Mr Danger on Mr Danger

Mr danger interviewWho is Mr Danger? In a fast and frank interview, Mr Danger talks to Mr Danger about himself, himself, and himself.

MD: Firstly, thanks very much for agreeing to do this interview. I know you haven’t done many since your accident.

MD: I said at the start I’m not going to talk about my accident. That was in the past. I’m over it. I’ve moved on. I’d like you to move on as well.

MD: Of course, I wasn’t going to ask you anything about it. I was just saying you haven’t done many interviews since it happened.

MD: Well let me ask you: if your manager had set up the biggest stunt of your career – to jump a motorcycle over 20 double decker buses with a bag on your head – and you’d not only failed to do it, but millions of people had watched a video of you failing to do it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, wouldn’t you have a problem talking about it?

MD: Yes I think I would.

MD: Exactly.

MD: But you did just talk about it then.

MD: Oh. Oh yes. Maybe I’m getting better after all?

MD: Maybe.

(pause)

MD: Well while you contemplate that, perhaps you could talk a little bit about your childhood, where you grew up, what your ambitions were as a young man.

MD: I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But the UK version.

MD: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire?

MD: Yes. My mother was a paper presser at the local paper press, and my father worked for a company that supplied the foam for nappy manufacturers, a real crap job. I always knew I wanted to do something different with my life.

MD: You wanted to become a daredevil?

MD: No, I wanted to work in the patent procurement division for a large multinational pharmaceutical corporation. But my parents pushed me into doing stunts. They said the money was better.

MD: And is it?

MD: How should I know? My manager handles the business side of things.

MD: But you must know how much money you make?

MD: Like I said, my manager deals with that. But I can buy whatever I want. As long as I ask her for the money in advance. And there’s enough petty cash left in the kitty that week.

MD: You’ve had a career spanning almost a decade now, what’s your proudest feat so far? And what is it that keeps you motivated in the face of constant adversity?

MD: My proudest feat so far was probably waking up this morning; breathing another breath and knowing I made it through another night. I can never get over how lucky I am to still be alive. What keeps me motivated? Definitely the fans keep me motivated. If they weren’t there I don’t know what I’d do. Well, I wouldn’t be doing stunts that’s for sure. A stunt isn’t a stunt if there’s no one there watching you, hoping you’ll fail. That’s what my manager always tells me.

MD: This manager sounds like quite an influential figure in your life.

MD: Oh yeah, she’s hard to please sometimes. But that just makes me work harder. If there’s no challenge, there’s no reward. And if there’s no reward then who cares, right? That’s why I said yes to doing the bus jump. I was in-line to get a week’s holiday in Aberdeen. But I messed it up and now I’ve got to stage a comeback.

MD: And you’re hoping to do that at InTRANSIT?

MD: Yes. I’m going to do some pretty gnarly stunts, to borrow a phrase from our American surfer cousins. All never been done before. My first stunt when I hit town I’m gonna ride all the borough’s 35 bus routes in just 3.5 hours. They say it can’t be done. My manager says, ‘it done be can!’

MD: I see. And what does that mean?

MD: I’m not sure. But I’m gonna try and do the stunt.

MD: The festival theme this year is ‘Island Life – Fantastic, Forlorn.’ How do you think that relates to you?

MD: Time was I thought I was an island. I thought I was separate from everybody else, that I could do things nobody else could do. But when I had my accident, I came crashing down to earth. I realised I was fallible, just like every other thing on the planet. Even trees. I saw a tree once that had its roots where its leaves should be. Can you believe that?

MD: No. Are you sure it wasn’t just a tree with no leaves?

MD: Maybe. I mean, I’m no Alan Titchmarsh. Thank god. Anyway, the point is, I made a mistake. I thought I was better than everyone else. And the only decent way to overcome a mistake like that is to join hands with those around you, allow people to pick you up, and have the humility to carry on together with them, on the same level, as one. It’s hard sometimes.

MD: But with no challenge there’s no reward, right?

MD: Exactly.

MD: Fantastic. Well, thanks for taking the time to talk to me Mr Danger.

