White Cane Recce

March 20th, 2014
by Mick Wallis
Mick Wallis

Mick Wallis by Mik Artistik. Black ballpoint on brown paper bag

I spent a great day on Friday with Isabel Jones and Mickel Smithen from Salamanda Tandem, working on White Cane. The show is scheduled for Victoria Gardens this June.

The first thing was for Mickel to get a good sense of the space – exploring textures, places and boundaries with his long white cane, feeling the warmth coming off the stonework of the Leeds Arts Gallery, tuning in to the ambient sounds.

Then we talked about the possible shape of the piece: a duet by Mickel and another VIP (visually impaired person); then 8 other VIP dancers join; and then many more dancers. It’s about figuring what possibilities the place offers for the sort of performance work Salamanda Tandem are so brilliant at.

I’ve been close to their work for 20 years. So it was very good to spend the rest of the day catching up; hatching future plans; and discussing some of the issues Mickel and Isabel share in their blog post.

Salamanda Tandem UK, White Cane. Ludus 2014