Humanhood – ZERO

ZERO Trailer 2017 from HumanHood on Vimeo.

Humanhood are an exciting dance company based in Birmingham run by artistic directors, choreographers and dancers Rudi Cole and Julia Robert Pares. ZERO, their first full length dance piece, was the culmination of one and a half years of research and collaboration of which I was fortunate to be part of for several months in 2016. Humanhood’s work reveals a “curiosity for physics and human consciousness; observing and questioning the reality we live in. Humanhood is a platform for exchange, interaction & human creative interconnection.”

Humanhood’s creative process involves collaboration with artists from different disciplines including scientists, costume and light designers and musicians. They worked with several musicians to generate a library of material for use in the musical composition. Gyda Valtysdottir, Alex Forster, Shahzad Ismaily were involved early in the process and recorded a substantial body of material focusing on cello, electronics, voice and percussion.  Xhosa Cole and Azizi Cole then contributed additional wind and percussion. Working with this initial material I remixed and composed original music, expanding the sonic palate with studio manipulation and structuring the piece into a cohesive composition. I also produced the music in a form of surround sound called ambisonics. Presented over multiple loudspeakers that encircle the audience and the performers, the music occupies and travels around the entire performance space lending a aural dynamism that reflects the movements and physicality of the choreography.

The following audio excerpts are binaural mixes that capture the spatial dimension of the music. They should be listened to on headphones for the full effect.



ZERO was supported using public funding by Arts Council England and commissioned by mac Birmingham. Supported by ACE Dance and Music and DanceXchange. Created in collaboration with Birmingham University School of Physics and Astrophysics. ZERO premiered at mac Birmingham on 01.10.16.

A 15 min extract of ZERO won 1st Prize at Certamen Coreografico de Madrid 2016.

International performances in 2017 include:

8th June – Cadiz en Danza (Cadiz, Spain)
18th June –  Hannover Choreography Competition (Hannover, Germany)
29th & 30th June – M1 Contact Festival (Singapore)
11th July – Deltebre Festival (Deltebre, Spain)
8th & 9th September – Deagu International Festival (South Korea)


ZERO toured UK, Midlands venues in 2017

10th Oct – Arena Theatre Wolverhampton
12th Oct – Déda Derby
13th Oct – Drill Hall London
20th Oct – BHM Live Leicester (Extract)
16th Nov – DanceXchange Birmingham
17th Nov – Guildhall Arts Centre Grantham

Thanks to a commission by The Movement: Sadler’s Wells, The Lowry and Birmingham Hippodrome, Humanhood presented a 15 min excerpt of ZERO as part of Dance: Sampled, a showcase event presenting a diverse selection of dance from national and international companies.

2nd & 3rd Feb 2018 – Sadler’s Wells
17th Feb 2018 – The Lowry

Reviews of ZERO

“Humanhood brings us into a place that is other-worldly. – Throughout the piece, the lighting and sound has an impeccable effect. – It felt like a sound bath washing over us through whispers, bringing me into a rainforest that was trying to tell me unearthly things. – … the immersive virtuosity of Zero by Humanhood”
Arts Equator – Chloe Calderon Chotrani

“The moments of stillness, where the eye finally gets to rest, are deeply satisfying. Our minds switch to focus on their sound score, also containing global influences. – In the trance created by the dance exists a restlessness and a meditation. Their humanness swims in a sea of abstraction.”
Five Lines Asia – Bernice Lee

“The crowning achievement of the evening is ZERO (extract) by Humanhood. – The energy is thrilling, and the perfect synchronicity of the performance has the effect of doubling and mirroring that thrill.”
Exeunt Magazine – Ka Bradley

“Rudi Cole and Julia Robert blow us away with their forceful, whirlwind of a duet ZERO (extract). Travelling across the stage like the speed of light in mesmerising synchronicity” “Highly choreographed and deeply researched, it interpreted an unidentified universe starting from point zero. The perfect kinesthetic responsiveness to Armstrong’s music along with Horneman’s brilliant lighting design were two necessary ingredients for shaping a unique and impressive piece.”
The Place – Josephine Leask, Asteropi Tia Chatzinikola