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Impact Driver
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Eve Stainton and two other performers are interlocked with legs and arms, floating collage-style above bright yellow text reading IMPACT DRIVER and two people in welding suits welding steel on a workbench

Photography by Anne Tetzlaff, 3D Typography by Bora AKA Pauline Canavesio, collaging by Eve Stainton

Artist and performance maker Eve Stainton releases their new choreographic commission, Impact Driver. Featuring live welding, movement, and live sound, scored by Leisha Thomas and Mica Levi.

Impact Driver is interested in methodologies for constructing thriller-like suspense. How suspense can be sustained as the main event, in the absence of a climax or traditional resolution. Borrowing the logic from a welding workshop, Stainton foregrounds activities that require live negotiation and decision making; making visible how scenes and objects take their shape, and continue to move through meanings. Atmospheres, garments, feelings and materials, generative and in tension.

Working with time-based notions of being ‘caught in the act’ and ‘on tenter hooks’, Stainton explores how suspense as a rumbling undercurrent has the potential to punctuate lesbian and trans-masc identities. Haunting, time stretching, absurdist.

‘Welding is potent for me in so many ways- its strong alchemical presence, its extreme theatricality, its capacity for danger/excitement/drama/power/thrill, its sensuality, its brashness.’ 
– Eve Stainton

Featuring an ensemble from different creative backgrounds who don’t usually work in the field of dance, this research continues Stainton’s work in celebrating the gender non-conforming lesbian and trans-masc experience, of which there are many, and what foregrounding these identities means to the white western Contemporary Dance canon.


Concept and Choreography: Eve Stainton 

Performance: Tink Flaherty, Romeo Roxman Gatt, Imani Mason Jordan, Mica Levi, Eve Stainton & Leisha Thomas

Sound World: Leisha Thomas & Mica Levi 

Producer: Michael Kitchin 

Set Design and Fabrication: H S Design Studios

Production Manager: Helen Mugridge 

Lighting Designer: Charlie Hope 

Costume Designer: Ella Boucht 

Welding Manager: Hester Moriarty Thompson 

Dramaturgical Support: Liz Rosenfeld & Jamila Johnson-Small 

Access Dramaturg and Embodied Writer: Kat Bailed

Artist Care Person: Seyi Adelekun and Madinah Farhannah Thompson 

Artist Support Worker: Andrew Mitchelson

Choreographic Support: Florence Peake 

3D Typography: Bora AKA Pauline Canavesio 

About the materials
 The steel is sourced from FHBrundle suppliers and will be recycled after the performance. This research acknowledges the complexity of the UK steel industry, both historical and current – with the closure of steel factories in the North of England in the 1980s under Thatcher and the affect this had on marginalised groups, music subcultures and the colonial and environmental implications.
Co-commissioned by Sadler’s Wells, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Take Me Somewhere, Wysing Arts Centre and Dansehallerne. Supported by Bergen Kunsthall and Wainsgate. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. With thanks to Phyllida Barlow Studio for steel donation.
Eve Stainton is an artist interested in the politics of uncodeable queer presence and its intersections with race and class. They create multidisciplinary performance worlds that hold movement practices, digital collage and welded steel, and other invisible forces like waves, imagination and drama. These forms work together to create live ecologies that are discordant, multilayered and psychedelic. Stainton is interested in the production of conflicting states and textures to unravel essentialist thinking, with intent to create more expansive understandings of the lesbian identity, non-gender/variance, and perceptions of the ‘real’. 

Notable presentations include: Commission Dykegeist for ICA (2021), Close Encounters (DK), Le Guess Who (NL), Horizon Showcase (UK), Bergen Kunsthall (NO), Tanzquartier Wien (AT), My Wild Flag (SE), Dampfzentrale (CH), Manchester Billboards commission (UK), PCS Prize exhibition (PT), Venice Biennale performance programme with Florence Peake (IT), Block Universe (UK), The Place (UK), Nottingham Contemporary (UK), Crac Occitanie (FR), Sadler’s Wells (UK), La Becque (SE), LCMF (UK), CCA Glasgow (UK), Tangente (CA). Features include AQNB, FACT Mag, BBC Radio Manchester, Dazed Beauty, Twin Magazine, Crap Zine, Art in America, This is Tomorrow. Work for other artists include Anthea Hamilton, Tai Shani, Serafine1369, Sonia Boyce, Malik Nashad Sharpe, Holly Blakey, Goldfrapp, Vivienne Westwood, Claire Barrow, Art School, Molly Goddard, walking for London/Shanghai/Paris Fashion Weeks.

Pre-show information + Audio Description
Audio description intro (document)
Audio description intro (audio)

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Two people with their limbs intertwined
Photo: Anne Tetzlaff
Even Stainton kneeling with welding goggles on
Photo: Anne Tetzlaff