Banda Banda (1989)

Cast : Carousel Dance Company ( an integrated company) Joyce Francis, Eric Grantham, Edna Guy, Debbie Harkin, Sarah Jackson, Martin Lake, Veronica Lee, Jack Mathews, Clare Matthews, Alison Mills, Colin Richardson, Valerie Rowe, Margaret Stamp, Gill Wilcox. Costume and Lighting : Christina Ure

Banda Banda is an integrated performance that explores individuality within a carnival atmosphere of energy and music sung in Sierra Leonese by Daphne Scott-Sawyer. Each performer was invited to share an aspect of their life with the group. This information was recorded, used to inspire the choreography and in some sections, embedded into the music.

'There is on piece of excellent direction to would-be choreographers provided by American choreographer Paul Taylor in 12 succinct words – ‘ Give yourself a few limitiations and then do the best you can’
It is to the credit of the five-person Brighton based dance co-operative Carousel and choreographer Liz Aggiss that they have followed such direction in the creation of Banda Banda. Not that they undertook the creation of this work in isolation – for the stage is both illuminated and charged by Billy Cowie’s recorded sound track, and interspersed with electronic samplings of the cast’s own words – and the steps, ideas and moves were created in partnership with the 10 participating adults who also join the professional dancers on stage…………………...
The fact that the audience can understand the ideas and the limitations imposed by the ideas, means that they can appreciate the efforts of some of the performers. The appreciation on this occasion becomes something special since the performers are accepting not only the limitations which they have chosen but also additional limitations imposed upon them by nature – and they are building bridges between the two.’

Bill Harpe The Guardian

'The 14 performers, ten of whom have learning difficulties, came on stage in uniformly grey business suits and ties, but emerged as distinctly individual at the end of an hour and a half.
Not only was it OK to laugh, it was virtually impossible not to, given the confidence of expression and obvious rapport between the members of the group which transmitted itself to the audience.
Banda Banda is not token participation and I’m glad I didn’t feel the need to suspend any criticism. It’s a challenging, lively, original and entertaining performnce’

Annette Stapleton Care Weekly

Premiere12th May 1989 Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton.

Winner of the Time Out/Dance Umbrella Award 1990.

References for Banda Banda
Aggiss, L. Cowie, B. Bramley, I. (2006) Anarchic Dance Routledge
Clements, M. (6-13 Dec 1989) Carousel and Virginia Farman Time Out
Harpe,B. (6 Feb 1991) Banda Banda St Helens The Guardian
Stapleton, A ( 24 Nov 1989) Manic, moving and marvellous Care Weekly