Station / Stationary

Performances: 25-29th September 2008 Crewe Railway Station

More than 500 people from all over Britain came together to be the first to see the world premiere of a unique performance at Crewe Railway Station.

Audiences of around 50 at a time watched the 50-minute innovative dance, film and music performances, hosted by Cheshire Dance during the week 25-29 September.

Re-wilding the station
Cheshire Dance, The Body Cartography Project and more than 100 performers redefined what many consider to be one of the UKs iconic railway stations. Audiences and commuters were encouraged to reengage their sensory curiosity in this regional gateway through performance and installation works.

Station/Stationary is probably the most ambitious performing arts project ever to be undertaken at a railway station in this country.

“I was over the moon to see so many young people involved in working so enthusiastically and patiently together to create something so unique. They really wanted to learn and, together, produced a wonderful tapestry of work which will remain in the hearts and minds of lots of people for some time to come. It was a privilege to witness such co-operation.
Michael Roberts
Former Mayor of Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council

17th & 24th July - The Film
Oh no, don't miss the film. That would be criminal.

See Image Gallery

Highlighting dance, live music and film, the station pulsed with over 100 performers including professional dancers, first time performers and local groups of young and older people from Crewe and the wider region. Those assembled experienced the imaginative and engaging work of International, USA based dance artists, The BodyCartography Project.

In Station/Stationary we investigated ideas of speed, time travel and journeying to transform the viewers perception of time, space and place through live performance, sound and video projections as well as distilled material from the more mutable aspects that transpired over time such as pedestrian movement, weather, time, the stories of passengers and the sites imagined, remembered and actual history.

‘Travelling to experience Station/Stationary with my family and friends, I briefed them about the sort of things to expect (having visited many such live art installations in my professional capacity in the past). However, what we discovered that evening felt truly unexpected and serendipitous – a very enjoyable yet challenging spectacle of dance, movement and theatrical installation; and all set in that most unexpected of cultural venues: Crewe Station! I felt like I had been transported to Harry Potter’s magical platform. Please can we have much more of this kind of thing in Cheshire!?”
Ian Banks
Director of Knutsford-based Atoll Collaborative, and Consultant for Cheshire County Council on the Weaver Valley Cultural Strategy

“This project was truly INCREDIBLE!!!! The way they used all the different spaces of the station with such creativity and power, it was such a worthwhile project. The way you had tea dancers, young break dancers combined with the professionals worked so well and proved that Crewe really does have talented artists and young people and we should do much more of this type of thing! Truly excellent!”

“Thanks for the spectacle, the layers of yellow, the referencing of the installations, the naïve humanity of herds of humans – the reminder that we are all in some kind of ludicrous time machine when we travel, where if only there was more room for the fantastical, our travels would be so much more fun ….. terrific, inspiring, fabulous and fantastical …..”
Katy Dymoke
Touchdown Dance, Manchester

20 local volunteers also took part, some of will be involved launching the Cultural Olympiad volunteering campaign at the North West development Agency.

The event was sponsored by Mornflake Oats. Cheshire Dance is very grateful for their support.

In May, pollen8 took place. A six day residential retreat that allowed 18 dance artists the time and space to reflect and deepen their approaches to site based dance work alongside, creating a common ground from which the they can continue to work right up until their performance at the Station.

pollen8 was be facilitated by the Body Cartography project, Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad; Cheshire Dance's Dance Director, Jacqueline McCormick and USA-based master practitioner in Yoga, Trisha McAvoy.

R&D Week
This was followed by a research and development week in June, where again the performing and facilitating artists got together with Olive and Otto.

This week included a number of visits to the station where investigations of the site and its people drove the work in new directions. By the end of the week all the artists who were facilitating groups were ready to take the gathered influences back to their group to allow whole new investigations to take place. The performing artists had increased their shared body of knowledge on site. This included both knowledge of the people who work and use the station as well as their own movement knowledge in relation to the physical presence of the station and all its functional intricacies.

A Cheshire Year of Gardens Spaces Commission
The commission, Station/Stationary, originates from the Gateways strand of Cheshire Year of Gardens 2008 initiative and forms both one element of the arts programme and the marketing strategy for CYOG 08. Key Gateways into the County have been identified in the CYOG 08 business plan for the focus of environmental enhancement schemes. These Gateways include the stations at Chester, Crewe and Warrington Bank Quay.

For further information on the commission and Cheshire Year of Gardens, visit and

the Body Cartography project

The BodyCartography Project began in 1997 and is directed by Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad. Our ventures include dance performances, installation works, film/video projects and educational workshops. We investigate and create with the bodies' relationship to the physical, architectural, climatic, technological and social landscapes that we inhabit in urban/wilderness and private/public contexts. We engage and provoke audiences in diverse contexts through collaborative processes with independent artists, and national and international companies and communities. We have created works for over one hundred and thirty performance events in the USA, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan, Europe and Russia.

Cheshire Dance would like to thank all our partners for their commitment and hard work to help us make Station/Stationary a reality. They are:

Arts Council England, North West
Cheshire Year of Gardens
Cheshire County Council
Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council
Manchester Metropolitan University
Mornflake Oats
North West Development Agency
Virgin Trains
Weaver Valley Regional Park

"I am so looking forward to this one. Butoh at Tatton Park blew minds. This is going to be different again. 100 of us at Crewe Station - watch out!"

For more information, contact Cheshire Dance.

Bespoke Projects
Cheshire Dance works with partners to devise bespoke projects with your specific needs in mind. Please contact Adam Holloway on 01606 861770 to discuss a project you'd be interesting in developing with us.

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