MD: You’re welcome, Mr Danger.

MD: I just have one last question. You mentioned humility being important. Isn’t it a bit pretentious to interview yourself?

MD: I’m the only person capable enough to do the job properly. If that sounds pretentious to you, that’s not my problem.

MD: Actually it kind of is.

(pause)

MD: Oh yeah.

 

Mr Danger will be performing stunts around the borough of Kensington and Chelsea on the 9th, 10th, 12th and 14th of June. With a grand finale at Portobello Road market on Saturday the 17th of June. His manager will also be in attendance.

 

 

SYMBIOSIS light installation InTRANSIT 2016

New video showing Kira Zhigalina’s interactive light installation for InTRANSIT Festival 2016.

Kira commented:

We’ve had great adventures with Symbiosis in recent months. 

Working in collaboration with Michael Obrizkiv and his trispace.cc modular plywood geometric structures, we created some beautiful renditions of the project that people absolutely loved across a few platforms. So far we have been in festival in Wales, at inTransit in North Kensington, and Nowhere festival in Spain, this is a short video of the installation at the later https://vimeo.com/175936995 and some more photos here https://dotkira.com/nteractive-installation/

All the positive comments and support are fuelling the project, that is going to keep growing like a primordial organism with the aim to show at more places and achieve its full realization in a form of breathing immersive light dome.

Thank you for your support! 

Will keep you updated on the developments and hope you will come and transform your breath into light again, soon

Love and light, 

KiRa

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@InTransitFest | #InTransitFestival

Footage from Exhibition Road tunnel performance – ADRIFT – InTRANSIT 2016

With Sing To Live, Live To Sing community groups and soloists from the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Walking down the long Exhibition Road tunnel on a quiet Monday night you felt that haunted feeling of goosebumps and cold shivers as the voices began to drift towards you. Unseen at first, the groups of transitory singers mingled with stray commuters who became part of the scene or stood to listen and watch in the centre of the tunnel where the acoustics of this mobile composition were superb.

Lead composer Haris Kittos, Professor of Composition at the nearby Royal College of Music, spoke to Final Note Magazine about the work:

“Harry Ross, who is running InTransit festival with Helen Scarlett O’Neill, asked me if I wanted to be involved with a project for community choirs for the refugee week in South Kensington; this was partly because I am Greek—I’ve seen lots of refugees in the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki who arrive from the islands or nearby camps. But also in fact, I myself come from refugee families too: my maternal grandparents were from Greek communities in Turkey, who had to flee after WWI and lost everything. On the other side, my paternal grandmother’s family was deported from Yugoslavia to Greek Macedonia, while my granddad Kittos was an immigrant teacher from a village in Cyprus that is now on the Turkish side.

Additionally, I teach in RCM, which is part of the South Kensington local community. So this was a unique opportunity to create music with local people (the choir is made up of groups from Sing to Live, Live to Sing) and make it a direct reaction to what’s happening in Europe at the moment. I also asked two of my RCM composition students, Lillie Harris and Dan McBride, to join me in the project, as they are both not only very talented with lots of fresh ideas, but they also have experience with outreach workshops and collaborating with various community activities.

The idea for Adrift centred on a moving installation of people inside a big space in South Kensington. So we immediately decided to have the choir singers walking while singing; in other words, a symbolic walk with groups of people drifting between destination points, forever searching. Also, we decided to keep it simple, just people walking and singing, with no additional effects or gimmicks.

The musical material for the piece came together with a full-day workshop that we did in May with the whole choir in the V&A Auditorium. This workshop was instrumental in deciding how to devise simple actions for the singers and put them together with aleatoric techniques in an open score. So the score was actually a list of instructions, four sets of musical actions and gestures, and plans for the walking routes—all memorised by the choir leaders, because we didn’t want the singers to have to carry a score while walking.

Overall, the choir splits into groups while performing an initial set of musical gestures. Then they walked from one point to the other, where they then stopped and, after a minute’s silence, started singing the next set of musical material and began to walk to the next destination point, and so on. I hope that it was a haunting piece that in some way reflected the travels and struggles of people who are forced to search for a safe place to live their lives.”

