan is Artistic Director and chief investigator of Still House and he works collaboratively with a diverse range of practitioners in both his solo and ensemble output. Primarily engaged with live performance as a choreographer/dancer; what lies at the heart of the work is an exploration that puts the performer(s) and the stories of real human experience in the spotlight. The aesthetic of the live work is detailed but often stripped down, leaving space for the performers to conjure on stage without the clutter of overtly literal design. Dan is interested in the collective imagination of performers and audiences and uses intricate sound design and movement as a playful narrator through the work. His first piece 30 Cecil Street was met with considerable acclaim and continues to tour internationally.
Dan Canham has previously performed as a member of DV8 Physical Theatre (To Be Straight With You), Kneehigh Theatre (Brief Encounter, A Matter of Life and Death, Tristan and Yseult, The Bacchae), Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre (Rite of Spring) and Punchdrunk (Faust) among other companies. Often drawing from real stories of people and places, Dan is interested in a synthesis between the poetic and expressive qualities of dance and a human-centred aspect of theatre where there is no dividing line between the two.
“Dan Canham raises ghosts in spine-tingling dance-theatre… exquisitely crafted, thoughtful theatre.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian on 30 Cecil Street
Thanks to Charlotte Gray for the use of her image in the show.