News: Clod Ensemble explores the placebo effect in new work

Monday 17 September 2018

Clod Ensemble

Renowned interdisciplinary performance company Clod Ensemble will premiere its latest production, Placebo, this autumn, with performances at The Place on 30 October – 10 November. Performed by seven dancers, the work explores the famous placebo effect, interrogating what is fake and what is real, and features costumes designed by London-based fashion label, Art School.

Directed by Suzy Willson with original music by Paul Clark (Clod Ensemble’s Co-Artistic Directors), Placebo follows seven performers through a series of ‘experiments’, some performed with the help of the audience. Sequences of both abstract and everyday movement are repackaged, distorted, repeated and abandoned in ways that inevitably affect the audience’s perception. Sometimes playful, sometimes brutal, Placebo revels in the fact that even something considered to be ‘fake’ can have very real consequences.

Suzy Willson, Clod Ensemble co-Artistic Director, comments:

“I’ve been fascinated by the research that shows how the colour of a pill can affect the efficiency of a drug, or that someone’s health might be improved after ‘fake’ surgery. But perhaps it’s not that surprising, after all, in the theatre, we are constantly playing with people’s perceptions and affecting how they feel. Our new piece Placebo plays with some of these ideas.”

Running alongside Placebo is a programme of thought-provoking events delving deeper into some of the questions the topic provokes. On 1 November at The Place, a panel discussion titled “Moving Medicine”: brings together leading practitioners and researchers from dance and health to explore the histories and futures of movement in health and well-being.

Placebo runs at The Place on 30 October – 10 November.

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