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Probe in rehearsal for Running On Empty. Image © Zoe Manders

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Humans: fascinatingly intricate animals by Eve Stainton

Monday, 30 March 2015 09:54

The Old Market Theatre in Hove hosted Victor on 24 March. A piece by Jan Martens and Peter Seynaeve which brought a 16 year old boy and young man, Viktor Caudron and Steven Michel, to share the same mass of lowly lit space.

I got the feeling something extraordinary was about to happen.

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Image © Phile Deprez

We were presented with a long period of time, which encouragingly granted us the permission to study Viktor and Steven’s bodies; the skin surrounding their soft eyes, the placement of the lower rib, the delicate protrusion of the stretch of the collar bone, the difference in thickness of the lower arm, the age of the torso. I searched for comparison and, among all the differences, there appeared to be a growing similarity between the two. The interestingly small age gap highlighted the idea of innocence and experience in a tensioned play of power, tact and reliance. Boyhood, manhood and the merging mid ground. Their bodies were alive, which seemed quite obvious, but somehow new. I felt privileged by their humble presence.

This period developed into a dense quietness, which seemed to give birth to a well of conceptual thoughts. During this time, still near the beginning, I found myself wondering if it’s sufficient to explore youth and age by showing youth and age. My conceptual brain was craving to see something radical, like two odd buildings placed next to each other whose shape and distance could subsequently invoke thoughts of relationship, time and humanity. I realise this is absurd. It makes me wonder why, or if, it is in our nature to personify things? Perhaps personification offers comfort in knowing our surroundings, a deeper familiarity to the world we live in, things can become something we share our world with on an emotional level, for reassurance and safety. But maybe that has nothing to do with it. Maybe this simply comes down to my own need to analyse and be challenged by what I see to the point of impossibility. It was then, during this silently brewing whirlwind, as Steven and Viktor slowly planted their synchronised feet through a locked gaze, I uncovered a deeper connection which relieved me from naivety. What we saw here is everything. The fundamental simplest form of representation. We witnessed what was happening and saw what we relate everything else to. Bodies, generations, sensitivity, humans, buildings, life… From then on, my relationship to the piece was existing within another realm, one elevated from the microcosmic action.

I’ve found myself feeling the importance of another side to the piece which seems too relevant to miss, but difficult to tackle (and probably shouldn’t be difficult to tackle). A predominant thought for me was sex; sex in a sense of desire and needs. During the post-show talk, there was an important discussion regarding paedophilia, which we learnt was also heavily acknowledged during Jan and Peter’s process; when does something become paedophilloic? Not that the piece was about this, but that it had been brought up previously in conversation post show. Somehow for me it wasn’t so prevalent, perhaps because I had a subconscious want for it not to be a theme in case it uncovered a dark side to the piece that could morph it into something far from my personal journey. I felt it was cleverly crafted in such a way that allowed for many responses, for me this section was concerning sexualised desires of a man in comparison to a boy and the consequence of the two happening simultaneously. A beautiful section that explored this involved Viktor being held repeatedly in different places around Steven’s body to create a sequence that increased in pace and intensity. As Steven grew more tired, his breath became audible in a rhythmic pattern mimicking the sequence. It culminated in Viktor’s torso slapping against Stevens back, forcing an exhausted breath out of Steven’s body. This conjured thoughts on dependency. The smaller body was completely dependent on the strength and decision making of the supporting body almost in need for comfort, whilst the supporting body needed something different for his satisfaction, a human as a sexual being, whilst still being responsible for support. Viktor was off the floor for the entirety of the section. I thought about growth, development, innocence, need, strength and nurture. This was realised at the very end of the piece, as Viktor was again lifted from his feet to a weightless place of heavy dependency. It was married with gospel, spiritual sounds which filled the room with an emotional cloud of realisation, ongoingness and the constant unfolding of time. It held the reassurance that, aside from wants and needs, wisdom and adult nurture will take over and that willingness to protect is a human instinct. An absolute sacrifice for support. Viktor was in the air because Steven was on the ground. And I was living somewhere in between.

