Candoco In Dialogue
This publication was conceived and created by Luke Pell and Brian Hartley for Candoco Dance Company following the Candoco In Dialogue 2014/2015 series. Design and photography by Brian Hartley (unless stated otherwise) ÂŠ Candoco Dance Company 2015
CONTENTS 6 CANDOCO IN DIALOGUE ....................................................... Candoco Dance Company 8 AN INTRODUCTION ............................................................... Luke Pell 20 A REMEMBERING: CONSTELLATIONS OF CONVERSATION 24 ON BEING AN ARTIST............................................................ Caroline Bowditch, Marc Brew, Claire Cunningham, Vicky Malin, Kate Marsh 26 WORKING WORDS: AN EXERCISE IN GATHERING MATERIAL... Claire Cunningham and Luke Pell 34 WHAT WORDS CAN DO 36 A COMPILATION OF QUESTIONS (to be read aloud) 40 WORDING CHOREOGRAPHY: GESTURING TO IDENTITIES........ Dr. R. Justin Hunt 48 WHAT WORDS CAN DO: A RESPONSE..................................... Kimberley Harvey 54 EXALT.................................................................................... Marc Brew, Indepen-Dance, Scottish Ballet 56 WORDS.................................................................................. Janice Parker and Craig Simpson 58 DANCES................................................................................ Gary Gardiner and Ian Johnston 60 WORDS DO THINGS............................................................... Nicola Conibere 64 PROVOCATION BY AN ABSENT PERSON.................................. Wendy Houstoun 66 KEEPING SCORE.................................................................... Robert Hesp 68 SCORE Play............................................................................ Robert Hesp 70 USELESS EXPRESSIONS, EMPTY PHRASES, POINTLESS WORDS, (to be thrown away) 80 A REFLECTION...................................................................... Kate Marsh 82 CONTRIBUTORS 84 THANK YOU
Photographs: ON BEING AN ARTIST.....................
Photograph: EXALT................................................ Susan Hay Videos: ON BEING AN ARTIST................................ Justin Jones Diagrams throughout generated by participants at In Dialogue: An Evolving Art Form
CANDOCO IN DIALOGUE Candoco Dance Company’s In Dialogue programme, funded by Paul Hamlyn
Foundation, is an ongoing series of events and projects delivered in collaboration with influential artists and practitioners. Its aim is to advance the level and clarity of artistic and critical dialogue of work with or by disabled artists. In Dialogue projects reach new audiences in a range of contexts through a series of live events, online documentation and bespoke projects. The programme draws on the Company’s 25 years of experience presenting and exploring bold and excellent contemporary dance with an impressive role call of world-renowned artists. Candoco demonstrates the creative potential and value of diversity in all our work, and open dialogue and debate are vital elements in achieving impact and long-term change. Building on the learning gained from the Company’s 2010 & 2012 In Dialogue series, our 2014/15 In Dialogue series was curated by Candoco Artist and independent Maker & Curator Luke Pell. The invitation for a curator to develop bespoke projects arose from Candoco’s ambition to broaden the conversation: inviting a variety of contributors, developing the focus of projects and thereby increasing public engagement in the discussions. The series comprised of three key projects, On Being An Artist, What Words Can Do and An Evolving Art Form, which were each designed to contribute to the discussion from a variety of angles.
AN INTRODUCTION Luke Pell
I love language. Its great shapes and sounds, tones, colours, textures, how it is changed by people and place and time I love how words form in the mouth and hand, passing through pen or tongue, on to the page, off the lips. Reaching out, toward othersâ€™ fingers, eyes, ears As a maker and curator of dance and performance I work with words in a particular way. For me language is physical. I understand it as of the body. I work with words and movement. Words as movements
Words can bring things into being with greater clarity And dances
can say so much when words
An invitation is a gesture. When Candoco invited me to curate this In Dialogue series I wanted to pass that gesture on, to share it out as a way of stimulating conversation with other artists, thinkers, people - in physical and virtual spaces - to find further questions.
fail, The poetry of the body Words can be a way of finding questions and making invitations.
Words Dances Invitations Questions can also exclude.
