Joe Garbett’s interactive outdoor performance Doubles will be premiering at Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (GDIF) on 30 Jun as a part of Dancing City.
Tell us about your background in dance…
I was super energetic as a kid and wanted to expend that extra energy somewhere. I started with gymnastics and later discovered that contemporary dance gave me more options to play with ideas and explore new ways of moving.
I trained at the University of Chichester and JV2, and now I am a choreographer, associate lecturer and international performer based in London. Under the direction of renowned choreographers, I have performed at Tate Modern, Glastonbury Festival, Sadler's Wells, World Stage Design Festival, museums, pubs and everything in between.
I enjoy directing work that explores the importance of unity and engages people in the exhilaration that can come from working with others to achieve a common goal. Since 2014 I have been the co-founder of aKa Dance Theatre Company; resident company of Tacchi Morris Arts Centre in Taunton. Currently, I am creating outdoor work Doubles and developing an online choreography forum called No.Company.
What is Doubles and how did the idea originate?
Doubles is a fun, fast paced and innovative dance project combining ping-pong and dance. The playful pop up performance displays contemporary dance in an accessible setting. This year we are performing in outdoor festivals and leading active and creative workshops. I have always enjoyed ping-pong and I started to see tables everywhere - parks, schools, church yards, office… I saw potential performance spaces across the country allowing myself to show the bold, quirky and exciting side of the sport through contemporary dance.
What do you enjoy most about being a choreographer?
I love offering an idea to dancers and watching the result smash initial expectations. As a choreographer it is great to watch the personality of the work develop and see all the elements that make the work come together to form a unique identity.
You’re performing at GDIF on 30 Jun as part of Dancing City, what are you looking forward to the most?
The work piloted last year so I’m really excited to share the developed and expanded version. I’m looking forward to seeing it performed at such a prestigious event alongside other works.
Where can we expect to see Doubles in the future?
Doubles is also part of the Somerfest Festival 2018 in Taunton on 16 of Jun. I hope to tour the work to as many festivals as I can next year across the country and then eventually internationally!
If you had to be a professional sportsman, which sport would you chose?
I would love to be a professional pole vaulter. I think it looks so fun to float so high and also there is nothing else like it in the sports world.
In a game of ping-pong who would your ideal Doubles partner be and who would you compete against?
My dad has got really good at ping-pong recently so I think we could make a great team. I would love to play against a professional ping-pong player to experience the maximum speed and intensity of the game.