Times are strange, the city centre feels quiet, shops are shuttered up. But, wait a minute…. Is there a light flickering at the back of that empty shop? Are those shutters opening? And why are those boiler-suited mannequins moving…and playing music?
Coming to Bristol Galleries this summer: Shop Window, is a unique and uplifting gig-theatre performance, reimagining empty shops as a joyful space for live music, dancing and shared good times.
Shop Window playfully references the glory days of Department Stores, when shopping was glamorous and theatrical: an experience, not just a transaction.
Amidst an assemblage of mannequins, dressed in trademark white boiler suits, Bristol’s Doomsday Dance Band fill the empty Edinburgh Woolen Mill with upbeat, funkalicious music. Flamboyant Dance Caller and Bristol dance artist Ella Mesma playfully leads the audience in learning weird, wonderful and easy-to-follow dance moves, befitting the strange times we live in. As the audience dances together they are taken on an uplifting journey out of Lockdown, reawakening our collective memory and joy of dancing with friends, family – and complete strangers.
Doomsday Dance Band is a band and gig-theatre collective, formed in 2019 who create off-the-wall, inspiring, music/performance projects for everyone. Ella Mesma is an accomplished professional artist with over 15 years of experience in dance and movement. Ella is Pavillion Dance South West Associate (2020-2021) and Slate World Artist (2020).
Guitarist and singer Dan Wilson says ”Shoppers will be coming back to a high street hollowed out by Covid and online shopping. Shop Window is our vision for how city centres could be reclaimed for communities: where empty shops might become makers’ workshops, community hangouts, pop-up communal dining rooms; or a “shop window” for artists to showcase their work and entertain shoppers”.
Shop Window is funded by Broadmead Bristol BID (Business Improvement District) which is exploring ways of appealing to new audiences and bringing people back into the centre, such as a photographic exhibition and a new youth club. Chair of Broadmead Bristol BID and Galleries Centre Manager, David Wait, says “Shop Window gig theatre performance has great inter-generational appeal and I’m excited about trialling an empty shop unit as a performance space. Before Covid I wouldn’t have guessed that shoppers would be dancing to live music in the Edinburgh Woolen Mill”.
Shop Window with its ‘pop-up’ format is easily translatable into a touring performance.
Doomsday Dance Band are hoping to secure additional funding to bring Shop Window to more empty shops across Bristol’s city centre and high streets and the South West, as part of the Government-backed ‘Reopening High Streets Safely’ initiative.
Shop Window: Fri 30 July and Sat 31 July, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Ground Floor, Bristol Galleries. Dance performances at 2pm and 4pm. Performances will follow Government Covid restrictions.
Bring yourself, your friends, your family and let’s dance out of Lockdown!
Book your free ticket for a bubble of up to six people at http://hdfst.uk/shopwindow or search Shop Window at HeadfirstBristol.co.uk