Prodigal Theatre's Urban Playground Team & Gravity Style, United Kingdom

Duration: 3 x 5 minutes (Micro-Choreographies) and 15 minutes (Quartet)

Miranda Henderson, Alister O’Loughlin, JP Omari, Malik Diouf
Directed by Miranda Henderson
Devised by the Company
Music by Ed Funk

Micro-Choreographies & Quartet

At the heart of the Urban Playground Team’s work is the meeting of movement styles in relation to the (built) environment.
Choreographer and performer Miranda Henderson has a background in release-technique contemporary dance and physical theatre, and Alister O’Loughlin represents both Parkour and capoeira in the performance. JP Omari is a self-taught b-boy who travels and teaches internationally as the director of Streetfunk. All cross over in to each other’s disciplines and all have learnt their Parkour from its co-creators at Gravity Style.

“Micro-choreographies” are a follow-up of the last year’s workshop and its presentation within Infant 2009, when this performance was given The Award for a particular expressivity in the border areas between theatrical and other arts or creative fields in the widest sense.

“Parkour is a term denoting the art of movement and overcoming obstacles, physical as well as other more subtle kind. When touched by Parkour artists all urban spaces found as they are – walls, stairs, railings and alike – start to communicate. Architectural elements communicate with bodies in motion, and with audiences. The Brighton Theatre consists of the Urban Playground Team, but also of all the young people from different social, often problematic communities the Prodigal Theatre meets. Its involvement in the border area is undoubted, since it starts from a border area, only to land in theatre later.”
Infant 2009, excerpt from the Jury Announcement

“Quartet” is a physical conversation between four unique performers who playfully share the space between themselves and the audience, examining the dynamic potential available in a series of four sided structures.

With the stages of the Urban Playground stripped back to the raw frames the essence of this dance with the environment is revealed.

With distance, speed and time comes the fourth dimension – flow. This is the root of Parkour and Dance – the place where all techniques meet and melt, and where the result is infinitely greater than the sum of the parts.

“Quartet” is a fifteen minute performance combining with Parkour various dance forms including street dance, contact improvisation, foot-percussion, breaking, capoeira, and contemporary dance.

Prodigal Theatre's Urban Playground Team & Gravity Style

Prodigal Theatre was founded in 1999 by Miranda Henderson and Alister O’Loughlin, quickly establishing a reputation for physical adaptations of classic texts by writers such as Shakespeare, Webster and Lorca. In 2004 they began training with Parkour or “Free-Running” and in 2006 launched The Urban Playground – the world’s first touring stages for Parkour inspired dance. Since 2007 they have been in an ongoing partnership with co-creators of Parkour Charles Perriere and Malik Diouf and their organisation Gravity Style. Together they have toured to Africa, Australia, the Middle East, across the UK and into Western Europe.

“Crowd-pleasing b-boy breakdancing solos… lyrical and dramatic duets and trios… Shifts in pace and mood make the piece far more than a demonstration of physical skills (excellent though these are).”
Total Theatre