A night with Company Chameleon by Rachel Pollitt

Company Chameleon believes in dance theatre as a vital method for social change and this is evident in their work. Their attention to detail and constant desire to improve and grow as a company has allowed them to perform, teach and inspire audiences everywhere.

On the 26 October 2011 I, along with a group of other ambassadors had the chance to meet Company Chameleon and sit in on the company rehearsing for their upcoming show ‘Gameshow’ which will premiere at The Lowry on 16th and 17 of November.

After watching the company in rehearsal we were able to sit down with Anthony and Kevin and discuss their success and ask questions we might have.

I asked Kevin and Anthony whether they ever felt restricted by what they could do because there was just two of them. Neither of them saw this as limiting. They believe that because there is just two of them it allows them to think in different ways and that, in turn directs the company and choreography. They made it clear that they encourage mistakes and try to see things from a different perspective, there are many ways to represent an idea and something that may seem a negative at first can actually be a positive.

As we had just watched them rehearse scenes from their latest piece ‘Gameshow’ I thought it would be appropriate to ask what first inspired them to create the piece. Their immediate response was the idea that we are constantly being bombarded by celebrity culture and advertising 24/7. There is no escape. It is almost brainwashing. Anthony made the comment that he had not owned a TV for almost ten years, yet he still knew who Jedward was. He thought that was scandalous. I agree.

The company agreed that being the Lowry’s dance company in residence had been of huge benefit to them. They are able to premiere work at the Lowry and use their studios. Company Chameleon are committed to the education and teaching of young people, its how they first got involved with dance and so feel obliged to give something back. They feel it a responsibility make dance accessible for youngsters. Therefore being heavily involved at the Lowry enables them to have a strong connection with young people and offer provision to the next generation of budding performers in Greater Manchester.

When asked whether they were ever completely satisfied with their performance they looked at each other instantly, smiled, took a deep breath and began to answer. Kevin said he rarely gave a perfect performance and that he believed perfection was an illusion. Company Chameleon are naturally very self-critical because not only do they dance the piece, they choreograph it too. As the choreographers the two them, alone, will know when something is performed perfectly. As audience members we don’t know and never will.

Meeting with Company Chameleon was incredible. Antony and Kevin sharing their experiences as dancers was invaluable-what they say and the tips they gave are the ones that truly count.

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