 

Can You Tell What It Is Yet?.... By Ms.Merized

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 10:26

ANIMAL / VEGETABLE / MINERAL: Michael Clark Dance Company, Brighton Dome Wednesday 11th March 2015

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Show & Tell

The clue had to be right there in the title of Michael Clark's latest dance production at the Brighton Dome Wednesday 11th March, harking back to the hugely popular long-running TV & radio show, otherwise known as '20 Questions' - a game of deduction with 3 categories: Animal (alive); Vegetable (growing); mineral (not alive, doesn't grow & comes from the ground) being the only clue given to the panel at the start of each round where the word must be correctly arrived at through a filter of questions. The audience, however, are privy to 'the mystery voice' announcing, for them only, the word to be identified. In this context a single spotlight was focused on a performer down on the auditorium floor - the visual equivalent of an aside - before the performance / game began. In keeping with the general cluelessness at the start of the process we had very little to go on, unable at this stage to even guess at gender: dancers looked identical. The music too gave little away, sweet and level in tone for several tracks.

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Clues EveryWhichWay

With each question asked, or dance performed, a little more is revealed. It's possible, however, to think you know the answer, only to discover you've been on the wrong tack entirely. Clue succeeds clue: the dots still need to be connected. If for any reason you miss the word given at the start, it can be hard work getting clued up, but the false leads and misinterpretations are part of the fun of the game. Everything is a possible clue & this worked so well with lighting by Charles Atlas; costumes by Stevie Stewart, and music by Relaxed Muscle; Scritti Pollitti; The Sex Pistols; Pulp & others; plus little details, like 'drawing' (in a lyric) mirrored by the action of a dancer's leg (delightful!); and hand signals that showed: Pointing (indication / selection); Beckoning; Negation / Denial. All clues! With a lot of backtracking in the 4th piece: dancers reversing before advancing: recapping: eliminating dead leads, making new connections like professors & clerics (hands held behind the back). 

'You can find a station with talking...' went the line of a lyric (dancers as radio tuning dial, and listener). Words should make things, but not always. Think of the scope for misinterpretation due to the absence of tone/ expression when texting which, like tofu, takes on the flavour of the recipient's state of mind. Text appeared on the back screen: disordered, back-to-front, random, sequential, breaking up. We seek to connect; search for meaning, look for signs & signals; tune in to wavelengths & good reception in the human zoo of life, where we're all performers of one kind or another. The costumes signalled significant developments along the way, from homogenous genderlessness to greater definition: 3 disparate colours up-front, shadow element behind, to a final glorious burst of orange. If the Oscars in the Oscar-making factory could party, they'd look like this, I found myself thinking; with just a hint of Clockwork Orange in dancer-as-chair pose. The audience was dazzled by mirror-spotlights: we were all in it together. 

Mass media; mass production, and all-in-all a massive success, although there were times we were completely in the dark; but then - That's Animal / Vegetable / Mineral for you! 

Good game! Good game! We all came out Winners - Thanks to the Michael Clark Company.

Blog post by Ms.Merized. Read her blog here.

 

Q&A with Sally Abbott

Monday, 02 March 2015 10:50

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Name: Sally Abbott

Job Title: Director of Arts and Culture, Canterbury Christ Church University
Relationship to South East Dance: Chair of the Board of Trustees

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An ice skater! Until a friend and I found a frozen pond to practice on and fell in - the glamour of ice skating just seemed to disappear.

What is the worst job you’ve done?
I was promoting a new chocolate chip cookie and had to wear this huge bear costume and walk around a supermarket - I just remember how hot it was but at least no one recognised me!

What first got you interested in dance?
As a kid I loved dancing in front of Top of the Pops. Amazingly I didn't join Pan's People but instead went on to train at Laban after being hugely inspired and mesmerised by 1920's films of the black American dancer Josephine Baker.