But, I think of a question as an opening and an opening, as a space of possibility A space that can invite different perspectives on what it is to be in the world and articulations of unique lived experiences. And so this In Dialogue series came out of a couple of questions: What is it to be an artist working in the landscape of dance and disability; and what can words do - each as part of an evolving art form.
These questions led to three strands of verbal, physical, visual explorations drawn together through a fourth, this online publication. The first strand On Being An Artist brought artists Caroline Bowditch, Marc Brew, Claire Cunningham, Vicky Malin, Kate Marsh together for two days of discussion, interrogation and exchange in September 2014 following Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre. Our conversations focused on what it is to be a disabled dance artist currently making and performing work in national and international contexts, against the backdrop of Londonâ€™s 2012 Paralympic games, the Unlimited commissions and festivals and Arts Council Englandâ€™s Creative Case for Diversity. The outcome of those two days are a string of short one-toone interviews you can find on page 24 of this publication. They offer on the ground insights from disabled artists
working in the UK today and different routes into some existing dialogues.
Tramway, Glasgow as part of Dance International Glasgow 2015 (DIG).
The second strand What Words Can Do sought to advance conversation and critical discourse around work with and by disabled artists. Inviting Nicola Conibere, Kimberley Harvey, Robert Hesp, Wendy Houstoun and Dr. R. Justin Hunt â€“ artists at different points in their practice, working in numerous contexts â€“ to generate new thinking, writing and actions, informed by performances in the UK that spoke to worlds of dance and disability. Each of the artists have taken their own distinct ways with words to create responses to the research period ranging from provocation to academic review to scores for physical play.
This weekend symposium began with a workshop working words from performer/choreographer Claire Cunningham and myself and continued with a range of discursive and practical sessions questioning: notions of progression and participation, aesthetics and ethics, creative risk and our responsibilities as artistic and political communities.
Informed by this six-month process of research they also hosted a live lab/workshop exploring what words can bring to the thinking, doing and understanding of dance as part of the third strand In Dialogue: An Evolving Art Form at
Artists Gary Gardiner, Ian Johnston and Lucy Gaizely, Janice Parker and Craig Simpson and Rosemary Lee offered insights into their projects and practice in ways and on terms that worked for them. Reviewing notions of
Choreographer Marc Brew, Scottish Ballet and IndepenDance reflected on what ballet, contemporary and integrated dance worlds can offer each other as they experienced in their recent collaboration Exalt.
profession, progression and participation and what that can mean for all kinds of dancers and dance making. Candoco Artistic Co-Director, Stine Nilsen and Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre, Fleur Darkin discussed perceptions and the significance of â€˜riskâ€™ to artistic practice, what it meant for them, for each company and the wider dance ecology. In the final sessions, choreographers Claire Cunningham and Javier de Frutos â€“ who have each created works for Candoco - talked about turning an invitation in words, into action, how their respective trainings and values as artists informed their approach to dance, choreography and working with all kinds of bodies in dance.
The weekend sought to move away from a typical conference format and offer something different. Each session was framed as an offering opening out into further conversation with the other people attending, inviting everyone participating to share perspectives and collectively generate further questions and reflections without having to arrive at answers. We worked more slowly, with space and time and the intention that everyone could be heard and listened to. Considering different modes of conversation, spans of energy and attention, layers of translation. Throughout we gathered words, images and actions, fragments of what was happening in between. I love the spaces between words, the pause,
The space to read or write yourself in And this is also what words can do, open up space to read or write yourself in. As I sit at my desk, ink in hand, writing, I remember school days when those of us who were left-handed were made to change the way we wrote.
To write with our right hand because that was what was â€˜rightâ€™ Left and right Right and wrong Disabled non-disabled Experimental mainstream Risk safe The clutch of words, propositions to move in one direction or the opposite, that there is a right to be arrived at
I remember how words can be used to fix As attempts to make memories concrete Experiences into facts People into objects (of inspiration) I remember where I’ve come from, what I’ve heard and learnt, lived and witnessed
As a maker I work with people, fluid beings, bodies becoming. I’m moved by movement not as representation, but as changing, unfixing, undoing, reordering, resculpting, re-knowing, a celebration of temporality and impermanence, of all that’s in between. These days of discussing and doing, months of watching and writing sought to tug on tenuous threads that lead to knotty places.
