In what promises to be an unforgettable, after-hours experience of one of the city’s most-loved and most-famous landmarks, Company Chameleon are set to take over Manchester Central Library on Fri 24 – Sat 25 November 2017 (7.00pm and 9.00pm) with Illuminate, a
site-specific production of new dance, music and light art.
The innovative Library Live commission will see the Manchester dance company take audiences to the past, present and future in an exciting and original promenade piece of dance theatre.
Beginning outside of the Library, on the steps between the Corinthian columns, and culminating in the heart of the Library under the dome of the Reading Room,Illuminate will take audiences on a journey of seven stories, which are told in seven different spaces around the Library building.
Inspired by classic story-telling and the seven themes that have underpinned literature since the beginning of time, Illuminate will bring to life the hundreds of stories and characters which live in the Library’s catalogue of literature, through a captivating mix of live performance.
Tales including those of comedy, tragedy and love will unfold through seven scenes of mesmerising dance and movement performed by a company of 50 dancers.
Kevin Edward Turner, Co-Director of Company Chameleon, is choreographing and directing Illuminate.
He says: “The Library has always held a special place in my heart; I have always loved the architecture of the building – even when I was young, and it feels very special to be given the opportunity to bring dance into the building and create something new. By its very nature, the architecture will inform the seven scenes in the production. The choreography will respond to the features in the building, and the architectural form will shape and manipulate the movement of the dancers. It will be exciting to see dance animate the space and how moving bodies challenge audience perceptions of the Library and its purpose as a building and place to visit.”
Library Live, Manchester Central Library’s cultural programme, which has commissioned the piece, is continually pushing the boundaries of what a Library can be through the
development of its cultural programme and commitment to creating unexpected, sociable and stimulating experiences through artistic and community collaboration.
In 2014, following a £50million redevelopment, Central Library re-opened and as part of the celebrations, indie-rock band, Everything Everything, took residency and transformed the building through music. This time, Library Live is turning the spotlight on a different art form and is giving dance the chance to realise what can be achieved in the building’s spaces.
FREE tickets for Illuminate are available now via www.librarylive.co.uk.
Following on from Illuminate at Central Library, Company Chameleon will tour to Longsight, North City and Wythenshawe Forum Libraries in January 2018. Each of the Libraries will work with Company Chameleon to choose one of the seven stories to be adapted and showcased in their building.
Company Chameleon will also present a series of Pop-In / Pop-Up performances at Central
Library in the week leading up the main performances. The events, listed below, are free to
go to and there is no need to book.
Mon 20 November, 12pm – 2pm: Pop-Up – Listen
Showcasing the musical element of Illuminate, composer Miguel Marin arrives in
Manchester for a special, lunchtime preview performance of his specially-commissioned
Tue 21 Nov, 1pm: Pop Up – See
Adapted to the outdoors, Company Chameleon’s dancers bring elements of Illuminate into
the open air outside Central Library’s main entrance.
Wed 22 Nov, 4pm – 5pm: Preview
Dancers from all over the world will share their responses to Company Chameleon’s
powerful and original movement style in the building’s performance space in an informal
Thu 23 Nov, 10am – 5pm: Open Rehearsals
A chance to see behind the scenes as the performers make final preparations for the
weekend’s Illuminate performances, the public are invited to drop in on rehearsals and
witness the pre-production processes of a specially-commissioned,