The Room

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Imagine walking into a space where you find tango dancers turning in each others' arms on a beautiful dance floor. On the walls, there is a stunning exhibition of work by a contemporary artist. During a break in the dancing, a poet reads from their latest collection. Later, in the adjoining gallery space you find yourself participating in an intense discussion about the music of Piazzolla or the latest exhibition showing at the Tate Modern. You discover that you can take lessons in the tango at this location, or in creative writing, or in pilates or yoga. You can come to hear the artist talk about their work, or witness a performance by one of Britain's leading performance artists.

For once, you find yourself a member of a truly general audience, whereas when you have been to poetry readings before you have found yourself surrounded only by other poets, when witnessing performance art you've realised that the only other witnesses are all performance artists. At last this interesting work has escaped its own captive coterie. You are meeting artists, writers, dancers, and at the same time you are meeting doctors, lawyers, social workers. A generally integrated milieu prevails. Through its agency, a neuro-physicist may be enabled to take part in an avant-garde performance, a language poet may be co-opted onto a speech-therapy unit.

The Room posits a new interface. By taking activities such as pilates and yoga out of the environment of the gym, by taking cultural activities such as readings and performances out of the direct context of gallery or public house, the arena proposed locates the cultural within the recreational. The catalyst for this relocation is the tango, a wonderful improvised dance which, on the one hand, can manifest itself as a demonstration of supreme artistry by professional dancers, and on the other, can be a warm social gathering for those simply proficient but enthusiastic about their dancing. This fusion of amateur and professional worlds in unique to the dance.

The tango provides The Room with the crucible for an arts think-tank, a genuinely ground-breaking exercise in bringing non-arts professionals into contact with artistic professionals. This is crucial to its aim.

The Room

33 Holcombe Road
Tottenham Hale, London, N17 9AS
+44 (0) 20 8 808 9318

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