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Outwarding

Today is the final day of my residency at Dance City in Newcastle. Well, technically it’s “tomorrow” because I’m cheating and writing this a day earlier to save time for the looming deadline of Friday’s “sharing”. In Hink’s Five Facets model of creative processes, Assaying is followed by Articulating. ‘Articulating’ is the stage where the work becomes known, established, defined. But it simply doesn’t feel right to suggest that this is where I’m at. It feels impossible to know what a work is until it’s been “seen”. Which is why I’m skipping to Outwarding and placing Articulating aside for the final evaluation. I normally find sharings more terrifying than performances.…

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Assaying

Days 3 and 4 at Dance City for Creative Summer. Today was about Assaying. From Google: verb gerund or present participle: assaying 1. determine the content or quality of (a metal or ore). “the man who assayed gold was more than a technician” 2. archaic attempt. “I assayed a little joke of mine on him” Day 3 was about Attempting / Determining. I had to let go of my judgement of the movement material and just try (attempt) to find out (determine) what kind of thing this work could be. What kind of shape it might have. Josiah Hinks writes: In Assaying there are processes of probing, questioning, and detailed exploration…

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Raising

Whilst walking down the hill towards Dance City this morning, it occurred to me how the creative process is a lot like gardening. I was chatting to Andrew, who’s putting me up for the week, talking about his allotments and about learning to trust in the process of growth. I think that the availability of…

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Delving

Today was my first day of Residency at Dance City in Newcastle. Once again, I’m developing ‘Fold’, or some iteration of it. Working solo has become a natural thing for me. As has schlepping around a whole suitcase packed with projector, laptop, computer, tripod, cameras, a lot of postcards and other miscellaneous gadgets. Whilst preparing for this residency, I recalled an idea that Andrew Morrish taught during his solo improvisation workshop: if you build your own architecture in the space, then you’re not alone. By architecture he meant both real and imagined props, prompts, ideas that hang in the space with you. Frames? So far, ‘Fold’ has been a visual…

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The Virtuosity of Paying Attention

Have you ever played with a child? I mean spent time with them building castles that are never completed? Repeatedly banged out the same tune, because each turn never stops being highly amusing to them. Children have an innate ability to just play, not to find the meaning of things, but to explore the pleasure, run with it a while and then change, move on, let go. It’s highly frustrating for an adult, because we’re so used to seeing the end game, or seeing the point of it all. I know I am. The resounding impact of a 3 day workshop with the improvisation performer Andrew Morrish, was this realisation:…

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Being a little more brave

This week has been a very sad one. On Monday 16th October, Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist, was assassinated by a car bomb. Whilst I bare the same surname, she was only a distant relative. I think I only ever met her once. However her work was followed by everyone on the island. Her horrific…

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Fold – working title (2017 – Present)

‘Fold’ is a part video installation / part performance work. It uses 3 cameras relaying live video feeds projected back into the performance space.  Floor tape and wide ribbons in the space intersect with the architecture of the performance space and the framing of the three cameras, to create a fragmented collage of spatial relationships across…

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On Solo Practice

What are your thoughts, issues, frustrations, ideas around developing your work on your own? When you book yourself into a studio to finally get your ideas out of your head and into your body, or you’re super chuffed about getting a residency, you walk into the studio on your first day, all alone with your music and that bit of text you really liked…. then what? Does this way of working, work for you? A few weeks ago I decided to take a week off from teaching so that I could get back into the studio and move again, bringing my focus back into my dance work. I’m starting a…

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Bi-later-ability

Thank you all for your comments following last week’s post. It’s lovely to hear everyone’s reactions to what I’ve written and reminds me of the importance of this ongoing research and thinking around my teaching. So this week’s inspiration came from my new-found hobby of swing dancing. It’s a step up from ironing, and somehow continues from last week’s post, which you can read here. Swing is a social dance. You dance with a partner, either loosely facing or side by side. One person in the couple is the ‘lead’ and the other is the ‘follow’. This description is all highly simplistic I know, because you watch professionals dancing and…

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Form Follows Function

Last night I decided to tackle the pile of washing that’s built up over the weekend. I always find it so interesting ironing out clothes. It’s not just a simple matter of removing the creases, which is easy enough. Have you noticed how getting the side seams to meet is so crazily difficult? I have to adjust all my tops several times before I can fold them symmetrically. I’ve had a scoliosis since I was a teenager. It’s called an idiopathic scoliosis, assumed to have no real cause. It just popped up out of the blue. It’s a sideways (lateral) bending of the spine. A trained eye can see my…

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