You can read the full article here: http://www.finalnotemagazine.com/composers-corner-haris-kittos/

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Sex On Wheels – Portobello Road

New video from InTRANSIT Festival 2016

Part of a wider response to the official Punk London 40th Anniversary of Punk, Ellie Koslowsky took her piece “Sex On Wheels” up the Portobello Road.

Originally commissioned by InTRANSIT in 2015, the piece re-creates Vivienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren’s iconic shop sign to test how the punk aesthetic born in the borough resonates here in the modern day.

InTRANSIT is an annual festival of arts in unexpected places. It takes place in locations across Kensington and Chelsea each summer, challenging artists and audiences with newly commissioned work outside of galleries and theaters.

intransitfestival.co.uk

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First video of InTRANSIT 2016 – THE ARC

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InTRANSIT 2016 is now over but we are still enjoying its outcomes, like Nicola Sersale’s short videos which are being released over the coming weeks. Here is the first one which looks at the architectural pavilion at the heart of the festival. The video captures only a small fraction of the activities that took place in Powis Square this year which attracted around 1500 people taking part in everything from drama workshops to discussions over dinner.

The 2016 Portobello Pavilion was designed by conflict artist Arabella Dorman and drew inspiration from the ingenuity of displaced people in self organising and building communal buildings very much like this one.

Arabella wrote of The Arc:

“In conjunction with UK Refugee Week, and as a continuation of Flight (St James’s Piccadilly, December 2015) my work is a response to the current humanitarian crisis of forced displacement across the world. By twinning buildings, objects and activities, I wish to bring a crisis of unfathomable size and complexity down to a human scale and highlight the courage, enterprise and creativity that can be found in the darkest corners of existence.

As a war artist, my abiding interest lies in the human face of war and the consequences of conflict. Since 2006, I have worked with forces in Southern Iraq and Afghanistan, and more recently in Lesbos, Turkey, Calais and Dunkirk seeking to document the thousands of Afghans, Syrians and Iraqis arriving on the shores of Europe.”

Inside the Pavilion, arts based practical activities were led by various artists and partners around the themes of shelter, social architecture, community organisation and the UK Refugee Week theme of “different pasts, shared futures”. In the evening, the art table became a communal dining table with “breaking bread” discussion sessions hosted by local figures, artists and writers who shared stories and experiences along the same theme.

InTRANSIT Festival and the Portobello Pavilion team are thankful to Arts Council England who’s grant made this possible. We would also like to thank the Westway Trust who helped fund the fee to access workshops, and ColArt who provided our art materials free of charge.

As last year, we are grateful to local residents and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council departments who have supported the project in a variety of ways. In particular we would like to thank the inspiring residents of Powis Square, who’s community and history began the Portobello Pavilion project, which follows on from the Art|House last year.

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An interview with InTRANSIT’s curators

It’s been a real pleasure to continue curating the InTRANSIT Festival, the beautiful, messy and experimental summer festival we look forward to each year!

InTRANSIT is a nimble festival which is beginning to get noticed for its unique and versatile model. This year, in addition to pieces for Guardian Professional, we were interviewed by Caro Moses for This Week London. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

CM: I know it’s ten years old, but for anyone who hasn’t yet come across InTRANSIT, can you explain what to expect from the festival?
HR&HSO: It is a festival of arts in unexpected places; a piece of invisible theatre in the street which comes from nowhere; forty tons of sand making a beach beneath a motorway; a tuition fee free art school made of milk crates.

CM: What sort of work falls into the category of ‘responsive art’?
HR&HSO: Anything which responds to an environment or situation. For example, a piece of art or performance presented in an old police station might be inspired by the colours and architecture of the building, the local history relating to it or a wider social situation related to policing.

CM: What inspired the beginnings of this annual event?
HR&HSO: This festival was brought into being by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s arts and culture service. We weren’t there, but we think the original idea was to encourage residents to explore new places in the borough, and everything was done in the spirit of movement and discovery, thus the name InTransit! They were right-on in their decision. Artworks or events involving active participation, urban exploration and immersive performance have become increasingly popular and diverse over the last ten years.

