We are so excited to present our brand new documentary film which follows the making and touring of 'Cotton' hope you enjoy it!
A captivating exploration through dance and sound, illuminating processes of cotton production in Lancashire. This new work is intertwined with traditional Lancashire clog dancing, mesmerizing sound design and intricate choreography. Performers discover the working conditions in Lancashire's Satanic mills and the lives of mill workers at the turn of the century.
The stunning costume design is by Katie Duxbury and beautifully reflect the era but with a modern twist. The inspiration for the work came from Jenny’s fascination with her family history and their working lives in the mills. Her great grandmother Ada was born in 1901 and lived in Great Harwood. She was a piecer and as such she would have been responsible for piecing the together the cotton roving on enormous spinning mules. Within the dance piece you will hear a song written by Jenny and musician Lee Affen referring to ‘little piecers skittering on hand and knee’ as children working in cotton mills were often sent around the mill floors scavenging for waste cotton. Jenny’s Grandmother Winnifred worked as a weaver and this sparked Jenny’s interest in the continuous rhythms of the looms.
You will hear in the soundtrack for ‘Cotton’, multiple layers of cotton mill machinery reflected intricately with detailed and complex choreographic movement. ‘Cotton’ is woven with rhythms and a very physical movement vocabulary, however the flow to the work also has an interlude of traditional Lancashire clog dancing, a Lancashire Waltz, choreographed by Sam Sherry himself. Clogs were the preferred footwear in cotton mills and the sounds of the machinery were often replicated by workers creating complicated rhythms with their feet. Within the work there is a particular clog dancing step featured called an ‘Arkwright’ who as we know invented the spinning Jenny.
View the trailer here:
Check us out in the Lancashire Telegraph and the Lancashire Evening Post: