'Coleridge Unbound' includes five commissions for new site-specific dance and features dance films by renowned UK choreographers Michael Joseph, Keisha Grant, Deborah Baddoo, Bawren Tavaziva and Kay Crook. Films recorded during R&D including a reading of 'We Know These Words' by Louisa Adjoa Parker can be viewed here.
'Coleridge Unbound' is a research and development project for dance film and site-specific public outdoor performance, focusing on the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s stance against slavery and his role as an abolitionist in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Samuel Taylor Coleridge had strong links with Somerset as a lay preacher, resident and local character.
The project includes new choreography by leading British dance artists Michael Joseph, Keisha Grant, Deborah Baddoo, Bawren Tavaziva and Kay Crook, and develops partnerships with Somerset Film, the Museum of Somerset and local community groups to plan and deliver the R&D and build the case for a potential phase two of the project. We are also delighted to present a specially commissioned new work by poet Louisa Adjoa Parker who, alongside the choreographers, responds to the writings and speeches of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
The soundtrack to the 'Coleridge Unbound' site specific dance films is 'Requiem Suite'. The composers and performers on these recordings include original Jazz Warriors guitarist Alan Weekes, renowned Jamaican saxophonist Michael “Bammi” Rose, twice Grammy nominated composer and producer Steve Marshall a.k.a. Just Stephen, gifted Italian double bass player Michele Montolli and drum maestro Kenrick Rowe.
The project aims to make the invisible visible, uncovering diversity in the local history of a mono-cultural English rural community and explores little known local historical perspectives. The project will open community dialogue about racism, explode myths and help to develop awareness and empathy between cultures. Linking with Coleridge's home at Nether Stowey, we are examining the stories, the themes, the architecture and the symbolism of place, with the aim of transforming audience expectations and presenting an alternative view of a familiar place.
The R&D will allow us to locate potential outdoor performance spaces and to seek permissions for the creation and performance of a significant site-specific work. We are also building on our relationship with Alfoxton Hall, Bridgwater (the former home of Coleridge's friend and fellow poet, William Wordsworth) and working towards a future re-staging of the work. The project will examine significant but little known local history as a catalyst for understanding the past and acknowledging change.