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Donald Hutera and Lilia Pegado: Chelsea Arts Collective at St Luke’s Church Hall

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Time 19:45
Date 12/04/14
Price Free

Painter Lilia Pegado and veteran arts journalist Donald Hutera (The Times) launch this new, grassroots initiative oozing with stimulating, creative expression and exchange.

Operating under the auspices of CATS (Chelsea Association of Tenants), and with initial funding from City Living, Local Life, CAC aims to provide residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – and any and everybody else – with opportunities for stimulating creative expression and exchange.
CAC’s focus is two-fold. Pegado’s ongoing visual arts classes adhere pleasurably to the principles of The Quadrangle, a unique and absorbing method of individual and communal artwork and thought. (For more information please see liliapegado.com). Alongside this CAC has a series of wide-ranging and engaging live performances up its copious sleeve, curated by the talent-hunting Hutera and spotlighting artists who span generations and genres.
Hutera cut his curatorial teeth in a big way last September with the inaugural GOlive Dance and Performance Festival. 'I adored doing GOlive,' he says, 'and am therefore looking forward to both the highlights programme GOlive Extended (May 20-June 7) and the second full-blast Festival that'll happen this coming September. In the meantime there's CAC, something Lilia and I have cooked up as an opportunity for gifted people to share, as it were, their artistic wares. You'll be seeing some of the same artists who were in GOlive but also new discoveries or connections I've made since then. And what happens at CAC may well feed into GOlive.'
If Hutera is tickled about the pop-up nature of CAC's performance activities, one of the key reasons is the venue. 'We're using a church hall that puts me in mind of the set for Pina Bausch's Kontakthof, one of my favourite dance-based shows ever. It's got a lovely atmosphere that's both formal and informal: high-ceilinged and a little old-fashioned but at the same time so open and airy.' But what about the bills he's organising? 'The evenings themselves will be a kind of no-pressure cooker of a platform,' he says. 'I want to juxtapose more polished pieces and experienced performers alongside newcomers and work in development. Each night will probably have an up-close, in-the-studio feel about it, which is probably a direct result of the countless and privileged times I’ve spent watching work as it’s being created. I'm thinking of these performances, at least in their initial phase, as rough yet warm, slightly raw, very direct, exceedingly flexible and communally intimate experiences. To me they’re like a flying-under-the-radar adventure with next to no (or minimal) technical facilities but, ideally, a load of aspiration and pleasurable sensations attached to them. We'll figure it all out as we go along.' Hutera characterises the evening as 'eclectic, non-formulaic, laboratorial and fun - and maybe, just maybe, so diverse it's almost perverse.'

SAT, 12  APRIL - LINE-UP (not in order of appearance)
‘Empty, Theatre, Dream’
15-20 mins approx
This work finds the London-based dance company Corali in a poetically playful place into which the audience is also invited. Performers: Graham Evans, Housni Hassan (DJ), Bethan Kendrick and Jackie Ryan. Devised by them plus Jacobus Flynn and Sarah Archdeacon. Animation by Merlin Evans.
Sage (Simon Rice)
4 mins
Performed by Simon Rice's troupe of mature ballet dancers Sage featuring Zelide Jeppe, Cecil Rowe, Carol Mercer, Gilly Wesley, Jill Raven, Teresa Earle, Olivia Lousada and Catriona Maccoll. Choreography by Fionuala Power. Music: Ron Ford.                       
Jia-Yu Corti, Lizzy Le Quesne and Michael Popper
'The Panel'
15 mins
A work-in-progress freshly made for CAC, 'The Panel' is a consideration of the interfaces between physical and verbal language, dance and the consideration of dancing. It’s an archaeology of dance excavated in the present by Jia-Yu Corti and Lizzy Le Quesne in collaboration with director Michael Popper.

Florencia Guerberof
‘Thunder comes rushing forth from the earth again’
10-15 mins approx.
Performed by the butoh-trained cross-disciplinary performer Florencia Guerberof. "When, at the beginning of summer, thunder comes rushing forth from the earth again, and the first thunderstorm refreshes nature, a prolonged state of tension is resolved. Joy and relief make themselves felt. So too, music has power to ease tension within the heart."

Immigrants and Animals (Jamila Johnson-Small & Mira Kautto)
‘Laura Laura’
15 mins
A sequel and/or companion piece to ‘William William’ by Immigrants and Animals (Jamila Johnson-Small & Mira Kautto).
As a budding but deeply enthusiastic curator Hutera is unapologetic that the CAC programme is still in a state of flux, especially for its final date. 'I'm doing this on a wing and prayer,' he avows, 'and having a great time with it, too, but it's certainly a learning curve. What I'm most struck by, as was the case with GOlive, is how willing and/or needy people are to have their work go public. Artists are hungry for opportunities. It's a reflection of the financially uncertain and restrictive times we're in.  I'm getting a kick out of doing what I can to combat that in as energetic, supportive and transparent a way as possible.'
CAC's performances are March 22, March 29 and April 12 in St Luke's Hall, SW3 3RP. More info and directions available here: chelseaparish.org/stlukeshall  Doors open 7.45pm with ‘curtain up’ at 8pm. Admission is free (although donations will be gratefully accepted). Suitable for ages 12+. For more detailed info please see catsinfo.co.uk nearer to show time but, Hutera advises, please be sure to put CAC in the latter site's search engine.

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