As part of the Corners East Xpedition we were set a challenge by the Artistic Director Chris Torch: devise and perform an intervention for a ‘piazza’ session in Kaliningrad, Russia.

Rita and Ivana first set up a methodology for the devising process: a bus correspondence.

This resulted in a performed intervention…

Image: Phil Wood

The performance now has another life as an online work which you can view here.


HERBIE (working title) – the initial idea Rita sent Ivana

What is it?

This is a piece for outdoor festivals which take place in, through and around a car. The performative element is delivered by performers but also by the car itself which will be modified to perform a number of surreal actions. An interdisciplinary work combining elements of street performance and automotive science.

For whom is it?

Children and adult children: anyone who enjoys ‘play’.


Current producers

Dance4, Intercult and ACE East Midlands.

Proposed additional co-producers

Point Blank (http://www.pointblank.org.uk/54_page.html)

A new production company wanting to develop new work in Sheffield and the North of England. Point Blank have expressed an interest in producing future Instant Dissidence work. They felt that their track record in socially engaged practice could bring a new angle to this project: they have connections with an automotive workshop for ex-offenders and would be interested in brokering some of the initial experimentation in car modification in this context.

Theatre in the Mill (http://www.brad.ac.uk/theatre/)

A theatre based at the University of Bradford (National Portfolio status). The Theatre is interested in co-producing the work and this could potentially involve some or all of the following:

  • Free rehearsal space.
  • Brokering relationships with the automotive engineering department of the University for technical consultancy and design.
  • Financial support.
  • I am also in discussions with the University about becoming a Research Fellow in Art & Science at the university, with a brief to develop connections between the University’s strong engineering and new technologies courses, and the artistic work of the Theatre in the Mill. The idea is that this will lead to an AHRC bid in the future and this could represent an extra funding stream for Herbie.



Andy Plant – mechanical artist (http://www.andyplant.co.uk/)

Andy designs and builds mechanical sculptures civic clocks for public arts, also transforming theatrical sets, vehicles props.

 Thom Shaw – performer/conceptual collaborator

A long-term member of Instant Dissidence Thom has performed in the latest 3 company’s productions. Alongside his work for the company Thom is editor of Dance Theatre Journal (Laban), creates and performs post-punk cabaret work at Duckie (London), and has a practice as a solo live artist.

Lucy Barker – filmmaker/visual artist/conceptual collaborator

Lucy has worked with Instant Dissidence since 2006 in various capacities: as a filmmaker, set and costume designer, photographer, and conceptual collaborator. Alongside this work Lucy continues to develop her own practice as a visual artist, and she manages Beacons, and alternative music festival in Yorkshire.

Ivana Ivković (BADco.) – dramaturg

Member of Croatian performance collective BADco., Ivana is a trained dramaturg and develops her work in this capacity.

Stewart Gibblodge – performer

Based in Manchester Stewart previously performed in Instant Dissidence’s White Out Conditions (2007-2009). He had previously appeared in the work of Point Blank and Vincent Dance Theatre. He continues to develop his practice in cabaret performance, clowning and outdoor performance.

Sabrina Ribes-Bonet – performer

Originally from Spain Sabrina graduated from the NSCD and has since been attending professional class with me at Yorkshire Dance. She currently performs with Poor Man’s Dance and appeared as host in the recent Leeds performance of New York’s cabaret duo The Wau Wau Sisters.

Matt Sykes-Hooban – technical manager

Matt has worked as Instant Dissidence’s technical manager since 2006, having created lighting and set designs for all company productions ever since, and technically managed those tours.

James Harrison – audio-visual designer

Has worked as lighting designer for Instant Dissidence since 2010, and had previously designed for Forced Entertainment and Vincent Dance Theatre.


Proposed R&D plan

Participation in Corners Xpedition Balkans (April 2012)

Ivana Ivković took part in the expedition and we started the joint blog.

Participation in Corners Xpedition East (August 2012)

Purpose: to develop audio-visual materials for the prototype.

Ivana Ivković and Rita Marcalo will travel and further develop the work.

Post-trip rehearsals

Purpose: to develop a prototype, to install some of the audio-visual elements, to develop movement material.

Artists involved: Thom Shaw, Lucy Barker, Sabrina Ribes-Bonet, Matt Sykes-Hooban, James Harrison, Stewart Gibblodge and I.

Artists/mechanics involved: Andy Plant, Point Blank (Steve Jackson and ex-offenders automotive workshop group) and Bradford University’s automotive engineering department.

Place: either Andy Plant’s workshop or young offenders workshop (all in the North of England).

Timescales: 1 week

Outcome: presentation of prototype and performance sharing to partners.