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Rave culture dance at Contact Manchester

Capturing a pivotal moment in social history, a new UK tour of acclaimed Barnsley-based choreographer Gary Clarke’s Wasteland - first seen two years ago to five-star reviews – comes to Contact Theatre in Manchester (February 1-3) and the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield on May 9 and 10.

Created to mark the 25th anniversary of the demolition of Grimethorpe Colliery in South Yorkshire, and 30 years since the rise of UK rave culture, Wasteland is a dance-theatre sequel to Clarke's multi-award-winning hit COAL.

The striking miners in COAL fought for their families, their livelihoods, their communities, their futures and for an industry. But what happened to the families who survived the epic, year-long battle of the miners’ strike of 1984/85?

Wasteland looks at how two different generations coped in this turbulent era of radical upheaval.

The work is based on Clarke's own experience of reaching maturity at the height of the rave movement and also on many hours of interviews with former miners and people who, like him, found escape through music and the alternative subculture.

Clarke said: “For our generation the future was very bleak, with few prospects. Rave culture gave many of us the chance to escape those grim realities into a new world of music and dance, where we could express our inner feelings. My passion for dance grew from this discovery."

Clarke's highly-physical dance language is performed by a company of dancers and a cast of four singers from local and surrounding communities. Also on stage will be two brass band musicians, selected for each venue from the 14 championship bands who made an important contribution to the success of COAL. Rare archive film footage also captures mining’s last days and the exhilaration of rave’s roots.

More info and tickets here


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