INTERVIEW | Tony Adigun on explosive UK Tour of critically-acclaimed Dance production of Fagin’s Twist.



Fagin's Twist is an explosive, captivating dance theatre production that is based on Charles Dicken's much-loved classic. However, this production delves into Fagin's story, an untold story of the notorious and complex villain with a mischievous twist. Following on from the critically-acclaimed 2016 premiere of Fagin's Twist and last year's highly successful tour, Avant Garde Dance and The Place have collaborated once again to present the piece again in a brand new tour. 

I spoke to Tony Adigun choreographer and creative director of Fagin's Twist, currently on tour around the UK this autumn. "The show was supposed to be Oliver Twist originally, and we spent some time looking at Oliver Twist ... but that’s something that wasn’t satisfying. I thought the story was one that everyone knew, and also it was a happy ending, in terms of the rich uncle coming to save Oliver," Tony explained. "I wanted to do something that was respecting the original, but was also changing something that everybody expected of the original."

"I’ve always be more interested in Fagin, because I think is the most complex one; I want to deal with his character, the character that everyone knows from the book and look at his journey before he gets to the point we all know about."

The production does present a less sympathetic spotlight on orphan Oliver. Fagin's Twist follows the Fagin in his youth, driven by greed and ambition in the face of overwhelming poverty. Asking Tony what drew him to this specific character, he said: "I think the jury’s out in terms of the lovable rogue and whether he was a bad person. So that was a more interesting route to go about. I’ve always been more interested in Fagin because I think is the most complex one; I want to deal with his character, the character that everyone knows from the book and look at his journey before he gets to the point we all know about."



There's a lot more to the production than the hip-hop contemporary style infused within it. "I think the amalgamation of all the aspects we've put together, in terms of the set, the prop control, the text, the dance, how they all come together - I think it's something that we're all really proud of and I hope people think it's innovative". And although this production isn't touring for the first time, Tony explains that this means they're coming back "with renewed energies, new cast members and new ensemble".

"We wanted to look at the structure of hip hop, the way it was presented, the music that was used, and really try to give birth to something new."

This UK tour of Fagin's Twist has brought a change to seven dancers and there are new main cast characters too. "We have a new Fagin this year and a new Bill, and we have one of the dancers, Sia, who's been there since day one in the ensemble, who are now playing Oliver". Part of the cast was recruited from Advant Garde Dances' Professional Development Programmes 'The Frain' and 'The Garde'. 

Incorporating hip-hop contemporary style into this dance production, especially surrounding it's story is an interesting fusion. I asked Tony about this use of hip-hop contemporary and how it intertwines into the story he's trying to tell through dance. "I think we wanted to look at the structure of hip-hop, the way it was presented, the music that was used, and really try to give birth to something new." 

Fagin's Twist is performing in various venues around the UK until 12 November 2018. You can find out information of venues and dates here.

You can read my review of Fagin's Twist here.

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