Super Normal Extra Natural

Credit Camilla Greenwell

Presented by Requardt & Rosenberg and The Place takeover of Croydon’s Whitgift Shopping Centre

From the creators of experiential performances Future Cargo and DeadClub™, Requardt & Rosenberg and The Place are proud to present Super Normal Extra Natural, a new community-based performance where dancers and singers are joined by Croydon locals to take over Whitgift Shopping Centre in this unique, intimate and constantly surprising dance spectacle.

A couple browse the shop windows. Two men join the queue for a coffee. A bag of shopping is left forgotten on a bench. Someone wishes they were somewhere else. The ground softens, shop fronts melt away, from the distance a song begins to seep from cracks in the floor. Someone somewhere starts to move.

As part of This is Croydon, London Borough of Culture 2023, the Whitgift Centre, a vital centre for the local community and a significant part of Croydon’s identity, is hosting the highly anticipated premiere of Super Normal Extra Natural, a one-of-a-kind experience that highlights community celebration and regeneration, creating a unique space for residents to come together and immerse themselves in something innovative and inspiring. Using headphones to connect to a binaural soundtrack, audiences become part of a surreal world that blurs the boundaries between reality and performance, as they experience Whitgift Shopping Centre from a whole new perspective.

To bring this project to life, Requardt & Rosenberg will collaborate with 20 community performers from the local area, recruited with support from local organisations and community partnerships, including estates, schools, dance companies, and community support groups, reflecting the demographics of Croydon, making the show a true representation of the community. Requardt & Rosenberg are also working with 20 students from London Contemporary Dance School as a part of their BA3 curriculum, who will perform alongside the community performers and professional dancers. The cast of professional dancers includes Temitope Ajose-Cutting, Ruben Brown, Alex Henderson and Anwar Russell with Rehearsal Director, Valentina Formenti.

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Super Normal Extra Natural is co-produced by The Place, commissioned by This is Croydon, London Borough of Culture, The Place and Stanley Arts. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Super Normal Extra Natural is supported by Whitgift Centre.

The Place, London’s creative powerhouse for dance development, has been leading the way in dance training, creation and performance for over 50 years. In a changing landscape, our vision for the future remains steadfast: We are powering imagination through dance, championing new ideas, embracing risks and creating a dance ecosystem unlike any other in the world, with optimal conditions for dance artists and enthusiasts to realise their full potential. The Place is home to London Contemporary Dance School, Richard Alston Dance Company, an extensive theatre and artist development programme, education projects, a range of classes and courses and a nationwide touring model. As a pioneering dance organisation, we are committed to creating no-barriers access to exciting dance experiences and opportunities for everybody, offering a diverse and dynamic theatre programme for audiences, empowering artists and dance makers and giving young people access to the highest quality opportunities to touch their lives with dance.

Requardt & Rosenberg (Direction & Choreography)
Requardt & Rosenberg was established to create dance performance away from the auditorium and studio either in outdoor locations or within temporary structures. Their desire is to make performances that are highly visible, unique events in order to engage a wide audience in a distinctive format. Requardt & Rosenberg combine both the spectacle of large-scale dance performances and the delicate integrity and intimacy of the audience experience through binaural sound. 

The goals of Requardt & Rosenberg’s current practice include: 

  • An exploration of different spatial relationships between audience and performance. 
  • The creation of dance works that take as a starting point an architectural constraint. 
  • The creation of models for the construction of temporary performance spaces that can tour and could be reproduced around the world in order to provide an alternate touring network for international work.

Frauke Requardt trained in Germany, New York and London. As well as directing dance and performance, she has also worked as one of Lea Anderson’s Cholmondeleys. Frauke was a Work Place artist at The Place, and is now an Affiliate Artist. Previous work includes Jammy Dodgers, a fantastical world, with a rolling line up of bands from the London contemporary Jazz scene; the Lynch-esque Roadkill Cafe; and Pequenas Delicias, an absurdist site-specific piece; Episode premiered at The Place (June 2011); Mothers (2017), an anarchic response to her experience of being a new parent; and Dadderrs (2019 – 2021) with Daniel Oliver. Current projects include The Anatomy of Survival (working title) with writer Vivienne Franzman.

David Rosenberg co-founded Shunt in 1998 to pursue an interest in the role of an audience in theatrical productions and he directed all their shows: The Ballad of Bobby Francois, Tennis Show, Dance Bear Dance, Tropicana, Amato Saltone, Money, The Architects and The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face. Together with Glen Neath and Andrea Salazar he founded Darkfield who make audio based performance in shipping containers for audiences in complete darkness.  

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