A dance enthusiast’s dream and a nostalgic tribute to the golden era of Hollywood, Southpaw Dance Company’s Speakeasy is a rousing rhapsody whose exuberance is infectious.
The devil is in the detail when it comes to dance – and Southpaw Dance Company are fast proving masters in this medium of storytelling.
Opening to a rapturous round of applause, Southpaw’s irreproachable artistry ensure its ascendancy to success. The devil really is in the detail.
Welcome to Speakeasy. All is not as it seems and if you happen upon it, best walk the other way.
Speakeasy features a spectacular 1920’s themed set, world-class projection visuals, a cinematic soundtrack comprising big band classics and contemporary hits, alongside the distinctive Southpaw movement vocabulary that has been called, “atmospheric, vigorous, and breathtaking” (Sarah Crompton, Daily Telegraph).
Speakeasy is a reinterpretation of the classic tale of Faust, where Faust enters a seemingly normal prohibition era bar, unaware that the bar is owned by the devil and populated by his demons, including the charismatic barman, Mephistopheles.
The award-winning Novak team and acclaimed digital creator Frieder Weiss and Matthias Härtlig provide projection mapping effects that create the spectacle behind Speakeasy, using stereoscopic cameras and interactive programming language that allows performers to appear as a shadowy devil or a 10 foot tall demon and to dance through raindrops of fire.
The music features big band classics such as Benny Goodman and Count Basie alongside contemporary legends like Tom Waits and Clint Mansell, forming an aural landscape to the piece that is at once vintage and contemporary, intimate and spectacular.
The professional cast includes some of the UK’s finest Bboys (breakdancers) who combine the vocabulary of breaking and contemporary seamlessly alongside Charleston, Lindy and other swing styles of the roaring 20’s. Southpaw Dance Company perform alongside a community cast featuring members of local swing dancing communities, the fantastic Swing Tyne in this promo.
Speakeasy is on tour in 2022:
18th and 19th March – Dance City, Newcastle Book tickets
23rd March – CAST, Doncaster Book tickets
1st April – The Civic, Barnsley Book tickets
5th April – Lighthouse, Poole Book tickets
8th April – Fire Station, Sunderland Book tickets
Interested in booking Speakeasy? Download the tour brochure here.
The promo clip was compiled from performances at Dance City, Newcastle, and Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth.
Speakeasy was made possible by the Kevin Spacey Foundation and Arts Council England.
“The most explosive piece of dance I’ve ever seen energetic, risky, quirky, humorous – hypnotic from the start” (Vikki Todd, audience member)
“Great story- telling & exceptional lighting responsive to breath-taking dancing.” (Teresa Kirby, audience member)
“Tonight was amazing, just couldn’t take my eyes off the stage” (Arianne Megan Davies, audience member)
“Stunning performance of Speakeasy last night! Responsive lighting was really cool!” (Michelle Gerencser, audience member)
“Work in progress? Pfft. Blown away by the brilliant Southpaw Company’s Speakeasy” (plus talented SwingTyne-ers)” (Flossie M-Taylor, audience member)
Artistic Direction: Robby Graham
Choreography: Robby Graham
Dancers: Christian Paul, Alicia Meehan, Daniella May, Gavin L Vincent, Marta Sweirczynska, Dzikamai W Mudamburi
Community members: Newcastle Swing Tyne, Bournemouth Jitterbug Jive, Capa College, Sunderland College
Projection Animation: Novak
Responsive Projection: Matthius Härtlig, Frieder Weiss