Stairworks, Protein’s first piece for The Wapping Project, was commissioned as part of the Jerwood 10 X 8: Stairworks series, and guest–curated by Siobhan Davies. Eight choreographers were invited to make a 10-minute piece intended to be caught out of the corner of the viewer’s eye, and to play with the idea of what a dance performance could be and where it can be performed.
Stairworks mixes news coverage with Vivaldi’s music and images of men wearing only white bath towels. Performed on an outdoor staircase, it could only be viewed through windows and doors from the restaurant inside the building. Following its premiere, the piece became so popular (and re-named “the Boys in Towels” piece) that its filmed version went on to be shown on screens around The Wapping Project building in the following years.
“Protein’s piece (…) established a benchmark for dance pieces to come.” The Wapping Project On Paper
"This highly technical piece was humorous and very challenging...it was interesting to have limited sightlines and see only glimpses of the dancers. It gave the illusion that there were hundreds of them back there." Dance Insider
"Still provocative and complex, these works seem to spring from the air before leaving the space almost unchanged except in the memory and legacy of this fine company." Reviews Hub
“Urgent, Shocking and Meaningful” Number 9
Conceived and choreographed by
Devised and performed by
Sound design by
Lighting design by
Created, performed and filmed at The Wapping Hydraulic Power Station as part of Jerwood 10X8 – Stairworks 2001