What is the most memorable performance you have seen?
Vaguement Derrière by Alias, choreographed by Guilherme Botelho. I think it was 2004 and I was completely blown away by the intense physicality of the dancers and the complex and yet moving choreography.

What is your favourite disco move?
Currently it's the one that gets me to the bar the quickest.

Who do you most admire, and why?
Peter Brinson - he was a dance educationalist but also a script writer, editing many dance films. He directed the pioneering Royal Ballet's Ballet For All, which took ballet to small towns and villages across the UK. I had the privilege of spending a year studying under him in 1982, when he became Head of Postgraduate Studies at the Laban Centre after he offered me the Laban scholarship for that year.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Karl Marx, Josephine Baker and John Coltrane.

If you were a kitchen utensil, what would you be and why?
That question is too daft to answer.

What would your super power be?
I would like to be able to fly.

What do you wish you had more time to do?
Train my young horse out on the South Downs - we are starting to compete now and I have high hopes for us but only if we practice, practice, practice......

 

Charlotte Vincent - Snap Shot

Monday, 02 March 2015 10:28

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Look At Me Now, Mummy © Matthew Simpson.

Written by Charlotte Vincent

Look At Me Now, Mummy
 is a comi-tragic one-woman show made with Charlotte Vincent’s longest term Polish collaborator Aurora Lubos in 2008, eight months after she gave birth to her first child. VDT is restaging this work in 2015 as part of 21 YEARS / 21 WORKS is a live and online collection of Artistic Director/Choreographer Vincent’s film and production work from 1994 to 2015, touring this spring.

Look At Me Now, Mummy is an intimate, funny and moving portrait of a mother’s desire to look the part, whilst not really knowing what part it is that she is supposed to be playing. It’s about trial and error and theatrical failure, with a baby always crying somewhere in the distance.

Surrounded by the detritus of an imaginary child’s birthday party, the piece finds Aurora caught in the wanderings of her own vivid imagination, filling her time with meaningless gestures, pointless games and invisible friends. Maybe she’s just had a baby and she can’t cope. Maybe she’s a woman longing for a child of her own in a desert of childlessness. Maybe she’s a would be mother who has lost several babies. The narrative is non-specific, allowing audiences to project their own experiences onto a series of images and vignettes, which are desperate and funny in equal measure.

Look At Me Now, Mummy explores the ‘performance’ involved in being a mother, the hiding of painful truths, the loss of social skills, the closing in of one’s life to operate mostly in the kitchen. Look At Me Now, Mummy acts as a metaphor for personal failure: we see Aurora trying to make sense of her existence whilst it collapses around her. The work becomes a portrait of a woman lost in her own imagination – practicing scenes from a life she will probably never lead.

Look At Me Now, Mummy touches on the choices women make in life – to remain child free or to look after a child and risk losing your own way, exploring a place in between that choice which is ambiguous, funny, dark and deeply challenging.

‘Vincent’s feminist subtext never overpowers Lubos’s exquisitely pitched performance or compromises the choreography’s harrowingly sustained focus. Small but beautiful.’
Luke Jennings, The Observer

See the work as a 40 minute performance or a 3.5 hour durational work, alongside the epic UNDERWORLD as part of #VDT21

5-7 March, Shoreditch Town Hall, London

8 March, WOW Festival, Southbank Centre, London

11-13 March, Warwick Arts Centre

18 March, DanceXchange, Birmingham

27 March, Yorkshire Dance, Leeds

12-13 May, Brighton Festival: Corn Exchange and VDT Space at New England House

 

Liz Aggiss on calming down...or not

Monday, 02 March 2015 10:16

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Image © Joe Murray.

Written by Liz Aggiss

Liz Aggiss has been making dance work for the past 35 years. Born on Nanny Goats Common, Dagenham, Essex, a post war baby, into a repressive era in the suburbs, where parents were truly in charge and children were seen and not heard, Liz never had a clue who she was or what she wanted to do, she just knew she would like to be seen and heard. After cantering into the sunset, as soon as was decently possible, she accidentally stumbled into the arts and started moving in a mysterious manner and shouting………rather a lot.

