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Q & A with Amy Swalwell

Date published
Wednesday 19 May 2021

Being shared as part of Elefeet today, Panopticon invokes a dystopian world of surveillance and control. Choreographer Amy Swalwell answered a few questions for us.

What have you missed about dance/dancing since the start of the pandemic?

During the pandemic, I have missed the interaction with others. Dance is a social art form and without physically being in the same space to share and exchange movement and ideas, the essence of the form is lost. I cannot wait to be in the studio with others where we are all embodying the music, connecting with each other and being free to express ourselves in a big open space.

What inspired Panopticon?

Panopticon was originally inspired by George Orwell’s book 1984, which provided the starting point of looking at how much information is collected about us, how much we are being watched by surveillance and questioning how free we really are…is there a puppet master and are we the puppet?

What’s been your favourite or most interesting responses to Panopticon?
That is a great question. Panopticon was originally made for stage, so a lot of responses have been around this change and how the camera and videography have enhanced the creative outcome of the piece. People have loved the graphic effects and the flashing of images. Movement wise, people always say their favourite bit is the ‘surveillance’ section at the end of the piece where the music intensifies with strong bold arm and hand gestures.

Panopticon was directed by Piers Foley & Dave Fineberg, choreographed by Amy Swalwell and performed by dancers from Froghouse Dance Company.