Artistic Director's Approach

Artistic Director's Approach

About Mercurial

Oliver Scott is the artistic and executive director of Mercurial Dance, and founder of Mercurial Arts Charity. Through my companies we create distinctive performance and produce in-depth participatory experiences. Our work sees us engage 1000’s of young people & develop new audiences every year in high quality arts activities. With a specialism in digital dance, our expertise has grown from choreographing to offer consultancy: strategic development advice; consultancy to schools, development of arts curricula alongside producing high quality participatory arts activities, where people are part of the creative process. We pair participatory experience with the creation of professional work; work that is locally intentional in its themes; work that targets areas most in need.

This has seen us launch and support Hobmoor community centre in Birmingham from empty space to being used by over 1000 people every week. We established arts projects as key catalysts for us to rally ambitions with the community; Chaotic Liquid Network, 2014; Hobmoor Community Champions, 2015; and currently Histories at Hobmoor 2017-8, supported by the HLF.

Hobmoor CC built on our Bubble Chamber Series (2010-14) where in partnership with Warwick Arts Centre we inhabited empty shops with interactive digital dance performances and installations touring the Midlands. We created GLOW (2011) an interactive work for shop windows and Cascades (2013). Working in sites such as shops, these quirky spaces at a street level offer a rich source for generating choreography stimulated by the architecture and relationships the body to indoor and adjoining outdoor spaces; OutsideIN (2012) Greening the City (2012). This programme of work regenerated city centre arcades and connecting with an every day audience of shoppers.

We collaborate with visual artists, musicians, dancers and coders to deliver the variety of work. Working with other artists is a key part of my practice. Our dancing is informed by embodied, somatic dance techniques, contact (CI) and improvisation. We are driven artistically by the intersection between people, place and performance, helping to shape the projects we produce. For example Hinterland, 2012 commissioned by Birmingham Hippodrome for Six Summer Saturdays and Cascades 2012-13 an interactive digital ‘ballet’ projection mapped outside the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry; while Fair Youth (2015) was a male duet inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnets touring libraries. and documents the range of digital, dance and site-specific works.