Posts Tagged: Manifesto

Next Choreography Festival Rehearsals – With Martin Hargreaves

The NC festival rehearsals are in full swing, with only 3 weeks to go ! We have be running all over the Siobhan Davies building: from dancing in the lift, the changing rooms, the parlour and even outside in the court yard (let’s be grateful for the sunny weather over the past few days !). The Festival is looking to be a busy day, with a huge variety of choreographic pieces, art work, soundscapes and installations. The audience will also be welcomed to get involved with a workshop and several participatory pieces.

The NC cohort have also been working on an ensemble piece with guest artist Martin Hargreaves. This is focussing on the principle ideas of Signature, Theft & Translation and to what extent are these possibilities or what happens when we use these ideas within dance or choreography. Martin asked us to all devise a short phrase of movement, words or drawing which represented each of these words. Surprisingly, the greatest challenge for us as we approached this task was defining these words. Many of us soon realised that our personal ‘signature’  within movement, is perhaps also theft; we acquire gestures and habits from others and subconsciously are always ‘stealing’ –  we can never dance in a vacuum, as such. ‘Translation’ we decided felt less intentional or destructive than ‘Theft’, which to us symbolised taking movement or art that isn’t ours. Not simply copying, but also claiming ownership of it. Problems surrounding cultural appropriation were also stirred up with the idea of ‘Theft’ and how certain dance styles become appropriated by the mainstream media, with little regard to the original origins. Subsequent to devising our individual three pieces, we then worked in groups to combine our work. This lead to even more layers of watching other groups, recreating, remembering and recollecting their work, until we had several ‘meta’ works, all of which are intricate copies, translations and memories of other people’s work. And yes, it made our brains ache too when we did it!

The NC team have one more rehearsal with Martin this thursday before the dress run in two weeks time. I am interested to see how the piece will be finished, and if there are any more layers can add to the piece. By it’s nature, the spontaneity of the piece is a key element, so I am hoping that it won’t be a ‘finished’ or ‘polished’ piece as such, but rather a continuous exploration, even on the day itself.

If you’re keen to see this work, or simply have a passion for creativity, dance and community make sure you come to the NC Festival on Sunday 9th July at Siobhan Davies Dance.

Look forward to seeing you there !

Thank you,

Stella

Photo by Gorm Ashurst

Photo by Gorm Ashurst

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Manifesto for the Art of Being

Mon métier et mon art, c’est vivre.

(MONTAIGNE)

***

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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Cultivating curiosity

After many months of preparations and recruitment, Next Choreography has started! The group met for the first time last tuesday evening and we started out by making our own manifesto for the year to come – as a group what feels important to us? what are the guidelines/frameworks that we will hope to live by? The process of constructing this brought up some interesting and I think useful conversations about care, support, space for failure and vulnerability, space for making a mess and getting lost – seeing these as essential ingredients for creativity to thrive.

As facilitator of the course, for me, my strongest aims for this course are about cultivating curiosity. If each person in the group walks away at the end of the year with a clearer idea about what their practice is, what it is that they’re really really curious about, hungry to keep investigating it and a few tools in their pockets to help with that journey, then I will be happy.

Tonight the group are going to do Walking Stories – my most recent piece of artistic work – a choreographed group audio walk for green spaces. Let’s see how that goes down!

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