Today Brookfield Properties, Culture Mile and the London Symphony Orchestra have released PLAY, two spectacular short films celebrating the creative energy of the City. In a time when fewer of us are able to wander the streets, let alone come together and perform, these moving and experimental pieces of music and dance show the cultural energy that Londoners have against the stunning backdrops of the City.
Filmed at 100 Bishopsgate and Citypoint, Rising explores our longing for human connection alongside our relationship with space during a locked-down world. We find new ways to connect when the old ways are challenged. We adapt and reconsider our surroundings, forming new bonds with them. When the violinist picks up her instrument, she plays as if she were on a stage. The dancer responds to the music through the rhythm of her body. At the heart of it all lies the value of art. It connects people and communities and makes the seemingly impossible possible once again.
“I was interested in exploring our longing to connect with other human beings, even when that’s practically impossible because we’re in the midst of a global pandemic,” says Director Antonia Luxem. I’m fascinated by humans as a highly adaptable species that keeps finding new ways to connect when the old ways become obsolete.”
“The location, atop a skyscraper overlooking all of London, made me feel like I was reaching out to [artists],” says Composer Darren Bloom, “expressing both our shared feelings, as well as my personal hopefulness that there is light at the end of this tunnel and that soon we will once again find ourselves stirred by the great artists that currently lie dormant and muted in this great city.”
Creative Team: Maxine Kwok (Musician), Marie Astrid Mence (Dancer), Darren Bloom (Composer), Antonia Luxem (Director & Editor)
The Spell & the Promise
Filmed at London Wall Place, The Spell & the Promise plays like a contemporary fairytale, where the flute casts its spell and leads us on a journey. The title of the film reflects the music in two parts: the slow, mysterious hypnotic sounds of the bass flute before giving way to the more hopeful and evocative sounds of the classic concert flute. The dancers respond to the melodies and the cycles of the loop pedal as they flow outwards into the City.
“We get to dip in and out of the real world and something that is more beautiful and expressionistic, like a contemporary fairytale,” says Director & Producer Lexi Kiddo.
“The space and architecture of London Wall Place had a big impact on the music,” says Composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman. “Being emptier than usual, the space had a beautiful resonance to it, and we wanted to take advantage of that. The exposed, angular lines against the softness of water, light and Roman wall felt very powerful to me. I wanted the music to allow audiences to take stock, reflect and celebrate the lifeblood of the area.”
Creative Team: Gareth Davies (Musician), Faye Stoeser (Dancer), Salomé Pressac (Dancer), Jasmin Kent Rodgman (Composer), Lexi Kiddo (Director & Producer), Harry Price (Choreographer).
The PLAY films have been commissioned in anticipation of the PLAY Festival, which will take place in May 2021 in a specially designed pavilion at London Wall Place – bringing live music back to the City. “The creative talent of the musicians, dancers, composers and film artists involved illustrates the versatility and resilience of the arts in the City at this time,” says Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director, London Symphony Orchestra.
You can also enjoy PLAY as part of Brookfield Properties’ light festival IlluminoCity; scan QR codes featured on the trail of light installations at Citypoint and London Wall Place and see the performances brought to life. Click here to learn more about PLAY.
For more updates on what’s happening online while London’s on lockdown, sign up for our newsletter here!