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Spotlight on... Replica Dance

18th August 2011

Hannily Bendell of Replica Dance

After running for only one year Chichester-based Replica Dance seems to suddenly be a name we’re seeing in many places across the region. Their current projects connect them to schemes with South East Dance, University of Chichester, Pavilion Dance and others.

The company’s artistic directors, Thomas Pickard and Hannily Bendell specialise in performance and educational work. Both are trained in classical ballet and contemporary dance and fuse these styles in their work.
Replica Dance emerged as a result of Hannily and Tom training together as part of mapdance, University of Chichester’s post-graduate performance company.

Liz Richards, currently one of Hampshire Dance’s Associate Artists, choreographed Happening for Replica earlier this year, which they performed recently at our Associate Artist sharing event.

Replica has recently been accepted onto South East Dance’s Mentor Bank scheme, which twins established dance professionals in the region with emerging artists and recent graduates. Through the scheme Tom and Hannily gain the advice of Etta Murfitt, Assistant Director of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures (NA) for the year. They have also secured a business mentor through the University of Chichester’s New Entrepreneurs Competition.

We asked Tom and Hannily some questions about the development of Replica:

You perform some choreography by one of the current Associate Dance Artists in Hampshire, Liz, Richards. Do you like to collaborate with other artists and makers?

Yes, we really enjoyed the time we spent working with Liz, she is a very talented choreographer and challenged us in new and interesting ways. We hope to collaborate with live musicians in the future and possibly other choreographers. Whilst we were making our new work, 4:14, at Pavilion Dance, we had artists observe us and respond to our work. It was so interesting to talk to them and to hear their feedback.

The recent article about you in the Chicester Creative Network mentions you “creating a strong,vintage look and style”. How does this connect with your choreography ?

We both love dance pieces that have a strong visual look. All of our work is inspired by historical accounts, we spend time looking at films and adverts and therefore we like to costume the pieces to compliment this. From the outset of each process we have a clear idea of how we want the piece to look visually and the colours we want to use. This then helps to inform the choreography.

Could you tell us more about the Screen Dance piece you’re working on ? What’s you approach to working with film, as distinct from choreography for stage ?

When we were approached by Pallant House Gallery in Chichester to work with Hans Feibusch community group, we thought the idea of making a film would be the most enjoyable for the participants. Firstly because they can each have a copy of the film and it didn't matter if they were there for the entire process because they would still be in the final product. It also meant that there wasnt the pressure of a final performance.

The gallery itself is beautiful and provided a wonderful backdrop to the film which is entitled HOME. We used mainly the older part of the gallery, which was originally a home and this became a great stimulus for movement ideas. We used our different skills to make the film. Tom filmed and set up the shots and Hannily directed the group. We are looking forward to editing the piece.

Find our more about Replica Dance at:www.replicadance.co.uk

Applications for the 2011-12 Hampshire Associate Dance Artist Scheme are open now, deadline 2nd September. See Hampshire Arts website for application details

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