CAPA & Thomas Ragsdale

We teamed up Wakefield based Performing Arts College CAPA with Musician and Soundtrack writer Thomas Ragsdale to produce a one -off collaboration. The college students worked with Thomas and created a piece of contemporary dance as a response to his live set, which took place in the beautiful surroundings of Wakefield Cathedral, opening up our main stage on June 2nd.

Interview with Thomas Ragsdale:

As a live show, how was the commission project for you? Have you worked with dancers before?

It was brilliant! I’ve never done anything like this before and I’ve never even worked with any other non-music performers. The reactions at the gig were incredible, and I think it really took people by surprise. The dancers were amazing to be around too and were all 100% focused on the music and interacting with it.

What was the process for creating the collaboration? Did you have to pre-prepare the set for the dancers or was there still some fluidity?

I did a live recording at home and gave that to them as a near complete idea of how the performance will go. With me being a solo performer I tend to improvise a lot as I have room to bring new elements to the music without having to think of other performers, but being with the dancers encouraged me to prepare a little more in advance. They needed to know what was happening and when within the music, but they created a very flowing piece that allowed me to be loose and free with the music in places.

Do you feel the commission offered you a unique or new experience?

Definitely. It opened up a whole new visual aspect of the music. It’s something I’d definitely like to do again.

What’s next for you?

I’ve been very busy with recording music lately, so I have a lot of releases coming out for the rest of the year, as well as a few more festivals this Summer.