Extraordinary Bodies & The British Paraorchestra

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“Our collaboration rewrote the rule book. A stage groaning with talent, at least three quarters of it disabled; Riley’s egalitarian brand of minimalism writ large through gesture – sonic and sculptural. A rapt audience in collective held-breath, and a tangible sense that nothing would ever be quite the same again.”
Charles Hazelwood, Artistic Director, The British Paraorchestra

In June 2016, The British Paraorchestra invited Extraordinary Bodies to collaborate on a one-off performance of Terry Riley’s iconic cornerstone of classical minimalism, In C. 

Composed in 1964, In C consists of 53 short repeated melodies in C major. How often each melody is repeated, coloured or intensified, is completely the choice of each individual player – but each player also has a responsibility to the whole ensemble, and each performance is different to any other performance of the piece that has ever happened.

Extraordinary Bodies took cues from the musical structure. We devised a series of physical ‘gestures’ to develop and combine in a complementary style to the musical phrases. It was a fantastic opportunity to experiment with movement, sound and the senses; to share the skills of our artists with new audiences; and to work alongside a company in harmony with our vision and values.

The combined effect of Extraordinary Bodies and The British Paraorchestra playing In C was described as cathartic, uplifting and engulfing. The aural equivalent of climbing inside a giant lava lamp…

The British Paraorchestra is the world’s first professional ensemble of disabled musicians. Based in Bristol and led by pioneering innovator of classical music, Charles Hazelwood, they are ideal allies, partners and collaborators for Extraordinary Bodies.

To bring this unique performance to your area please contact us, we are always interested in new partnerships.

This performance was commissioned for Fast Forward Festival 2016 at Bristol’s Colston Hall. 

Video Producer & Director: Phoebe Holman
Camera Operator & Editor: Louis Gane
Photography: Paul Blakemore

Our Work

Suspended from the ceiling and surrounded by explosions of colourful chalk, two performers sit in a wheelchair, their muscly arms revealed
What Am I Worth?
What Am I Worth?
Jamie flys in the air on an aerial harness, his arms outstretched with an ecstatic expression on his face, a bright blue sky behind him.
Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists: Two young aerialist sit in an aerial hoop on stage their arms outstretched. They are wearing red, white and black. The other cast members watch them from onstage.
Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists
Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists
Deb flies from an aerial hoop off the Weighting show bridge structure. She faces away from the camera looking out to the horizon, a beautiful dappled sky as her background.
The Future of Circus
The Future of Circus