In This Place

In This Place explores the themes of identity, journeying, narrative voice (who gets to tell our stories) and reflects both the time and place it was created within. The digital landscape became our creative meeting point, the Zoom room our rehearsal studio and the desktop our stage.

Streetwise Opera and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance came together from January to May 2021 for a digital project that explored how singing and movement come together on stage to create more powerful and expressive opera.

This project involved creative sessions on Zoom and live-streams on Facebook and YouTube, and culminated in the co-creation of a short video featuring singing and movement solos by Streetwise Opera performers and music and dance students from Trinity Laban.

With sessions led by movement director Jack Thomson and vocal leader Aga Serugo-Lugo, this project up-skilled Streetwise Opera performers with a toolkit that enabled them to be creative, curious and experimental through dance, with an emphasis on “dance for screen”.

The project, focused on the intersection between Eastern and Western cultures, takes inspiration from Chapter 6 of Streetwise Opera’s first-ever digital mini-opera The Deer: A Story in 8 Chapters, which was composed by Jessie Maryon Davies.

Play Video
  • 15 Streetwise Opera performers involved
  • 12 music and dance students from Trinity Laban
  • 8 Zoom sessions
  • 7 livestreams on Facebook and YouTube
  • 5 recap sessions
  • 25 hours of exercise
  • About 7,500 calories burnt
  • The equivalent of 150,000 steps!

Streetwise Opera performers:

  • Learnt how to choreograph their own dance, using the body to tell their own story/narrative
  • Recorded and submitted their solos to be part of a final film
  • Learnt about film making, and made incredible improvements in recording technique and how to use the camera to capture their individual creativity
  • Have been part of a creative community in a time of disconnect
  • Wrote their own raga or raag as a collective
  • Their raga informed the creation and formed the basis of a brand new piece of music
  • Recorded their own track remotely for the final soundtrack
  • Worked both independently and as a group
  • Learnt a 12 part physical sequence in only 15 minutes, a task that takes most dancers between 45 minutes and an hour!
  • Contributed movements to the chorus, becoming choreographers for others as well
  • Collaborated with all sorts of people, from other Streetwise performers to the Music Director, Movement Director, the Streetwise Opera and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance teams and the Trinity Laban students
  • Were a part of making a creative space that was much needed during the pandemic