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Why?: Gravity & Levity

Aerial company Gravity & levity commission Fin to create an aerial duet which she re-worked this year (2019). The piece premiered in Oslo for the opening of the CODA Oslo International Dance Festival October 2019. It was signed for Deaf audiences and performed to over 350 people, who stood out in the pouring rain to watch – thanks to you all!

There are more performances planned (2020) in the UK and abroad.

In 2003, aerial company Gravity & Levity successfully applied for the Jerwood Circus Award to create a vertical dance duet, ‘Why’ with choreographer Fin Walker, which was presented at the Royal Opera House’s, Floral Hall, Covent Garden in 2004.

Why? is an aerial dance duet in two parts on single line harnesses. Why? asks questions about the inevitable. It is driven and fierce in its articulation. Power and strength are juxtaposed with ease and surrender.

  • Format: Choreographer: Fin Walker

  • Music: Ben Park

  • Lighting: Lucy Carter

  • Costumes: Ben Maher

  • Performers: Lindsey Butcher, Scott Smith (May 05), Lee Clayden (June 05)

  • Musicians: Steven Gibson, Huw Davies, Rebecca Jordan


In Fin Walker’s stringent, invigorating duet fuelled by Ben Park’s excellent score for rumbling percussion the pair slip behind, flip over and tumble against one another in a quasi-weightless ballet of controlled support.

Donald Hutera, The Times


Fin walker brings her punchier style to Why?…you feel as if you’re watching them from above rather than the side. The couple flip over and under, their backwards bounds and pendulum swings spliced with grapples and spoke limbed spins.

Sanjoy Roy, The Guardian


At times I felt I was watching the action from above like a Busby Berkley movie and that the actors were not suspended but performing on the floor. It was truly so impressive.

Robin Strapp, Newbury Weekly


Emerging from a contemporary dance aesthetic Why? had a taut, punchy feel as the dancers spun on and sprung from the vertical face of the upstage wall. The clean slicing feel of the movement was supported by Ben Park’s pulsing score evoking the clear sense of the tension in the freedom found hanging 20 foot up on the end of a rope. This effective marriage of the visceral thrill inherent in all aerial work and the studied composure of contemporary dance highlights exactly what is possible with a simple but rigorous concept.

Tom Wilson, Total Theatre Magazine

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