Joli Vyann performing Stateless © Gigi Giannella

BEAF 2023’s Stateless is an immersive acrobatic performance unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Its unique soundtrack features spoken word excerpts of real-life interviews with refugees and asylum seekers, alongside the pulsating rhythm of the Taiko drums played live on stage.

Created by Dance Circus company, Joli Vyann, Stateless explores the topical subject of immigration, humanity and tolerance. This powerful performance takes audiences on an emotional journey into the lives and fate of people forced to leave their country of birth.  

For BEAF 2023 Arts Festival, Joli Vyann has worked with participants of BEAF Arts Co’s Seeking Refuge Project. The soundtrack combines voices from the refugees with the experimental sounds from Japanese composer Nao Masuda and Iranian musician Babak Barbod. 

“Collaborating with Nao has been very enjoyable,” explains Babak. “I’m always looking for new experiences and I feel that the only place that reminds us humans that we are all equal and have a common language is art.”

Seeking Refuge is an ongoing initiative working with people seeking asylum in the UK and young unaccompanied refugees, through regular creative workshops. “[Projects such as Seeking Refuge], in my opinion, is a positive thing,” confirms Babak. 

“It causes artists from different countries who have been forced to seek refuge in England to gather together and produce artistic works. It gives them hope.”

Stateless is a theatrical dance performance performance that’s also very accessible. Its creators, dance circus company Joli Vyann, successfully blend meaningful storytelling with high dynamic circus tricks. 

“Stateless 2023 is more about the feeling that we’re living in a climate where anyone could be a refugee at any point. It’s a global crisis and it affects everybody,” explains Joli Vyann co-founder Olivia Quayle.

“Hopefully people [in the audience] will be able to relate to the characters on stage and to be able to go on a journey with us,” Olivia continues.

Stateless is taking place on Friday 23 June and Saturday 24 June from 7-8pm at Bournemouth Foodbank as part of Refugee Week. Tickets for performances are on sale now, with all proceeds going to Bournemouth Foodbank.