Posts By: charlottes

Book of Words Session 11

After all the talking, thinking, reflecting, absorbing, I felt that it would be great for this week’s session of Next Choreography should focus more on doing – a glimpse into next term, and a physical drawing together of many elements from different sessions within this term.

We did things with eyes closed and ears open, ears closed and eyes open, eyes closed and touching, eyes closed walking backwards. In fact lots of walking backwards! Opening all the senses, opening the possibility of sensing through our backs. Drawing on our need for negotiation, co-operation, and peripheral vision. We composed short things and manipulated them, we put them organised ourselves through various different systems – we watched/experienced the system at work. I was reminded of Ruth Little, Lucy Cash and Charlie Morrissey all rolled into one! We took over the building in two wiggly lines moving backwards, and without realising it or planning, our activity became a performative experience for all of the audience members entering the building to attend the Crossing Borders talk. Quite lovely! I’m looking forward to all that next term might bring.

Here is our book of words for the session

Book of Words Session 11
Walking backwards in lines
Walking Backwards in lines
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Book of words Week 10

Jane Packham came to Next Choreography to open a whole world of social media, technology and communications. Are we ever off the hook? How often do you look at your phone each day? Could you live without it? Who do you follow and why? How can we tap into all of that online, connected possibility to help us generate broader and bigger audiences in the arts? Lots of questions.

This was our book of words from the session.

Book of Words session 10
Communications session, week 10
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Dramaturgy is…

We’ve had a bit of a star studded term really, including sessions from Siobhan Davies, Charlie Morrissey, Lucy Cash and most recently Ruth Little. We’ve been to see Mirror City at the Hayward Gallery where we were lucky enough to be introduced to the exhibition by Frank Bock, and a couple of weeks ago we saw Jasmin Vardimon Company at Sadlers Wells. Tonight marketing expert, Jane Packham is coming to share some of her wisdom with us, and the first term of Next Choreography will end with a trip to the South Bank to see Candoco.

I want to share a few insights that I gleaned last week about dramaturgy from Ruth Little. Ruth has worked as a dramaturg for theatre and dance companies and with artists across the UK and internationally for over 15 years. Her approach to dramaturgy draws on the sciences of chaos and complexity and on the dynamic structures and processes of living systems. She currently works closely with Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui amongst many other artists.

So, a brief summation of some (but by no means all) of my notes

Dramaturgy is something that you ‘do’ not something that you ‘are’.
Dramaturgy is the relationship between movement and meaning.
Dramaturgy looks for patterns, looks for moments of changes, looks for possible meanings and impossible meanings.
Dramaturgy keeps the questions of the work alive.
Dramaturgy keeps feeding the questions that keep the work alive.
Dramaturgy keeps the flow of ideas flowing. It is an enabling role that believes in liquid networks.
Dramaturgy is a way of thinking.
Dramaturgy is ecological thinking (systems thinking) – small tip: if you say this to anyone who you’ve not met before, who doesn’t know anything about dramaturgy, then perhaps dash away after making this statement…it can take a while to explain fully and that is quite tiring!

Creative processes can’t be short-circuited: sitting with problems and watching the system is really important (though not always a comfortable experience).

Energy within any system dissipates over time – it’s no surprise then that things fizzle out – quite re-assuring really…

Thank you Ruth as always for sharing your huge breadth of knowledge and curiosity. Inspiring stuff.

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Working away

Last week was week 7 – are first week back after half term and the first time we were together without a guest artist or a visit since 30th September, so it seemed like a good moment to see where we’d got to. We made lots of maps – collective brain storming around Next Choreography so far. We talked about the things which have stayed with us/inspired us, and the things which have been difficult or challenging. We talk a lot about pressure – what happens when we feel under pressure, when we put ourselves under pressure, when our head gets in the way of our bodies being able to respond fully. We realised that we all share in this struggle at particular moments – it was comforting to share it! And then after all the map making and all the talking, in pairs, the Next Choreography group all created a response to something that had come up during the session. Everyone presented something. Everyone used their bodies, everyone had a clear strong idea that they decided to work with, everyone was able to work quickly. We surprised ourselves. I have a feeling that all the map making, visualising connections and relationships, sharing of experiences and thoughts etc helped produce the fertile ground for this quick, effective work that happened. Let’s try for more of that! This week we are off to Sadler’s Wells to see PARK by Jasmin Vardimon

A frame full of people - inspired by the Lucy Cash session

putting us in place

maps maps maps

maps maps maps

dancing over the maps

dancing over the maps

Map making exercise

working with the maps

Map making 3

Map making 3

Map making 2

Map making 2

Map Making 1

Map Making 1

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Book of Words Session 7 – Making Connections

Our book of words from the first session back after half term. We looked back over the previous weeks – what have we covered? What have we learnt? What inspired us? What challenged us? We looked at all the connections and interconnections between the varied experiences that we’ve had so far. A good moment to take stock.

Book of Words 7

Book of Words Session 7

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Our compositions with Lucy Cash

A few weeks ago, I had the real pleasure of inviting filmmaker and artist, Lucy Cash to the studios to lead a session with the Next Choreography group. Across the precious 2 hours that we had with her, each person had the opportunity to compose an image with a collection of random objects. Each set of choices and organising system became the subject of our discussions and interest, and we found ourselves completely fascinated and absorbed by the responses, narratives and complex web of intuitive and conscious choreographic/compositional decisions we each made.

Lucy photographed each completed composition. Here they all are, in the order in which they were created.

Lucy Cash Session - Aura

Aura’s image

Lucy Cash Session - David

David’s image

Lucy Cash Session - Charlie

Charlie’s image

Lucy Cash Session - Maddy

Maddy’s image

Lucy Cash Session - Amy M

Amy M’s image

Lucy Cash Session - Elliot

Elliot’s image

Lucy Cash Session - Sasha

Sasha’s image

Lucy Cash Session - charlotte

Charlotte’s image

Lucy Cash session - Sunan

Sunan’s image

Lucy Cash session - Cherilyn

Cherilyn’s image

Lucy Cash session - Emily G

Emily G’s image

Lucy Cash session - Emily G

the rest of Emily’s image!

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Book of Words – Lucy Cash

We had the immense privilege of having Lucy Cash lead our session at Next Choreography last night. 2 hours literally whizzed by as we, one by one composed objects within a given space and then discussed, analysed, observed these objects building histories and narratives and responses in us and around us. The conversation moved athletically between ideas about process, organising strategies, performance, framing, exposure, and felt experience. We started to realise how much we cared about and were invested in this simple arrangement of random objects. Ideas, suggestions, and varying reactions pingpong-ed around the circle. We found ourselves recognising our own creative decision making processes, being surprised and shocked by the choices of others, but all with in a wonderful environment of generosity and exchange. What a wonderful time – thank you Lucy for weaving your way through the conversation so eloquently, and probing for words and articulacy from us. Thank you, Next Choreography for all your thought, intelligence, and enthusiasm. Excited! These are your fabulous words from last night.

Book of Words: Session 5 - Lucy Cash

Book of Words: Session 5 – Lucy Cash


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