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All male dance group create CALM inspired work

‘Over The Edge’

Earlier this year in May, Khronos, an all-male dance company based at The Brit School premiered their new work ‘Over the Edge’ as part of Breaking Boundaries 2015. The piece was inspired by the work of CALM and their support of young men in preventing male suicide in the UK.

Khronos is an all-male dance company founded by Julia Dark in 2009 at The Brit School. Khronos thrives itself on being a challenging, inspiring yet supportive company where members are free to express themselves without prejudice in a positive working environment. They work as a team, as a collective, as a family to create work that pushes boundaries and social stereotypes of males in dance. The company provides a creative and performance platform for young men. There is an enthusiastic and highly competitive rapport between company members, always encouraging and motivating each to other to learn new skills and share creative ideas as well as developing new and innovative movement. The boys come from Croydon and greater London and from a range of backgrounds and experiences, some with no prior formal dance training at all. The company has an extensive performance CV and is well established within Youth Dance in the UK and internationally. The boys have performed at Move it! Dance proms at The Royal Albert Hall, ReFresh and Fresh @ The Place, Greenwich Dance Agency, Queen Elizabeth Halls and most recently as part of the Youth Commonwealth Dance Festival in Glasgow summer 2014. Khronos also works within the community delivering workshops and performances encouraging and promoting boys in dance.

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This team of young men were inspired by the work of CALM and sought to create a movement piece which captured the real life struggles of young men in today’s society. Their vulnerability, anguish, torment, anger and sadness all knitted together in a four minute high energy, physically and emotionally demanding movement piece. The creation and development of the piece allowed the boys a unique opportunity to discuss their feelings openly, to explore personal experiences of depression, guilt, sadness and anger in a society where cultural barriers prevents them from seeking support. Their honesty and trust as a company led to an extremely supportive and encouraging working environment where a beautifully sensitive movement piece began to grow.

The piece begins with seven dancers sat solemnly on chairs, their angst evident through minimal gestures and heavy breathing. One dancer takes a hoodie and zips it up symbolising a lifetime of anger and sadness trapped within him. The chairs are used as an outlet for anger and frustration they are lifted, dropped, sat and stood on. The dancers run, leap and throw each other until one final burst of energy leaves the final image of an empty chair. Left on the chair is the hoodie with no sing of its owner, a poignant metaphor for freedom. 21 young, athletic, powerful and dynamic men invited an audience into a world that many others would find challenging. A sense of unity, support and encouragement allowed them to communicate an extremely complex yet incredibly important message.

With inspiration from CALM and their work for young men, Khronos, used dance and movement to express feelings and emotions which would have otherwise remained hidden, in a society where men are expected to be in control at all times and failure to do so equates to weakness and loss of masculinity. When verbal communication is difficult it can be equally as powerful and effectively communicated through dance and movement and it is our desire to inspire and support other young men to do the same.

 

Julia Dark

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