Preview: B-Side Festival

Charlotte Maxwell
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The full programme for b-side, the leading multimedia arts festival in Dorset, has been announced and features some exciting events – including the world premiere of Shame Chorus, by international artist Jordan McKenzie. Taking place across nine days from 10-18 September on the Isle of Portland, the festival brings the best in contemporary art to the South Coast.

An uplifting musical performance devised in collaboration with international artist Jordan McKenzie, The London Gay Men’s Chorus, The Freud Museum and psychotherapist Susie Orbach. The project addresses shame and sexuality in the gay community. Shame is a debilitating and disabling emotion that leads to depression. Shame Chorus seeks to break this silence and isolation, using original testimonies from members of the chorus, Jordan McKenzie commissioned Dorset based Billy Bragg, Shane Cullinan, Jessica Curry, Leo Chadburn, Edmund Jolliffe, Steven Smith, David McAlmont, Conor Mitchell, Sarah Morrison, Verity Susman, Benjamin Till and Jack White to make twelve original compositions exploring shame that will be sung by Lon Gay Men’s Chorus.

This world premiere will be performed at well-known beauty spot West Weares, creating an outdoor experience that is sure to live long in the memory. Shame Chorus will also take over St George’s Church for a unique Sunday performance. This year’s diverse programme features exciting new commissions by artists Bridgette Ashton, Lee Berwick, Henny Burnett, Debbie Adele Cooper, Emma Critchley, Sadie Hennessy, Katarina Rose, Tim Spooner and Paul Wenham-Clarke. Underground military tunnels, submerged ship wrecks, climate change, tourism and Reliant Robins are just some of the ideas currently in production.

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About Charlotte Maxwell

Charlotte Maxwell is a Vada Magazine staff writer.