Didy Veldman’s The Knot, a dance theatre take on matrimony, will be at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing on Friday, November 16.
Dutch-born choreographer and director Didy has brought together a cast of seven dancers playing the roles of the bride, groom, best man and bridesmaids for an evening in which audience members will become the wedding guests as the celebrations unfold.
The theatre will become a wedding venue. As the guests arrive, so the excitement builds and scenes of love and togetherness overcome the nerves of the wedding party.
The Knot is Veldman’s second work for her company Umanoove since it launched with her critically-acclaimed The Happiness Project in 2016.
Dancing in The Knot, just as he did in The Happiness Project, is Dane Hurst, a dancer delighted to see how well and how quickly the company is establishing itself.
“The company is a young company, and Didy is really experienced. She already had her own company when she was in her early 20s and she has become an international artist.
“I was part of the first creation, The Happiness Project which was a work about questioning happiness and about why we all search for it but we never get close to holding it for a longer period of time. We all have different interpretations of happiness and what we are asking of life. It was the work that launched the company and then went on an international tour.
“Didy handpicks all of the dancers. We are all freelance artists that have had careers of a number of years. We all bring a certain maturity to it. Didy has made works for big, big companies, but this is great to be a small ensemble company. We can be free to really explore and experiment without the weight of too many dancers. Last time we were exploring happiness; this time it is marriage, and I think with a small company you can really dig deep and really get to the root of the themes we are looking at. I think that’s something that can sometimes get lost when you have got a big company of 50 or so dancers.
“This is a small company, but it is a young and vibrant company as well, and I think it has got a very bright future. This is the second production and it is already twice as big as the first.”
Didy scrutinises what a wedding means and how it feels in The Knot. The role of ritual, doubt, religion and gender is examined and the romanticised ideas of Walt Disney challenge our percep-tions of marriage.
“It is about the thought of being married and about the whole day of the event of the marriage. The performance is looking at the ceremony, and the idea is that the guests are the audience members. There are a few moments where we have the audience members participating.
“Dance is a good way to communicate and explore it all because you might be single at a wedding and you might be considering getting married, and those are things that are expressed in your body language and in your facial expressions. A lot of the ritual aspects of marriage are conveyed through movement, and the whole visual aspect of it all is very strong.”
Tickets from Worthing Theatres.