OPENLAB: Facilitated by Butch Merigoni

Play and Performance
Facilitated by Butch Merigoni

19th October | 10am – 1pm | £7 suggested donation


Trusting in the unpredictable nature of art-making can be tough. Especially when the road we’re on isn’t paved. But if viewed through the lens of play, our work can become less heavy. In this laboratory, we’ll use playground games and purposeless activities to explore the elusive nature of collaborative performance making.

We’ll start with games like ‘tag’ and ‘capture the flag’. These activities will ground us in the present moment, help us manage uncertainty and encourage risk-taking. Following this will be purposeless tasks like ‘stack/climb/drag’ and ‘repeat that sequence’. These activities are a place from which unplanned happenings can emerge.

This lab encourages a flexible and inquisitive approach to collaborative performance making. It asks that we dive into those grey areas between intention and unplanned outcome with a centred and courageous mindset.



OPENLAB sessions are open to any performers: dancers, musicians, actors and anyone interested in presence and awareness in performance.

The facilitators of OPENLAB are also participants “in” the session and participants can propose their ideas for a future session. If you’d like to know more about this, come to one of our sessions or email Antonio de la Fe (

The sessions function on a pay-what-you-can contribution basis to cover expenses and as an incentive for the facilitator of the session. We suggest a contribution of £7 for the 3-hour long sessions (‘Facilitated OL sessions) and of £5 for the 2-hour long ones (‘White Canvas’).

Chisenhale Dance Space
64-84 Chisenhale Road
E3 5QZ


About the Artist:

My name is Butch Merigoni. I’m a drummer and arts educator from Brooklyn, New York. I play in the band, Beasty, a bass, drums and guitar trio that make aggressively angular songs. As a teacher, I work with elementary school kids as an arts and athletics mentor. All day we play games like ‘tag’, ‘when the big wind blows’ and ‘capture the flag’.

The lab I’m leading at Chisenhale came from playing ’freeze tag’ and feeling grounded in the present. It came from being in the middle of an intense game of ‘capture the flag’ and seeing the benefit of taking risks, even when the odds are against you.

For more information on my work: