Accelerator - Shotput

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Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic

I'm excited to be delving into this process with the help of Imaginate, because I know they will encourage us not to hold back and to make work that resonates with young people in our world today.

—Lucy Ireland

Shotput (Jim Manganello and Lucy Ireland) will work on a new dance theatre performance for teenagers after being selected for Accelerator in the June 2019 call out.  The aim is to create a work in progress by May 2020. 

Discotheque Project

An audience of teenagers enters a discotheque. Pop songs blasting. Bodies moving. Phones flashing. Hormones raging. Then the slow song comes on. There's that suspension. That tension. And our show begins.

The as-yet untitled Discotheque Project is about the intersection between teenagers, technology and sex. Performed by 5-6 dancers and a DJ, this show is devised from how teens feel about sex in the age of Snapchat and Instagram. This high-energy experience begins and ends as a disco but transitions into a show that is characterful, heart-breaking and fun.

The Discotheque Project is not a cautionary tale. It's not a documentary. Nor is it an education. This is a show about feelings not morals.

Shotput makes work about the darker corners of contemporary experience with athleticism, humour and a healthy sense of the absurd. Here are some early stimuli for the Discotheque Project:

1. Communication: Most sexting today happens between teenagers on Snapchat.

2. Pornography: The UK Children's Commissioner has rubbished sex education in the UK as so ineffective that teens' most common source of learning about sex is porn.

3. Health: Teenage pregnancy in the UK has dropped dramatically. However, it seems that this drop is because teens are spending more time on their phones.

Ours is a culture pulled in many different ways. This show seeks to give voice to that culture, the good, the bad and the twisted. And we hope that by participating in this fun, shared, live event, our teenage audience will open up and continue the conversation in the world outside.

"Discotheque Project offers us at Shotput the opportunity to think on a different scale than we have previously. I look forward to being challenged by new collaborators, like our DJ. I hope we can break some taboos with humour and life."  Jim Manganello