In Interwoven, Black hair culture is woven into an analogy for the human experience while celebrating Black care and intimacy.
Krystal S. Lowe has been working alongside us, Unlimited and a brilliant team to:
- Gather stories
- Develop the script
- Look at set design
- Test out sound and movement
- Explore relaxed performances with neurodiverse audiences in mind
We met with Krystal and the team to find out about their roles, and what they’ve been up to.
Meet artist Krystal S. Lowe
It feels really exciting to see how everything I have envisioned for this project is coming to life. It's been incredible to work with creatives that I've not yet worked with before as well as building deeper working relationships with others. At every stage, I've felt like the creative team has taken care with their aspect of the exploration. I'm excited for the next steps and for the opportunity to share this with more people very soon.
The process has felt really gentle. The entire R&D is 10 months long, which has been incredible. I feel there's so much time to carefully consider every step of the process as I go.
Meet dramaturg Aisha Josiah
Dramaturgy is a notoriously wide-ranging practice that can be difficult to pin down, but I like to describe it simply as “helping people tell stories”. I try to understand what it is that an artist is trying to communicate, help them articulate their ideas, conduct topic research, find existing models and structures to draw from, develop storytelling exercises and help generate, contextualise and refine a new work as it is created.
So far, I've been doing a lot of reading and writing! Krystal and I had two initial days of development in Newport, where we discussed her idea, the story that she wanted to tell and how. Krystal supplied some poems she’d written as inspiration and we diagrammed the major themes and ideas. I found reference materials (plays, films, music, etc) based on our discussions and we’ve used these as scaffolding to help develop Krystal’s ideas into more detailed characters, plot lines and thematic arcs. Soon, we’ll be meeting in person again to explore movement, set design and props, which will add an exciting new dimension to the story.
Meet set designer TK Hay
Krystal and I have been busy realising a part of the set for use in the exploration at Chapter Arts Centre, which the team at Sherman Theatre are building. It's been fascinating to design largely for movement, anything can be climbed on and interacted with. Anthropometry and ergonomics are more important than ever in designing for this mode of performance. As part of this process, I'm looking forward to exploring designing for our other senses other than sight.
By the end of this process, we're aiming to have an iteration of what a complete design for the show could look like.
Meet costume designer Emma-Jane Weeks
We started with a reference photo for inspiration and are exploring the idea of a piece of costume that wraps and braids around her almost like hair. The costume is made from tulle which when braided becomes very sturdy and coarse in contrast to draped elements that are sheerer and more fragile. Aspects of it are very harness-like, whilst other parts are softer and less form-fitting. It is always a joy to work experimentally on a piece that develops as it is created.
A lot of this happened in Krystal's first fitting where we were able to collaborate and discuss the costume, bouncing ideas off each other to create something that both functions well and aesthetically achieves her vision.
Hopefully, it will provide a useful tool to develop movement with and I look forward to seeing how the costume develops along with the creation of the piece.
Meet circus movement consultant Hannah Darby
My background is in dance, physical theatre and circus, mainly aerial. I will use my knowledge in these disciplines to help with exploration on the swing set. Offering ideas of various holds with different body parts and ways to move around the apparatus.
Meet James Doyle-Roberts from Citrus Arts
I've been helping Krystal get the very most out of the wonderful set designed by TK and built by the Sherman Theatre team. With over 20 years experience of making contemporary circus productions, I've got a good intuition of what happens when choreography meets structural engineering.
Meet translator, Kizzy Crawford
My role on this project is to translate the poem Not All Good Needs to Last into Welsh, aiming to convey the same emotions and essence portrayed in the English version.