Welcome to ACEDIA, a digitally augmented performance, from award-winning Southpaw Dance Company, fuses innovative technology with live performance via Augmented Reality. Join us on a journey through our collective experience of the isolation of lockdown and the joy and optimism we feel at being “unlocked”.  ACEDIA evolved from our constant learning and experimentation with digital technologies during lockdown, knowing that we would one day be able to integrate them into live performance.
Social distancing has limited our physical contact. Lockdown constricts physical space and movement, whilst upending routines and habits. These conditions have for many generated a strange combination of listlessness, undirected anxiety, and the inability to concentrate; together these make up the paradox of ACEDIA, the lost name for the emotion we’re all feeling right now.
In ACEDIA, we see many different versions of the same character, layered and overlapped, creating a sense of pandemic isolation. In a prolonged time-lapse of their time in lockdown, we see the contrasting versions of our performer and their means of coping in a confined environment. As the days and weeks pass and isolation sets in, our performer’s repetitive routine slips and further versions of our performer appear, evidently struggling with prolonged isolation.
Featuring Southpaw’s unique storytelling, ACEDIA is scripted by Lee Mattinson in collaboration with the North East community. This relatable story examines the possibilities and the optimism of re-connecting and finding ourselves once again as we as we tentatively emerge from lockdown.
Part of Unlocking The Doors Sunderland, a programme of live performance across Sunderland commissioned by Sunderland Culture. #UnlockingSunderland
Unlocking the Doors is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Artistic Director and Choreographer – Robby Graham for Southpaw Dance Company

Dancer – James Southward

Digital Performers – Jonny Curry, Amy Becke, Sofie Oldenboom, Phoebe Rose Thompson

Writer – Lee Mattinson

Costumes and Set – Naomi Daley

Voice Artists – Dan Watson, Jill Dellow

App Developer – Rupert Stamp

Character Rigging – MAAD Digital

Photogrammetry – PROTO Gateshead

Photographer – Dan Prince

Videographer – Darren O’Kane