by Sian Williams.

Nigel Major-Henderson is one of the many artists contributing to the fabulous Adelaide Fringe who just so happens to be home grown, and if you haven’t heard of him yet, you will get to do so in the near future- he is a man with fingers in many pies.

A dancer and choreographer, performing and teaching in many capacities, Nigel Major-Henderson presents Strands which features 12 dancers he has carefully chosen to tell a story familiar in many genres, in this performance relating to our hair – just what does it mean and how does our hair influence our interactions with others?

Stemmed from viewing a speech with Barack Obama, Nigel started to ponder just how people would react if such a powerful and visible person suddenly changed their hair. Shaved, cut, styled differently, the media and the general critical public seem to have an opinion on just about everything and hair is not an exception.

“We notice every day that the news is full of comments and stigma about people’s appearance; what their haircut could suddenly mean, what it shows about a person, how a person may be feeling to change such a large part of the way they look. Why do we react this way and how is it different from very visible people like Obama or to the person next door? Is hair indicative of Power? What does it say about our personality and do we become a different person if we were to wildly alter it?”

When you do think carefully about it, it can seem almost ludicrous, it is after all ‘just hair’. Or is it? People’s opinions on someone they may even know very well can suddenly be challenged or interrupted by the distraction of someone appearing different – to how they did before, or how their own community perceives they are supposed to.

“Hair is a powerful tool, and it can influence how people think of you and how they react to you. So my point in this show is to demonstrate the many ways our hair does in fact communicate to others- we are dancers so we examine also the movement of hair and this is something we can freely utilise in the show. Movement. It’s very powerful!”

Nigel has worked as a leading dancer and  support in Restless Dance Company’s Youth Ensemble since 2010. The company is an award-winning and innovative movement which celebrates the wider, diverse community and works with able bodied dancers as well as dancers with a disability. Their performances and skills are moving, exciting and ever-changing and their calendar enjoys the opportunity for touring as well as the occasional guest choreographer involved in the programs.

Nigel is also the co-director of an exciting new dance school called Boom Dance Ink which offers many dance classes including the opportunity for SACE tuition in a variety of locations.

Half of the dancers in Strands are former students of Nigel’s; he enjoys sharing the opportunities he has been offered with deserving artists he comes across. Having such an eclectic and impressive background after achieving his Master in Dance in only 18 months, and being a sought after teacher at many schools in South Australia, Nigel Major-Henderson is a valuable and commanding choreographer and mentor.

His crew of 12 are fresh and innovative as is their leader, and this will definitely be a show worth seeing and supporting the bevy of local talent that we get a glimpse of at this crazy time of year. Spoil yourself and see something you may not otherwise had – this talented director and performer will ensure you leave thinking about the poignant message that we all so innocently convey to one another.

Strands performs at Channel 9 Kevin Crease Studios from 6.30pm on The Feb 19 until Sat Feb 21.

Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.

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