Please introduce yourself and the role you play in Future Cargo - How would you describe your character in the piece?
Hi, I’m Anders, I’m a non-binary being. My role in Future Cargo is that of an alien who knows nothing about the human species.
Hi I’m Ruben and I’m one of the silver aliens inside the container. Other than looking beautiful and out of this world, the aliens are solemn creatures showcasing their various experiences of this universe.
Tell us a bit about yourself – Where are you from? How were you introduced to dance?
Anders: I was born in Cardiff and brought up in South Devon in a very Swedish household with traditions maintained by my Swedish mother. I began dancing at my local village hall at the age of 7. After a lot of ballet I discovered contemporary dance and went to London Contemporary Dance School. After my training I became an apprentice with Maresa von Stockert’s Tilted Productions and continued to work with the company for 5 years while developing my choreographic practice. My current work, Mapping Gender, will premiere next year. I am currently a Work Place artist at The Place (2021-2026).
Ruben: I’m from the East Midlands. My secondary school was an arts college when I started, so dance was part of the core curriculum. I had a natural knack for it I guess and got more invested in it as I grew up. Part of that journey was training on Dance4’s CAT scheme which was amazing! It opened many doors and eventually led me to training at London Contemporary Dance School. I’ve been dancing ever since and the rest is history.
Future Cargo is a really unique spectacle–what has it been like to tour with the work?
Anders: The tour feels slightly surreal as we never change our stage but take it with us – it’s a bit like a camping trip!
Ruben: All jokes aside, it’s been really special! It’s great to have a piece that travels around and evolves as it goes. Working through Covid and having increased respect and care for the team has just created the most enjoyable atmosphere to work in. The tour doesn’t go without it’s stresses as every component is interdependent on the other but when you have a team as great as ours, what can really go wrong? It’s been a true pleasure to be touring Future Cargo!
Can you describe a day in the life on tour with Future Cargo? When the truck arrives in a new location, what is it like as a performer arriving and getting ready for an outdoor show?
Anders: The truck often arrives before we do, so it feels like it’s landed from out of space. Outdoor work often involves adapting to unusual spaces for getting ready and you’re very much at the mercy of the weather until of course we’re inside our spaceship. The Future Cargo costumes can take a while to get in and out of and we all rely on each other to make sure we’re zipped up and ready to go.
What is it like performing inside a shipping container?
Anders: The space can sometimes feel endless as well as very cramped. There are some particular costume changes which cause a lot of commotion backstage but amazingly, go unnoticed by the audience. We’ve all worked inside the container for such a long time now that it feels like home.
Ruben: The way the show has been made means you rarely see the audience from inside. We’re also faceless so there’s this weird sense of being both very visible but not seen. It’s definitely a specific experience. The container is its own little world. It’s also an insanely hot one if it’s under the glare of the sun in 28°C heat!
What is it like to perform on a moving stage?
Ruben: Performing on a surface which constantly moves does take some adjustment to say the least... We’re all complete professionals now though! There’s the luxury of being taken by the travelator but at the same time you know you have five seconds to get back on it once you come off at the end. Balance and speed have definitely been tested and improved from performing this show.
Anders: At the beginning it was quite terrifying, especially jumping on the travelator when it’s at high speed. It can be very disorientating and coming off backwards still gives me a jolt. It’s also a lot of fun and you feel like a child doing something you’re normally never allowed to do.
Tell us something an audience member would never know from watching the show?
Ruben: The performers don’t hear the same track as the audience. Our playlist includes the likes of Daft Punk, David Bowie and The Cure.
What do you do after a performance? Do you get the chance to explore new places?
Anders: Usually we’re pretty tired but muster up enough energy for a drink and some food.
Ruben: We’ll more than likely sniff out a Wagamama. The general exploration of most places is food related. We did actually manage to see a beautiful outdoor exhibition in Milton Keynes in a cathedral of trees.
What do you hope audiences experience when coming to see Future Cargo?
Anders: I really love this show, there’s such a beautiful arc and being in it is so surreal that I feel that this really must translate to the audience experience. The level of precision which is needed to make the sound and visuals come together is very satisfying. I’ve never seen or been in a piece anything like Future Cargo, it's full of striking images and poses, questions around what it is to be human and what it might be not to be human. I hope that the audience feel transported and amazed.