The question is 'Have you calmed down yet Elizabeth? Have we all calmed down a bit too much?'

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Image from The English Channel at Open Look Fesitval 2014 © Liz Aggiss.

Most little girls growing up in the 50's were conditioned to be calm. Any whiff of passion, exuberance and feverish excitement was classified as hysterical. And we all know how history has dealt with hysterical women!

A few years ago, at my father’s funeral, a childhood neighbour who had been driven insane by my constant pounding of balls against her wall, staggered up to me and said: Have you calmed down yet Elizabeth? Though slightly surprised, this is part of my personal history and instead of considering it a burden, I realized that I have channelled that self-same energy into a career and an art form.

Serenity would not have inspired Calm Down Dear! an annual festival of feminism at Camden People's Theatre referring to David Cameron's instruction to MP Angela Eagle. Indeed why not publicly infantilise and patronize a woman in one easy breath? Twat!

Hilde Holger was my inspirational teacher whose survival was dependent on her frothing creative drive. I wonder if she, or Germaine Greer, or Vivienne Westwood, or Louise Bourgeois, or Pina Bausch would have bothered if they had all just calmed down a bit?

Calmness does not undo cultural restrictions, preconceptions and attitudes towards the mature female body.

I am branded maverick, indomitable, indefinable, subversive, anarchic, uncategorisable, fearless, funny, uncompromising, powerful yet vulnerable. Better that than 'Liz Aggiss is calm'.

Performance is transitory. Allow me to burn into your retinas and wake you from a feverish sleep littered with visual provocations.

Being calm, irritating institutional mediocrity would pass me by. Being calm I would err on the side of caution. That's a fail in my job spec.

Being calm I would not ask my audience 'Do I please you or do I please myself?' And I would certainly not reply ‘F..k it! I'm 60. I'm going to do what I damn well please.’

Calm down by all means if there is a paucity of ideas, an arid un-mineable landscape. The inability to crash and thrash is no reason to calm down but should inspire risk and invention of the unknown. If the flesh is weak, find alternatives, but for pity's sake do not calm down.

And a final thought, I ask you to consider this: Have we all calmed down a bit too much? And if so, why? Why calm intellectual rigor and allow rigor mortis to set in?

There's a whiff of passion, exuberance and feverish excitement in the air whilst I am lodged in the throes of research and development for a new solo production A Bit of Slap and Tickle - a dark and ribald physical commentary on cultural morays, forays and sexual taboos. Ooooooer missus let's sweep that one under the carpet! Sound calm to you?

The research for A Bit of Slap and Tickle is funded by Arts Council of England, Dance4, South East Dance. ICIA Bath, with support from VDT & LADA and is currently under construction with a preview on 6 Nov at Yorkshire Dance in Leeds. I calmly invite interested programmers to contact me.

As The English Channel, I am a conduit to channel wilful women, and a cultural carrion feeding off archives and resources, commentating on life and death, and the pain, pleasure and paradox of the stage and will continues to do so touring to: Liverpool Leap Festival Thurs 12 March The Capstone Theatre: Norwich Arts Centre Wed 25th March: Duckie Royal Vauxhall Tavern London Sat April 4th 11pm (extracts): The Place London Fri 24th April

www.lizaggiss.com

 

Spotlight on Brighton Oasis Project

Monday, 02 March 2015 10:09

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Image © Young Oasis - Holiday Art Groups.

Written by Emily James-Farley: Project Coordinator (South East Dance)

Brighton Oasis Project (BOP) Artist in Residence is a new project for South East Dance, one that we are particularly passionate about.

BOP is a women only service that supports those in recovery from substance misuse in the heart of Brighton. They offer a non-judgemental approach, empowering the women to make positive changes. Since 1993 BOP has been successfully helping women and their families address problems that are impacting on their lives.

