CPP takes over the Chandler

Sanjay Lago is a third year Contemporary Performance Practice student who will be performing this week as the Chandler Studio is filled with some of the most unique, powerful and contemporary work from students across all four year groups of the Contemporary Performance Practice programme. He has written this blog piece on what you can expect to see in the Chandler this week.

At this time of year, the 1st year CPP students are split into groups and connected with a 4th year who has chosen the module Directing a Classical Text into Contemporary. 2nd year students create their choreography show and finally 3rd years create their own collaborative performances based on an enquiry which they wish to delve deeper into.

As a student I do get worried about this time of year and the lack of time, but the end product has always been gorgeous! So let’s fly back into the past.

First year Directing Classical to Contemporary Text

This was the end of our first year, and we were all split into groups of 4 with a director from 4th year. Our text we were given was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. We worked through the themes, the issues and the messages in the text. Each group took different approaches to the text and the direction of the piece. I had a hell of a week. So let’s have a moment of laughter at what can happen when you are in the moment pf rehearsing a piece.

So it is Monday, my lecturer and director are watching a run of the show, which opens on Wednesday night. In the show, we compete to be the “best dancer”, and I come out doing Dutty Wine and what happens? My knee pops out, I witness the apple that is where my knee used to be slam to the ground”¦ Luckily, the paramedics arrive and crack my knee back in (a noise that will forever stay with my lecturer!) and they cart me off to hospital. Thanks to the power of performance-making, my group changed the show to give me a new role. So instead of competing within the show, I then became the compere and did 2 shows!

It was a scary week and even to this day I panic about my knee. But this process gave me the skills of collaboration, trust and the power that creating performance can have on you. I felt really empowered and that the work we were creating was our show for ourselves and for the audience. And all happened from the classical text to stripping and ripping it apart.

This performance made me understand the power in performance, and that a story doesn’t always need to be what is written on a page.

Second year Choreography in a Social Context

I love to dance. In 2nd year, we had a guest lecturer who took us on a choreographic journey looking at the origins of dancing and where we are now. Looking at the club scene and letting our bodies go. Not dancing with the beat but going against it.

I struggled during this module, thinking about my knee but it did make me more aware of my body and how to safely move whilst dancing.

This module is also a partnership, whether with an artist company or in my years’ case, we had volunteers who wished to take part and it was a nice energy change to have non-RCS participants to create a show with.

Choreography meshed into a show that brought the beat but not the moves with it, the moves went against the beat and the DJ mixed the decks with a great lighting design.

Third year Collaborations

We are now moving into our final year (how did that happen?!) and before that we have our Collaborations. This is where as a class we discuss what we each are interested in and create our groups. This may seem scary but it is an exciting process to see the different topics that your classmates wish to explore.

Each group then create a show based on an enquiry they wish to delve into, so with my group we were beginning to look at masculinity, then onto power and strength. It has been such a supportive and great environment, with a supportive class and collaborations group.

These three years have flown by, but this programme has given me skills, a drive and a passion to create performance with a message.

So without further ado, let’s share what is happening in our Chandler CPP takeover of shows. Come and see some exciting new performance, and learn about the work we create on the course.


A trio of amazingly made collaborative work, looking a topics such as Female Hysteria, Roman Power, Media and Our Bodies:

CPP3 Collaborations Group A Imperium Thursday 17 May 7pm

CPP3 Collaborations Group B Flytrap Tuesday 22 May, 7pm

CPP3 Collaborations Group C What A Voice Friday 25 May 7pm

Pop world and media. This is sure to pack a dance punch!

CPP4 and CPP1 Classical to Contemporary Text

Shaking Up Shakespeare: UsingOthello,come and see the topics and issues we looked at to create powerful work.

CPP2 Choreography – A Body of Movement and Other Stories of Passion – 31 May and 1 June

  • Group 1 6 and 7 June
  • Group 2- 9 and 11 June
  • Group 3 13 and 14 June

Hope to see you in the audience and get in touch if you want to know more!

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