ED2013 Dance & Physical Theatre ED2013 Interviews ED2013 Week1 Edition

Tamsin Fitzgerald: 2Faced Dance

By | Published on Tuesday 6 August 2013


2Faced Dance are one of those companies that you can really rely on to produce something a little bit special; and they’ve garnered a clutch of four and five star reviews from ThreeWeeks during their years at the Fringe to prove it. So we felt it was about time we spoke to company founder Tamsin Fitzgerald about what the company creates, how it all came together, and their relationship with the Fringe.

CM: Let’s start at the start. When was 2Faced Dance set up, and how did you come up with that name?
TF: I set the company up in 1999. The name was to represent the two sides of work that the company deliver: the performances and the educational work.

CM: Are you an ensemble company, or do you cast dancers for each production?
TF: The dancers do change from time to time but we do tend to keep the same people for long periods. I like it this way, because it means you get to understand each other better and form stronger relationships.

CM: How do you describe the type of dance you perform?
TF: We perform a physical and athletic language of break and contemporary dance fusion. Over the years I’ve developed this language so that you get a seamless mix of the two styles. I especially love the physicality of movement.

CM: Why does the company only include male dancers? Are one-gender dance companies a common thing?
TF: The company began as a youth dance group, and I started running classes for boys in Herefordshire. And that basically set the format for the company when it turned professional. Single gender dance companies are not that common, and I can only think of a few that I have encountered over the years.

CM: Our reviewer loved the show you did at last year’s Fringe – how does the new show compare?
TF: Last year, ‘In The Dust’ was a triple bill by three different choreographers, so only one third of the show was by me. This summer, with ‘Out Of His Skin’, we return to producing a full length work, choreographed solely by myself. We also have a set that we use this time, and we’ve worked with Tom Cheshire, a stunt man, to create some more dare devil work for the dancers to do. All in all, I think the show this year is very different narratively, though it still contains six stunning and athletic male dancers with some physical and acrobatic break and contemporary dance.

CM: How do you go about putting a show together – how does your creative process work?
TF: I have an initial idea and some movement phrases, but I do work creatively with the dancers themselves to create the movement. So it’s a shared creative experience. Intelligent dancers are very important. I then put the movement we create together into a structure and edit the material until I am happy.

CM: Has the Edinburgh Fringe become part of your calendar now?
TF: The Edinburgh Fringe is what made us as a company and what drives us forward. We love it here and have a strong Edinburgh following. It’s a place where you can come and people are honest about your work. I respect that, it’s important. We did use to come to help book tours for our work… but now we come just because we love doing the Fringe! And we try to come at least every other year.

CM: How would you try to encourage someone who doesn’t think they are into dance to see a show like yours?
TF: I would tell them that 2Faced’s work is fast-paced, athletic, emotional and driven. That yes, it’s contemporary dance, but it’s not so arty that it would put you off! It’s all about the ride… it’s artistic and entertaining. And the six male dancers are amazing and very easy on the eye!

CM: Do you manage to see other dance shows whilst you are at the Festival? Any recommendations?
TF: I like to go and see other shows, of course, though it’s not always that easy when you are working. But last year we worked with Circa who are a fantastic circus company, so I’d recommend their show at Underbelly. And I would also commend Little Bulb and the Czech Dance Season at Zoo Venues.

‘Out Of His Skin’ was performed at Zoo Southside at Edinburgh Festival 2013.

LINKS: www.2faceddance.co.uk | twitter.com/2faceddance

Photo: Natalia Equihua