Local artists Laura Woods and Anne Colvin will deliver a two year programme of dance activity for the women and children at BOP. They will explore dance styles, movement, creativity, nature, nutrition and wellbeing through classes, workshops, sessions with invited artists, trips to the theatre, walks, and talks.

South east Dance has been developing this project with BOP for some time now and we are delighted that it has finally been made possible with funding from the Rayne Foundation. This money will allow the women and children to access new opportunities to engage in free activity . Anne, Laura and South East Dance are working closely with the team at BOP to ensure that a sustainable, fulfilling programme is developed that will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the lives of those who participate.

At South East Dance we believe that dance can transform lives – it is physically, mentally and emotionally nourishing. This activity will complement the brilliant work at BOP in supporting vulnerable women and children and aiding their recovery; we hope that it will open doors to new relationships, opportunities and experiences.

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Written by Anne Colvin and Laura Woods: Artists in Residence

We are excited about having the opportunity to consult with the women and children and work together with the staff at BOP to develop a programme that allows for exploration, connection, discovery and progression, both artistically and with a focus on improving well-being.

It is important for us that we offer activity that is accessible, relevant and meaningful, celebrating the art of dance balanced with an appreciation for the holistic benefits that dance and arts participation can offer. We would like to build transparency in our processes, sharing the tools and the journey with the women and encouraging them to adapt and own these creative ways of approaching life.

We hope to share the different aspects of dance as a recognised artform encompassing a wide range of styles, energies and creative approaches, and to nurture a desire for participants and staff to embed creative practices in their lives daily. Participation in dance activity can be fun, reflective, challenging, playful, tiring, nourishing of body and mind - and is utterly inclusive; we want to be able to share all these aspects with the women and children so that they can embrace, participate and celebrate a fresh path, and continue to connect with dance activity around the city and beyond.

We’ve just started on this exciting journey...so watch this space!

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Written by Wook Hamilton: Project Coordinator (Brighton Oasis Project)

We are really happy to have the dancers in residence on board. It’s such a fantastic opportunity to give the women and children who attend our service the chance to dance and be creative along the often difficult road to recovery. I look forward to seeing the project develop and welcoming the creativity of dance into the organisation.

 

DV8’s John by Laura Edmans

Tuesday, 17 February 2015 12:34

DV8’s John was on for 2 nights in Brighton. I went twice.

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Hannes Langolf in John

There was such a buzz around the performance and a lot of people I knew were planning on going. After the first night I was greeted by a friend with his impression of a style of choreography from a particularly strong part of the show. He had not seen the show yet, but it had been described to him by another friend, who also went on the first night. He was intrigued and was really anticipating this show that he had not yet seen. He is not someone who has particularly ever been ‘into dance’. But that’s the thing about DV8, it’s not dance alone. The work spans across genres. It is dance, it is theatre, it is reality, it is design.

The piece follows the story of John, a real person who the company interviewed and created the show around. The interview text forms the narrative of the show and provides some pretty hard-hitting material. John’s life was difficult, his journey taking him, and us, through abuse, drug use, sex, death, prison and gay saunas. DV8 do not shy away from any of this. The performance does not conceal the grizzly bits, but it also doesn’t draw them out. The way they handle each stage of his life is with a kind of raw finesse. And as always, the movement that they have created is beautiful, reflective and almost impossibly fitting. The way that the movement conveys who the characters are and what they are thinking is at times so perfect you can’t help but smile.

The set for this piece was particularly strong, and was completely intrinsic to all of the choreography in a way that felt like it must have taken months to hone. The revolving set provided both seamless scene changes, and an environment in which the characters’ transitions and journeys could be completely natural.

The performers themselves were incredibly watchable and physically; powerful and graceful. This kind of work requires very strong dancers who can also speak and act convincingly and the whole cast achieved this well.

