Posts By: saraht

Session with Siobhan Davies

Last week we were lucky enough to have an exploration of Siobhan Davies’ work Manual. The workshop consisted of giving one person laying on the floor instructions to stand up. Sounds easy enough?

Me:’Ok so, bend your your knees’
Partner (laying on the floor): ‘how do I bend my knees?’
Me:’By lifting them up?’
Partner: ‘I can’t just lift my knees, what else do I have to do?’
Me: ‘Engage your stomach muscles, keep your pelvis in line. As you gradually lift your knees the base of your feet should start to rest on the floor while your knees are coming up towards the ceiling.’
Partner (STILL laying on the floor): ‘Ok that’s much clearer, now what to I have to do?’

The exercise carried on all the way to standing in a similar pattern, as I slowly tried to give my partner clear efficient instructions to eventually reach a standing position.

The experience, was somewhat frustrating but a good laugh too. I learnt a lot from the workshop especially about how much of our body we have to use to do what we do so naturally as our daily routine. My patience was tested, but I also reflected gratefully that I had a body that was mobile, and could take part in these daily movements so effortlessly.

As I thought about how aware I had to be in my body while doing this exercise, I remembered all the times I’ve been on a train in rush hour where several people were getting cross with me because I wasn’t thinking about my rucksack on my back. As I had been standing on the train close to people forgetting that I also had a big rucksack invading others peoples space.

I have also been one for knocking things off of shelves in shops by accident, because I had not been thinking about the Rucksack and extra space I should be aware of.

After reflecting on last week, I have still felt grateful for the ability to move everyday. But I have also been much more aware of my Rucksack!

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Moving on to making

Getting it straight– Where I am with Next Choreography…

This week my one to one with Charlotte gave me a realisation on how my opinions and ideas are changing when working in a creative environment/ how I’m developing as a young person involved in the world of dance.

I think this course has taught me to set some time to allow myself to get interested in my own ideas. I’m exited to learn other strategies of making work. But allowing myself time to invest deeply into my scattery brain has made me fascinated in/on/over/under the bridge of ‘dancing’ and ‘not dancing’ people in pieces of choreography.

Now as we move on to our making term with Next Choreography, I have found myself regularly questioning,

‘How do I make spectators feel like they can relate to my work?’
‘Is day to day social interactions the ground work for my work?’
‘Is humour the most effective way to connect with the viewers?’
‘Is there always  a clear divide between ‘dancers’ and ‘non dancers’ when they are moving together?’
‘How important to me is it that my work gets shown to a reasonable sized audience?’

While I have had the chance to indulge in my thoughts and interests, it means that seeds have been planted for making work. And I’m glad that I have found the confidence to go purse these ideas.

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What is a dramaturg? What is dramaturgy? – Ruth Little

Ping pong balls, Spirals, Shell from the beach, Energy, Argument, Order, Disorder, Repetition, Nature, Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Everywhere, Chaos, Simple rules, Pattern, Rearrange, Repeat.

Living organisms all function in the same way, we look for patterns and change of patterns. For example the change of pattern in our voice in conversation keeps the other participants interested.

Nothing is new! Even our dreams are a jumble of everything in our past experience.

Although I have definitely not got a deep and detailed grasp on what a dramaturg is, even brushing the surface of dramaturgy provides hours of exploration and realisation. From what I gathered in our session, the role of a dramaturg working in dance is to make sense of the movement. By looking for patterns, connections and relations to act as roots to bring work together in a greater understanding.

A dramaturg can work alongside a company, a director/choreographer to dig deeper into an idea.

The most interesting example I took from the session on dramaturgy was a picture of a huge tree with a massive trunk lots of branches and filled with green leaves. Underneath the picture showed all the roots spreading through the surface of the ground to a much wider proximity. The leaves and branches represent the finished work, and the roots represent the the research of the dramaturg.

Ruth Little’s session made me realise that anything and everything is related in day to day life. It’s fascinating how closely everything is related! I believe this is very inspiring when creating work.

tree roots
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Hayward Gallery Reflection

On the 21st of October Next Choreography ventured out on a trip: Mirror City – the Hayward Gallery. All the members of Next Choreography split up and went on their own exploration of this exhibition. The exhibition had a wide range of interesting work from live dance, to sculptures to dance film. For me personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and found it really inspiring. But I also loved seeing all the participants of Next Choreography have the chance to wonder around the gallery and watch them get inspired by the work that was there. It was brilliant to see everyone making notes so they could remember how inspired they were by the pieces and reading into the detail of what each artist had to say about their work.

For me personally, I was particularly interested in a dance film work presented by Butler and Mirza. I made notes on it in the gallery and did some more research on this work on the train home. Conveniently, that week I had a tutorial for the essay for my Performance and Technology (Dance Film) module. During this tutorial I spoke to my tutor about what I had seen in the gallery and my tutor strongly suggested I wrote about it for my essay. We created an essay question I could address using the work from the Hayward Gallery and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole research and writing process!

This is not the first time that Next Choreography has really helped me with my University work. It has also made me realise how important it is to keep involved in all mediums of art, not just dance. I am excited and lucky to have this opportunity to be inspired weekly, and I wait impatiently for next week!

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My discovery of behind Table of Contents

During our 4th week on the Next Choreography programme we were lucky enough to get an insight into Table of Contents – Siobhan Davies Dance live movement installation. This was led by Charlie Morrissey (one of the co-collaborators) and Siobhan Davies.

Even during the first 4 weeks of the Next Choreography programme I have learnt so much about myself, ways of being creative, my piers and working with my piers. While I enjoy letting my mind ponder and think deeper into what we have been exploring in Next Choreography, this week I was left fascinated! The opportunity to listen, watch and ask questions to artists who work in a way I have only recently discovered, was a blessing.

On the train home I let my mind absorb the large content of fascinating knowledge brought to our workshop by Charlie Morrissey and Siobhan Davies. My fascination really lies on ways of  ‘performing’ or not performing to an audience, how the audience respond to that and the different angles of doing this. During the workshop I was lucky to experience a performance where I was made to feel like an active, rather than passive member of the audience. Through a topic I’m related to and interested in- the process from ape to human.

I decided that this way of breaking down or rearranging the hierarchy of the audience members and performers is something I have been inspired to explore! I am very excited to let this influence my work and explore it even deeper than we did in the workshop!

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