Welcome to the Siobhan Davies Dance blog

Siobhan Davies Dance is an investigative contemporary arts organisation, founded and led since 1988 by choreographer Siobhan Davies.

Watch this space for updates from our artists, curators, project coordinators and participants on a whole range of our projects.

Improvisation Scores with Seke

I see this map nearly everyday and on the way back from Next Choreography. It always stood out to me because it is so short and uncomplicated compared to the other tube maps. I’m not sure why, but today it reminded me of the improvisation scores we created last week (1/12/16) at NC.

Just to clarify, a score could be any rule or structure used in improv, for example you can’t stop moving. We decided it would be a good idea to create a score where all the dancers either had to be in eye contact with one other dancer or have their eyes shut, easier said than done, that’s for sure. We had more than one score, just to complicate things – like laughing if you heard someone else laugh or trying to go up or down at the same time as the other dancers (very difficult with your eyes shut.)

Going back to the image, the white circles with the line between the two for some reason,  reminded me of trying to dance with my eyes shut and blindly searching for someone to make eye contact with. When dancing, we somehow had a sense of where we were going and how to get to each other, without the need for vision.

Thank you Seke for the eye-opening session, hope you feel better Amy !unnamed

Stella

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What is contemporary dance?

I am very grateful that I am currently a member of Next Choreography 2016-7. This programme is a yearlong initiative for 14-24s which explores choreographic devices across various mediums at Siobhan Davies Studios.

The studios are just a short walk from Elephant and Castle Station. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by creatives in many different disciplines and stages in their careers. We have an enriching mix of dance graduates, those studying GCSE/ A Level dance, those training to be professionals, as well as some who enjoy dance amongst an assortment of wide ranging interests such as mechanical engineering, photography and theatre.

At the first session in September, I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought we’d bust straight out into some kind of hyped up super advanced session with someone screaming out obscure directions such as “Be the music. Be the space!” with tons of French sounding terminology.

Thankfully, it didn’t unfold like this.

We had a chance to write down questions, fears and elements we’re excited to explore this year. These were some of my questions:

 

What is choreography?

What is contemporary dance?

What are contemporary dancers?

What is it with the leggings pulled up on one leg? The source of your powers?

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Hopefully this year I’ll learn the answer to these questions and more…

 

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Manifesto for the Art of Being

Mon métier et mon art, c’est vivre.

(MONTAIGNE)

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I refuse to perform. I will be.

If the performance of everyday tasks or interactions could be as finely and thoughtfully executed as my best dancing, sure – I would do it.

But what is creation, what is change, what is progress if they are not sustained, nurtured day after day?

What is conveyed on stage or praised in the studio should also be part of people’s life outside.

To be generous on stage and selfish on the street? To strive for technical perfection and forget about ethics or basic considerations?

Franchement, non.

Turn off the spotlights. Do you still move the same way? Or have you suddenly lost your dancer’s costume?

 

Inspired by:

MANIFESTO

FOR MAINTENANCE ART 1969!

Proposal for an exhibition “CARE”

MIERLE LADERMAN UKELES

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‘The Thinking Body’ Primary School planning

Hello!  This is a group post from the SDD Primary School Programme Dance Artists.

We have just completed six wonderful days of Research and Development based on Siobhan Davies Dance new work material / rearranged / to / be. Last week the choreographers of the work opened the rehearsal doors and invited us to observe, absorb and ask questions about their creative process.  We felt so lucky to have this insight and be able to discuss ideas directly with them.

The work is full of fabulous and inspirational ideas which we are now distilling to share with primary school teachers and their pupils in a number of London schools and HE institutions.

The overarching theme for our planning has been ‘The Thinking Body’ and we hope to promote the awareness and connections of thought and movement, brain and body, the felt and the imagined.

Watch this space!

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Here we are: Sarah Poekert, Jo Rhodes, Marie Forbes and Cheryl McChesney.

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Welcome to the Primary School Programme blog!

 

Siobhan Davies Dance primary school programme has been in full swing since 2007.

To date we have worked with 1,542 pupils and 1,650 teachers directly, with a further 4,900 teachers engaging in our digital resources. If every teacher we have worked with teaches content informed by our work to just one class of 30 pupils, we have reached 198,042 pupils so far.  We have big ambitions to reach far more children because we believe in the power of dance to engage, enrich and inspire, and more importantly we believe in the importance of embodied intelligence.

Our approach is a little different from most other dance opportunities. We have no taught steps. Our artists facilitate tasks that enable participants to consider, respond, investigate, experiment, create and structure movement. The empowerment, ownership and creativity that unfolds is magical!

This blog is a space for our primary school specialist dance artists and participating teachers and pupils to share and reflect on their work, with the hope that more teachers, pupils and artists might be inspired to give it a go, or work with us.

Welcome and enjoy!

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