I was unsure at first whether I would see the show again the second night, as it is an affecting watch which does sort of take something out of you emotionally. I did however, and was very glad that I decided to, as I found that, unintentionally, I was drawn more to the text and the narrative the first time, and more to the movement and the aesthetics the second time. Both are incredibly captivating, but going twice allowed me to take them in a little more I think.

Going once though was still a great experience for most people. The people I know who saw the show comprise of some dance fanatics, some culture lovers who are open to most things, and a couple of people who would never have thought they would ever enjoy a piece of modern dance. All came away feeling that they had watched something that really got inside them somehow and those in the last category are now much more interested in seeing other contemporary dance work, should they have the opportunity.

DV8 are strange, in the sense that in one way, they are one of the most innovative, most subversive, most controversial and challenging dance companies. But they are also somehow one of the most accessible. Perhaps that is a reflection on the world we live in, but I think it might just be what makes them so captivating. Once you have seem them, you will want to see them again.

 

 

REACHING THE TIPPING POINT by Dan Daw

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 16:37

The year 2015 has well and truly begun and so too my BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship at South East Dance. I have announced a number of times how incredible this opportunity is for me as a disabled artist and how excited I am at being a part of such a supportive team. Fifteen years into the 21st Century I look back at how far I have come in a considerably short space of time since “Millennium Fever” swept the globe and we all thought we were going to see Jesus from afar and then self-combust. I think we thought we would be living in a world reminiscent of Blade Runner.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we thought (or at least, I thought) we might be a little further on in our discussions around dance, disability and aesthetics. The feeling of still having so far to go struck me when participating in the Dance and the Disabled Body symposium last November. Although interesting discussions were had, as a disabled artist it did worry me; it worried me, because the conversations were not at all dissimilar to those I was having about dance and disability fifteen years before.

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Language played a part, perceiving the disabled body played a part, as did the notion that “disability dance” in 2014 was at a “tipping point”. I struggled with this as much then as I do now. Setting the expletive “disabled dance” to one side – some leaders in the art form mistakenly regarding it as a genre unto its own - we have the “tipping point”.

I would like to propose that it has well and truly tipped. The founding of Candoco Dance Company by Celeste Dandeker and Adam Benjamin in 1991, the hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, not to mention its legacy in the establishment of the Unlimited Festival. These events have all occurred, yet some believe we are still on this metaphorical verge. What cultural shift needs to happen for dance as an art form to include disability in its fabric? What needs to happen for disabled artists to join me down here and feel like they have tipped? Let’s start by doing the biggest plié of your lives and jump. It’s brilliant down here.

Image by Hugo Glendinning

 

The final 2014 audience ambassador get together by Ratna Bibi

Monday, 26 January 2015 09:27

*Continues from Experimental Encounters by Ratna Bibi.

Friday 5th December

I was looking forward to learning about how the project has developed over the week and getting a sneak preview of the work-in-progress.

As I approached the studio, there was a person attending to another person on the floor in the recovery position. Two people came out of the adjoining office and as they passed the person on the floor, they looked concerned but continued walking. Given the location, I thought it was first aid training and continued on my way. Later in the studio, we discussed how people react to the unexpected, what is appropriate behaviour in public space, our responsibility in the case of an emergency and what stops us from reacting/participating. 

Discussion took form and evolved as we discussed impermanence of everyday life, the monster that is the technology and the unpredictability of the weather. All of which fuelled our imagination with fear; fear of helplessness, fear of being controlled and fear of the unknown. It’s amazing witnessing how fear takes form in our mind before changing into physical sensation.

Julian shared with us his process and progress to date and further exploration of thoughts, ideas and challenges. This was followed by discussion surrounding public reaction in public spaces; what motivated people to interact, intervene and indeed lack of response too. This made me recollect my experience as a volunteer during the public performance of One Morning in May by Noëmi Lakmaier.

