Spilling Onto The Streets

Spilling onto the streets

On Saturday, May 18th, Ringsend Park Playground was transformed into a contemporary dance stage thanks to Spill, a U.K dance group who entertained onlookers as part of the Dublin Dance Festival with their show A Playground of Dance.

The group utilise all the equipment found in playgrounds, from slides and swings to monkey bars and roundabouts, in a unique performance designed to channel the energy and imagination of childhood. Spill describe their performance as “a cheeky dance celebration of the child within”.

The group’s Assistant Choreographer, Corey Baker, formed the group last year, along with renowned Australian choreographer Sean Barker. Four performers were recruited; two from England, one from Wales and one from Spain. Spill’s first tour lasted three months and saw the group perform in 146 playgrounds across Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

“We wanted to create a show that would be accessible to everyone,” Baker says, “one which would appeal to children’s imaginations and also get them interested in enjoying the outdoors”.
Due to the nature of performing in playgrounds, no two performances are the same. To meet this unique challenge, the group have developed a total of 32 scenes, 15 of which are employed for each show. “Every playground is different so we find the 15 most suitable for each one”, Baker says. “We don’t have much time to rehearse in each new playground so it’s essential for us to be well prepared and have a set of specific guidelines to draw from”.

Three of the dancers are specialists in contemporary dance while the fourth is a break-dancer. Baker believes the popularity of dance shows on T.V has created an interest amongst children in dance. “Kids especially enjoy our shows”, he says.

This was the group’s first visit to Dublin and kicked off their latest tour which is continuing in playgrounds across the U.K.

Above: Spill’s dancers in action.

By Eric Hillis