All or Nothing bring the joy of giant swings to Oban and Fort William

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Edinburgh’s All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre is touring the Oban, Fort William and Skye with their new outdoor, interactive and family focused production, The Swings.

‘The Swings is part breathtaking aerial duet, staged on a magnificent, larger than life, five-metre-high swing set, and part installation, where the audience are invited to have a swing whilst listening to a sound installation of memories evoked from childhood swinging,’ explains the aerial dance company.

The Swings, an interactive event for all the family, was conceived by All or Nothing Dance Aerial Theatre’s artistic director, Jennifer Paterson, who said: ‘The inspiration for The Swings came from spending time in a playpark as a mum, being around swings again and seeing how much joy they bring. Swings are so integral to your childhood.

‘They are in almost every park. If you’re lucky you have one in your garden, or maybe a rope swing on a tree. You hang about them as a teenager. The feeling of being on a swing and the excitement of building it up higher and higher never leaves you. It’s such a visceral feeling – the air rushing past your face, the laughing, the rise and fall of your stomach. Will you jump off? How high can you go? What tricks can you do?’

The Swings, staged using a giant swing set with two swings, is a 15-minute choreographed aerial dance duet performed at intervals throughout the day, explains the company: ‘Inspired by age old playground games and memories the playful dynamic between the two aerial artists is key.

Using the long ropes and swing seats as their apparatus they begin by exploring this unfamiliar environment, swinging, and jumping off, climbing and hanging whichever way they can; their voices unable to contain their excitement. They gradually build the energy performing a range of stunning tricks, flipping, somersaulting, and tumbling, as they soar high above the socially distanced audience below.

‘Following every performance, audiences will be invited to have some time on the swings. As old and young experience the sheer joy of swinging they will be accompanied by a soundscape made up of memories, thoughts and feelings of being on a swing. Fragments of these conversations, from the company’s friends, family, neighbours and colleagues, including three-year old Nancy, and Gillian in her 70s, can be heard. Ideas of freedom, leisure, togetherness and shared space resonate most strongly with the circumstances we have all found ourselves in for more than a year.’

As Scotland opens up for live performance The Swings will be performed at 23 outdoor venues, including on Skye at Armadale Castle on August 4-5 , followed by the Nevis Centre Court in Fort William on August 7, and then the Rockfield Centre car park in Oban on August 8.

Jaine Lumsden, Theatre Officer at Creative Scotland said: ‘Audiences across the country can look forward to All or Nothing’s fun, inventive and multi-sensory circus experience touring to outdoor spaces this summer in partnership with some of Scotland’s much loved theatres and festivals. This family-friendly show is made possible thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players, who raise £30 million for good causes across the UK every week.’

NO_T31TheSwings01_Photo by Suzanne Heffron

NO_T31TheSwings02_Photo by Suzanne Heffron

NO_T31TheSwings03_Photo by Suzanne Heffron

NO_T31TheSwings04_Photo by Suzanne Heffron