On an extremely hot May day, it took Noëmi 7 hours to travel 1 mile on her hands and knees from Toynbee Studios in Tower Hamlets to the City of London. A slow and exhausting test of physical and mental endurance, Noëmi experiences a whole variety of human reaction: confusion, curiosity, pity, disgust, abuse, respect, admiration, kindness and generosity.

Exploring our relationship with our surroundings and challenging our perception of self and the other in contemporary society, Noëmi challenged the public to witness, react and ignore what clearly was a very challenging scenario. It was fascinating to witness human reaction to the live performance but without knowledge, context or understanding. People’s reaction was often instinctive, impulsive and reactive to the location, activity and perception.

 

Sculpting Fear: Julian Hetzel - By Ms.Merized

Tuesday, 06 January 2015 10:56

I was fortunate to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Julian Hetzels latest work-in-progress: a 'Sharing' of thoughts and ideas, with an invited audience, to give shape to the mass of possibilities characteristic of early-stage work. Even with the best of plans Art; Life; Relationships; the Weather – all find their own form, and are subject to...well, who knows! Often we try to use the past to predict the future – there's always the need to pin the future down – sometimes at the expense of the present. As we made our way along the corridor to the dance studio we came across a man lying on the floor. Collapsed? Unconscious? Drunk? It was unexpected. Questions were immediately triggered; a response required. What was one's responsibility? How was the situation to be assessed, or dealt with? We were assured all was in hand, so continued to make our way to....

Enlightenment in the Dance Studio

We had just witnessed the 1st Enlightenment: the interactive element of Sculpting Fear the very title of which encompasses the tension of opposing forces. Fear: the stuff of rapid heartbeats; sweat (hot or cold); the jellification of limbs – fluid; in flux; changeable; hard to capture or fully define, yet the desire here is to confront uncertainty using questions and responses to create meaning around the unknowable, and in this way sculpt the materiality of fear. Or, be open to observe all the permutations of the situation; our responses, and that of others, all of which, like clouds, are constantly subject to change.

When we step out of the accepted predictability of our own domains we expect a certain amount of predicatability in the everydayness of what's out there. But, what are we to make of one body found lying down in the street? One cloud in the sky is a clear day; several clouds might signify an impending storm. Would a series of bodies imply an epidemic? A trail of victims? If the body was of a policeman / sex worker / senior citizen – would our attitudes be any different? Is there a hierachy of caring? How much are we influenced by what we 'read' into the situation? What do we make (sculpt?) out of clothing? Status? Age? Race? This is what Julian would like (us) to find out.....

RUN – HIDE - TELL

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Now for the 2nd Enlightenment: the unpredictable Dance of Life. Each of us saw the same thing unfold, but what did we see exactly? Air being blown into a canopy of black plastic against a hum of ambient sound, yes, but Anaias Nin said: We dont see things as they are, we see things as we are'. Now a world of possibilities opens up; now we might see a tired stormcloud; a struggling soul reluctant to leave this earth; a cancerous lung, or womb; apprehension. It appears there are people 'under the covers'. What are they hiding from?

Here Julian has 'caught them redhanded'.

As it was in the beginning....

From the darkness of the womb; to the darkness of earth: the cycle of life turns; we end as we begin. We had talked of unpredctability; uncertainty, the unknown; of questions and projections; technology; symbology, community; the apocalypse, and psychopolitics; of unrest, and tempests. It was time to wrap the evening up; wrap ourselves up, and head for home.

I had entered the building with others, but left the studio on my own, emerging from the lift in a place I didn't recognize: disorientated, a little panicked: feeling trapped. I heard voices - another studio. I popped my head in and, shamefaced, asked for directions. The exit was just to my left, leading into a sidestreet, not the way I'd come. I was apprehensive. Shady figures shifted in the background, bodies settling under a concrete staircase. And this chap, laid back in his hi-visibility jacket shielding his eyes from the light; under the watchful eye of his guardian angel.

Or was there some other story?

Hmmmm....

Image and Blog post by Ms.Merized. Read her blog here.

 

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