Alleyne Dance, founded by London-based identical twin sisters Kristina and Sadé Alleyne present Far From Home, a new touring production premiering at The Place, London, on 4-5 November 2022 then touring in 2023.
As well, Close to Home, a parallel project created with local communities will premiere as part of Lewisham’s year as the Mayor of London’s London Borough of Culture 2022 and Dance Umbrella’s 44th Festival on 22-23 October.
Both works explore similar themes in different ways while retaining Alleyne Dance’s distinctive choreographic edge. Far From Home looks at humanity via stories of migration and the consequences that the search for “a better life” has for those forced to seek it due to social or political devastations.
Close to Home is at Sedgehill Academy, Lewisham, 22-23 October 2pm
Far From Home is at The Place, 4-5 November, 7.30pm
Far From Home will premiere at The Place before touring, what can you tell us about this production?
Far From Home is a dance theatre production that seeks to consider humanity through stories of migration and the consequences that the search for “a better life” has for those forced to seek it due to social or political devastations. Through choreographic abstraction, we are hoping to highlight the emotional trauma experienced by migrant families, as well as the impact on communities where migrants “settle”.
And tell us a little more about Close To Home, a parallel project created with local communities?
Close to Home is the participation driven production that sits within the Far From Home project, drawing on the same themes but working with presenting venues to focus on highlighting the diversity and culture within their local areas. Taking inspiration from their own stories, casts of local movers will work together to create a piece that reflects their personal histories and the real-life experiences of the community at large.
What inspired these two productions?
One of the main things we love so much about what we do is meeting people through our work performing but also by leading workshops, which is the best way to connect to the local communities in our travels around the world. Two of our main objectives at Alleyne Dance are performance and participation, and through Far From Home and Close to Home we have finally been able to realise our dream of bringing those two strands together under one overarching project.
We were initially inspired to create the work by the story of Mo Farah’s journey to the UK, leaving his twin brother behind. Now that he has spoken out and revealed the truth about his harrowing experience, it makes the story even more poignant than before.
Through the research part of this production, we have been fortunate to volunteer at refugee centres and hear people’s stories. It is so important to us to not only share the stories of devastation, but the love and hope that is there too. Far From Home and Close to Home talk about immigration, and the underlying themes of leaving, separation, arrival, friendship, and reconciliation which go alongside that.
What’s it like working together, how do you make sure you both make your stamp on the production?
The creative process is the most important part for us: training, exploring ideas and experimenting with possibilities. We work collaboratively with our dancers, encouraging them to push themselves to their limits and live within the dance, bringing their body and own personal experiences to the floor. That is how we create the signature Alleyne Dance ‘stamp’.
This particular journey has been very unique for us as Kristina gave birth to her first child earlier this year. The Far From Home and Close to Home process so far has seen all the stages of Kristina coming to motherhood. This is the first time that we have created a work where our bodies look and feel different as we are at different stages of our lives. We had to adjust to communicating differently than before, as Kristina had to step out and take more of a directorial role, and Sadé took on more of the liaising and creative meeting with our collaborators and dancers.
We work well as a duo, we are both very honest with each other and both enjoy what we do, and are never afraid try out each other’s ideas.
Tell us a little more about the cast?
We are so excited to be introducing the new Alleyne Dance team with this production! Four beautiful professional dancers from different corners of the world have joined us on this journey: Bryan Doisy, Giorgia Gasparetto, Juan Jesus Giraldi and Iro Konti. It is such a joy for us to be able to introduce these dancers to the world. Each have different qualities which has challenged and ultimately developed our own.
Each iteration of Far From Home will also include a cast of people from the local community that love to move. Visibility is very important to us, and so we are thrilled to be presenting a work where the audience can see themselves on the stage.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Far From Home and Close to Home?
Come and join us as we let our bodies bring these stories to life on the stage through physical, punchy and rhythmical movement. We hope to trigger conversations and long-lasting memories between the audience and their own community.