Posts By: charlottes

Independent projects in the making

This month five members of our group are leading their own independent choreographic projects which will be presented as work in progress sharings at our Next Choreography Festival on Sunday 3rd July. Tonight is the second session out of four and I can feel a beautiful humming concentration and activity spread across the building as each of the artists sets to work. For me as their course leader it is an exciting and slightly strange sensation to leave the responsibility and leadership of each process to those five people. I am so curious to see what work emerges and how they choose to investigate, develop and shape their ideas. Some are working towards live performative works which will be presented throughout the building, and others are composing a space/exhibition.

New work is emerging from a new generation of makers. This is the best bit!


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A hive of activity

I realise that I haven’t written for quite some time on this blog, and now we are in the 3rd and final term of this year’s Next Choreography. We are starting to work with lots of attention towards the Next Choreography Festival on 3rd July. As much as wanting to share the choreographic work from some members of our group, we are keen that the festival celebrates the process-led, experimental nature of Next Choreography.

Today we’ve been making a draft version of a visual map that exists to document, archive, extrapolate and thread together the range of experiences and processes that each member of the group has been through – as both independent journeys and a collective body.

The studio is a hive of concentrated activity today – I shall certainly miss this energy, curiosity and commitment when we finish in July. What a privilege it is to spend time with inspiring group of women.

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Guest Artist – Lucy Suggate

Last week at Next Choreography, we had the pleasure of inviting choreographer and dance artist, Lucy Suggate to join us. Amongst her varied free-lance work, Lucy is the dance artist working with Siobhan Davies Dance on the Dancing in Museums project so it was great to have her with us to share some glimpses of her own solo practice.

I particularly love inviting guest artists in to our sessions at Next Choreography because it gives me the rare opportunity to both join in myself with the responsibility of leading the session, and allows me to observe the group working from more of a distance. Last week I witnessed everyone dancing with an impressive combination of abandon and concentration. I felt quietly proud.

A few thoughts from Lucy that have stayed with me:
How does material meet with space?
How can we attend to many things at once?
How might we notate/make a score for what we do?

Lucy will be with us again in a month, I look forward to seeing what might develop from that time together.


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New words for new weeks

Here are our words from the Book of Words from recent weeks. Last week, we were an usually small group and despite missing those who were ill or couldn’t make it, I found something very precious about working closely and quietly together. We zoomed into small details of listening, touching, sensing spaces and bodies. We finished by playing with the composition of writing about our physical experiences. I was so impressed by what sprung from the pages. I’m hoping that some of the group will share their writings here as well.

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Choreographic Experiments…so far…

I can’t quite believe that we’re already over half way through the first term of this new year of Next Choreography. But then, when I look back, I am reminded of how much we’ve done, seen, experienced and discussed. We’ve had Sanjoy Roy in to talk to us about writing about dance; we went to Farringdon NCP carpark on the opening night of Dance Umbrella to watch Of Riders and Running Horses by Dan Canham/Still House; we went to The Place to watch Ben Duke performing his solo work Paradise Lost (Lies unopened beside me); last week Ben came in and shared some of his working practice with us. We got to experiment with being as absurd as possible and making lots of weird noises as well as ask questions and learn about some of the intricacies and pervading curiosities that Ben is grappling with. We briefly grappled with him. I think it was strangely liberating for us all!

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Last night the group came prepared with pre-devised movement scores/written choreographies/sets of instructions to exchange between each other. In groups of 3-4, they had an hour to prepare a performance from the instructions that they received. Then we watched and discussed how it was to interpret instructions and how it was to watch others performing your vision – what was unexpected? new? If we didn’t see what we had planned, did it matter? If we were to do it all again, what might we do differently? Lots of food for thought and delightful surprises.

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Meeting the NEW Next Choreography group!

