Taylor Benjamin was a member of Transitions Dance Company, graduating in 2008. Since then he has toured works with 2Faced Dance Company, Kompany Malakhi, Balletboyz and DV8 Physical Theatre. Taylor now dances for Company Chameleon, with whom he will be performing in double bill Witness at the Laban Theatre on 16 and 17 March 2017.
Image: Company Chameleon
Company Chameleon were nominated for Best Independent Company at the National Dance Awards last year, how does it feel to be part of such a respected company?
I feel very proud to be part of Company Chameleon. I have been dancing with them now for nearly two years and, although they are getting bigger both nationally and internationally, there is such a humble, family type energy with everyone in the company – from the office staff to the dancers and artistic directors. I have been lucky enough to be involved with two works that, though obviously both have the Company Chameleon style, are so different to each other. Doing diverse work but being able to stay with the same company is a luxury you don’t always get.
Kevin Edward Turner, co-Artistic Director of Company Chameleon, has drawn from his own personal experience of Bipolar for the creation of Witness. How does it feel to be performing a work surrounding such real issues?
Working on Witness, a piece bringing awareness to mental health, has been both challenging and eye opening. Kevin’s story is personal so as a performer you want to be as loyal to his experience as you can while also connecting to it in your own way, so you can deliver something true. Although myself and a lot of the audience may not have experience with these issues, we have all at some point experienced the emotions and battles with ourselves that are shown in the piece. This helps you to empathise with the situation and hopefully makes the performance easier to connect to. It is so hard to talk about mental health, and what we don’t always realise is that we all have a mental health. I think anything that opens up conversations on this topic is a good thing and art is a great way to do it. I admire Kevin for tackling these issues.
What can audiences look forward to when coming to see the double bill?
Audiences can look forward to seeing two pieces that are totally different to each other and to go on a journey that will make you think, laugh, cry and hopefully more than anything – get you talking.
What were the most valuable things you learnt from your time as a member of Transitions Dance Company?
For me Transitions was pretty vital. I trained at a dance/musical theatre school prior to Trinity Laban so my actual knowledge of contemporary dance and the different techniques was limited. Transitions gave me the opportunity to learn new styles, perform nationally and internationally while still training, and improve my general dance and teaching skills.
How does it feel to be performing back at your alma mater?
I’m really excited to be back on the Laban stage. It’s great to perform in such a dedicated, respected dance house of England. And I like the pretty colours of the building inside and out!
Words Unspoken Trailer
For more information and to book tickets visit the Trinity Laban website.
Graduate Intern – Press & PR