Dancing The Decade
(5 December 2010 – 30 January 2011)

Dancing the Decade, 2010. Image by Thomas Zanon-Larcher
Dancing the Decade, 2010. Image by Thomas Zanon-Larcher

To celebrate the tenth anniversary, The Wapping Project created a dancehall in the Boiler House of the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station and invited everyone to the party: both punters and professionals. The space was resplendent with a sprung floor and giant mirror ball that animated the space as it rotated. The programme of events included: Frontiers and Fragments, a series of dance performances; Mark My Card dance classes; Dancing and the Movies, a film season curated by Garry Sermanni; Higher Still, an installation in the sycamore tree by Nicola Yeoman; and a masked ball – Dancing the Decade.

The programme Dancing the Decade was also an acknowledgement of the relationship between The Wapping Project and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation that had endured and flourished over the years, celebrating the commissions made together to date – over 100, encompassing choreography, photography, jazz and new music, filmmaking, installation and fashion.

Frontiers and Fragments

Choreographers who created some of their most formative work in the building were asked back as part of the Fragments: short works, fragments, from some of their major pieces, reinvented site specifically in the Boiler House.

Lea Anderson – last seen in the Boiler House in 1993 directing Dirt on its filthy concrete – reinvented an extract from Editsa work which takes as its starting point the rhythm and phrasing of film editing in feature films. (See Lea’s text reflecting on Edits  Edges, Frames and Edits commissioned in 2018). Shobana Jeyasingh, who in 1995 presented Answers from the Ocean in the raw space, restaged a fragment from Faultline.  And Luca Silvestrini reworked a sequence from To the Bone. Wayne McGregor celebrated the decade with a duet from FAR, danced by Daniela Neugebauer and Paolo Mangiola.

New dance pieces were commissioned too as a series of FrontiersMaresa Von Stockert, whose memorable full-length dance piece Grim(m) Desires run for a month within the Boiler House in 2004, returned with a new solo danced by Natalia Thorn. Andrew Graham, then a very recent graduate of Trinity Laban, presented Quasi, a piece asking how we reconcile the natural and the artificial skin when we face our wardrobes.