Hold My Hand and We’re Halfway There
performed by Brian Lobel and (maybe, probably, hopefully) you
Fri 12 & Sat 13 August, 12.30pm-6.30pm
Hold My Hand and We’re Halfway There was Brian’s first show with Forest Fringe. Since 2008, Brian has performed at nearly every Forest Fringe in Edinburgh, and with Forest to Austin, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, and New York City. And he’s loved every second of it.
Hold My Hand and We’re Halfway There presents himself as a boy in a makeshift bedroom, performing the durational task of copying (or attempting to copy) the choreography of over 100 classic musicals. As audiences join Brian throughout the day, an image of community is created: silly people dancing in silly ways with each other – laughing, jumping, and taking it all very seriously. At other moments, however, when there are inevitable lulls in participation, another image is created: that of the boy on his own, dancing like a fool, sweating, exhausted, sore. Is he alone, or is he lonely? Is the sweat that kind of good sweat from a night out or a sports match, or is it the sweat of someone outrunning the bully, or racing towards something better? By physically exhausting the body with an activity that is otherwise exuberantly fun, Hold My Hand and We’re Halfway There asks audiences to consider themselves as that boy dancing in his bedroom, the friend that keeps that boy company, and the world that simply walks on by with averted eyes, recognising our ability to be all three at different times.
Inspired by They Shoot Horses Don’t They and his own experience of endless dancing to the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, Brian has performed Hold My Hand and We’re Halfway There since 2008 in wildly divergent spaces. Highlights include a 40-hour installation in New York City’s South Street Seaport, a 10-hour installation in the lobby of Sadler’s Wells (where young ballet dancers endlessly bragged about how much better they were then “that guy”), a 12-hour installation in the foyer of a famous Bangkok cinema (in 38 degree heat), a 6-hour installation at a train station in Brussels (where over 1500 people danced throughout the night), alongside other installations at Shunt Vaults, London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Brighton Festival and Hong Kong New Visions Festival.
Brian Lobel creates performances about bodies and how they are watched, policed, poked, prodded, and loved by others. The New York-born, London-based Lobel has shown work internationally in a range of contexts, from medical schools to galleries, cabarets to museums, marketplaces to forests, blending provocative humour with insightful reﬂection. He is a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at University of Chichester, Core Artist with Forest Fringe, Associate Artist with Performing Medicine and a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow: www.blobelwarming.com
Please join me, however you wish.
Tags: Forest Fringe 16