It’s been really lovely to start to get to know the new Next Choreography group over the last two sessions. We’ve dived into the deep end and I’ve already set them homework! But I’m confident that they will rise brilliantly to the challenge. This evening we have the pleasure of inviting Dance Critic, Sanjoy Roy to come and deliver a session about reviewing and writing about dance. We will be going to see Ben Duke’s (Lost Dog) solo show, Paradise Lost tomorrow evening at The Place theatre and Dan Canham’s (Still House) Of Riders and Running Horses next week as part of Dance Umbrella. So tonight should get us limbered up for watching, talking and writing about what we go to see.

In the mean time, here are a couple of photos and our book of words from our time together so far.



Book of Words Session 1
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In July we said a fond farewell to our lovely first cohort of the Next Choreography programme. It has been exciting to witness many big developments in their creative work and confidence over the last year and I wish them all well. Our final session together was a visit to the Barbican during that amazing Station to Station project, followed by a final discussion and then delicious dinner and drinks! It was brilliant!

In our final discussion, I asked everyone in the group to make one pledge/commitment to their on-going artistic practice over the next 6 months. And here they all are. Thank you all for a wonderful year, and good luck for everything that comes next!

Next Choreography 2014-15 End of Year Pledges
Amy M: To be constantly looking at things i.e processes, exhibitions and performances in a different light, and to continually ask myself questions specific to the the event but the process doesn’t have to be forced.
Emily G: To keep up my professional development, stay active, focused and curious and start making work with my friend/dance partner Leanne.
Elliot: To cross art forms when making work and to throw myself into new experiences as much as possible.
David: Teach 1 regular class, Dance 4 battles, Produce 2 works
Sasha: To find a regular dance class and go every week and also to make time to dance with friends.
Maddy: Push myself into other forms of art, rather than what I already know.
Sarah: To find a way to make everyone experience happiness through the arts!
Charlie: I will continue to question and follow the artistic roles of women.
Aura: I will keep on going!
Amy H: Put into action the ideas I’ve been working in on my project here so that they influence my discovery of a new urban landscape in Copenhagen. And to revive my Artist’s Way journey.

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Gearing up

Tomorrow is the finale of this first wonderful year of Next Choreography with our first Next Choreography Festival.  There will be performances, discussions, a writing seminar, a workshop, and installations. Plenty to get involved with and hopefully lots to feed your curiosity. The Next Choreography group will be hosting everything which is so exciting! It has been such a pleasure to work with this remarkable and thoughtful group all year and I wait with great anticipation to see what they all move on to next.

Tomorrow will be a celebration of the journey that they have travelled together and I hope that many of you can join us for some or all of the day. We start at 12noon with a writing seminar from dance critic, Sanjoy Roy and are open until 8.30pm – closing with Robbie Synge’s beautiful new work Douglas at 7pm. If you have not yet booked your ticket, then you still have time! BOOK HERE

Below are the last two weeks from our Book of Words.

Book of Words Term 3 Session 10
Book of Words Term 3 session 11
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Lucy Cash – film curation

We had the absolute pleasure of welcoming filmmaker and curator, Lucy Cash back last week. As part of the Next Choreography Festival we are planning to screen a selection of films and Lucy is supporting the curation of that aspect of the festival.

Exciting, mind expanding conversations were teased out through the session and I left excited, curious, uplifted and hugely impressed by my wonderful Next Choreography group – they are AMAZING! (Like a proud mother!)

Here is our book of words for the week and a picture from the discussion.

Book of words 5th May


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Kate Coyne visit and festival planning

It was really lovely to welcome Siobhan Davies Dance staff member, Kate Coyne to join us for our session on 28th April. Another insight into the work of the organisation, another fascinating career to hear about. We look forward to welcoming other members of the Siobhan Davies team later in the term to hear about them and what their role is.

We also spent some time during this session imagining up some of the activities that might take place during the Next Choreography Festival on 4th July. There are so many options and possibilities, I’m curious to see where we end up!

Here is our book of words from the session.

Ibook of word 28th April

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