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Trip the light fantastic - light and dance project in Archway, London

Date uploaded: January 20, 2010

Trip the light fantastic is an extraordinary new temporary work by artist Jane Watt illuminating the windows and streets of Archway. Glowing images fill previously empty windows. Dark corners are bathed in a deep pink light. Dancing is brought to the pavements and skyline of the much-maligned Archway.

Jane Watt's research into the demolished Gresham Ballroom led her to discover an unexpected enthusiasm for dancing by Archway residents, workers and students. The artist has photographed over two hundred local people dancing in their offices, shops, living rooms and dance classes. She has gathered this unique source material for her two month long photographic installation and series of participatory dance events that take place in the shadow of Archway Tower. The work celebrates the uplifting effects of light, dance and social gathering and involves young and old: from once-in-a-bluemoon dancers to committed dance enthusiasts, from street dancers to jivers, ballroom dancers to belly dancers.

Forty huge translucent photographs of Archway dancers are being installed in office and shop windows around the Archway Mall, Junction Road, Holloway Road and Archway Road. At night the images glow from ambient light emanating from within the buildings, animating the buildings with colour and movement. Alongside these photographs, three simple pink beams of light will light up dark and neglected corners by the Post Office, under the tower and beside the old Gresham site. Local dancers, groups and passersby have been invited to dance in these magical spotlights in six public events that include tango lessons, street dance performances, and an Archway street disco. The lights will then remain on each winter evening inviting spontaneous performances from passers by.

Alight is a long-term programme of temporary artworks that reveal and animate Archway during long winter nights. It is a partnership between AIR and Islington Council, with funding from Transport for London. Trip the light fantastic is the second Alight commission. Hilary Powell’s Light Years Away brought roller skaters from across London to skate under the foreboding Archway Tower last winter.

21 January - 18 March 2010 everyday 5-10pm
London N19: Junction Road, Holloway Road, Archway Mall, Highgate Hill and Archway Close
Tube: Archway
Buses: 4, 17, 43, 134, 143, 210, 263, 271, 390, C11, W5

Anna Hart, AIR
[email protected]
07977 094 330

Trip the Light Fantastic website

Download the full press release(213 KB)