You can read the full interview here: http://thisweeklondon.com/article/helen-scarlett-oneill-and-harry-ross-intransit/

If you have any suggestions of where cultural funding might be needed in the borough, a great local talent that should be supported, or a building which might be vacant for the creation of a new work or pop-up activity do get in touch with us by emailing curators@intransitfestival.co.uk

The call for submissions for InTRANSIT 2017 should open in October this year.

http://www.intransitfestival.co.uk

@InTRANSITFest | #InTRANSITFestival

Ionesco Unveiled -InTRANSIT 2016

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Marianne Badrichani’s Ionesco Unveiled was supported and presented by the InTRANSIT festival as one of this year’s key experimental commissions. Although only in preview form the four evening showings were electric with verbal pleasures, delivered by a striking cast of actors. It had particular resonance amid British/European tensions. In true absurdist style, you really had to be there, but Culture Whisper gave a taste of what to expect:

 “Come to a secret location in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where an immersive performance promises a mad hatter’s tea party of absurdist theatre.

Ionesco was a Romanian-French playwright and his first play was inspired by the profound truths he claimed to discover by the simple act of learning English, aged forty. He became fascinated with the lives of the characters in his English workbook, a certain ‘Mr and Mrs Smith.’

Though their lives were quite literally textbook examples on banality he found meaning in their lives, and their stiff, factual sentences to each other: enough to write a play, La Cantatrice Chauve (The Bald Soprano) which was later championed by writers and critics.

Theatre director Marianne Badrichani and her company have turned Ionesco’s revelation into an immersive bilingual experience, a ‘very English evening’ at the house of the Smiths. You get a cup of tea and all seems well, but, as with much absurdist theatre, there are some unexpected surprises planned.

So drop in for a drop of tea… you’ll almost certainly get more than you bargained for!”

You can read the full article here: http://www.culturewhisper.com/r/theatre/ionesco_unveiled_installation/7136

If you could not get a ticket, don’t worry – InTRANSIT and l’institut français will continue to support the company as the work develops into a fully fledged performance. We’ll write about it here, or you can follow us on twitter:

@InTRANSITFest | #InTRANSITFestival

Visit Marianne Badrichani’s website

Streets In The Sky – InTRANSIT 2016

ITV, Londonist and Evening Standard cover local theatre company S.P.I.D.’s production for InTRANSIT 2016

The Londonist wrote: “Ernő Goldfinger’s Brutalist masterpiece, the Trellick Tower, is the setting for an immersive tour on one day in June, as part of the free InTRANSIT festival in Kensington and Chelsea. To mark 50 years since the building got commissioned, local theatre company Social Political Independent Direct has created a tour of the building, telling the stories of the tower and those who lived in it.”

S.P.I.D. are now busy gearing up for their next venture which will, as usual, offer incredible performance experience to local young people. 13-25 year olds can still sign up  for ReimaginingGoldfinger , S.P.I.D’s exciting new drama, history and film project.

http://www.intransitfestival.co.uk

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The Portobello Wall – InTRANSIT 2016

 

The Portobello Wall is a nine month lasting art commission for artists to create work that people see as they walk between Portobello Market and Golborne Road Market. This year’s artwork was by a local artist Albert Kueh, who took photos of things with contrasting contexts but similar compositions within the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea. Through their presentation as lenticular prints, the passers by can see different images and a juxtaposition between them, depending on their direction of travel.

Speaking for an InTRANSIT Festival interviewer, Albert Kueh said, “As a visual person, I constantly document images of the area that I find interesting and delightful, which leaves me with a lot of photographs ideally suited to this project. This year’s festival theme of ‘Strange Bedfellows: The Attraction of Opposites’ is perfect to highlight the juxtaposition of the wide and varied lives of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

“Using lenticular printing, my images are produced with an illusion of depth and the ability to change and move as the image is viewed from different angles. A single word is printed to represent one side of the contrast, while the viewer can choose their own word for the other image.”

The art was viewed by the The Worshipful the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor Mrs. Elizabeth Rutherford, who praised the artist and his artwork.