How and which bodies were written as right and wrong And I remember those truths changing
To encourage fraying, tension and unraveling, to tangle and to loosen, rather than tie things off neatly in bows, binding bodies with words.
How words can undo. Words can move the ways we have been taught to think, to see and act
They invited difficulty, acknowledged that movement is rarely straightforward, that we can set out and go off course - meet unexpected people in unfamiliar places arriving somewhere different, transformed by encountering other realities.
Candoco, Brian Hartley and I have drawn together these differing strands of dialogue into this online publication. It is a range of creative stimulus and perspectives arising from the 2014/2015 series including the On Being An Artist videos and What Words Can Do writings and traces of the In Dialogue: An Evolving Art Form symposium. It is a workbook for thinking and doing. Full of words and images, questions, thoughts and provocations, with space to read, write or speak your self in. It is made not to fix but to note what words - and we - can do and undo.
A REMEMBERING: CONSTELLATIONS OF CONVERSATION five writers watching
five writers watching
UNLIMITED FESTIVAL 2014
five artists talking + reflecting
ON BEING AN ARTIST
VIDEOS performances, talks + dances
ups o r g study
The In Dialogue series 2014/2015 was conceived as constellations of conversation between people in different places in response to particular performances, events and festivals. Offering distinct points of departure from which to begin discussion leading to the strands of activity. The trajectory of the activities is mapped out here.
Lets Talk About Dis
The Show Must Go On
DANCE INTERNATIONAL GLASGOW
WHAT WORDS conversations CAN DO
AN EVOLVING ARTFORM
five artists offers
doings, thinkings, invitations,
conversations, places, people,
IN DIALOGUE PUBLICATION
ON BEING AN ARTIST
On Being An Artist brought artists Caroline Bowditch, Marc Brew, Claire Cunningham, Vicky Malin, Kate Marsh together for two days of discussion, interrogation and exchange in September 2014 following Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre. Facilitated by Candoco Artist Luke Pell, conversation focused on what it is to be a disabled dance artist currently making and performing work in national and international contexts, against the backdrop of London’s 2012 Paralympic games, the Unlimited Festivals and Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity. The outcome of the two-days is a series of one-to-one conversations between the artists and Luke Pell.
Caroline Bowditch Performance Artist/ Choreographer I attempt to make everybody I work with feel valued and valuable in that process and that is incredibly important to me. I think there are enough people within the arts industry who will take you down in a second and I don’t believe in creating an environment like that.
Marc Brew Choreographer and Artistic Director of Marc Brew Company This is what I have a passion about, you know, and that’s what drives me and it’s a really interesting thing. Sometimes I wish I had, or could live a different life where it could be very separate, but my life is my work.. I love that investigation and I love that exploring and, for me, I’ve always had that thing where there’s so many pieces within me that I want to create but you don’t have enough time to create them all.
Claire Cunningham Performing Artist/ Choreographer I think that this new piece shows a side of my vocabulary, it shows my body in a way that isn’t as pleasing, its not upbeat, its not joyful, it’s quite hard and dark, and I think there’s a shock to people who might have been accustomed to seeing work that is more light hearted, but it feels more true to where I am right now.
Vicky Malin Artist If I’m being blatantly honest, when I first started dancing, if I was talking about it to people I didn’t know, I would say I’m a dancer but I’m a disabled dancer. I would try and explain it somehow. I would use that term disabled to almost try and explain because I didn’t really understand all the different possibilities of who a dancer could be.
Kate Marsh Dance Artist/ Researcher There is a huge lack of any presence by people representing disabled dance artists in higher education. If we follow that to it’s natural conclusion, how can we inspire aspiring disabled dancers if there are no role models easily accessible to them?
WORKING WORDSâ€Ś AN EXERCISE IN GATHERING MATERIAL Luke Pell and Claire Cunningham With a companion Prepare to take a walk,
Together â€“ Inside or out, for around thirty minutes
Discuss, What that might require of each of you in energy, in negotiating: space, surface, people, animals, objects, distance, weather
With that in mind,
if you are going to set out from one place and arrive at another
set out from one place and arrive back at the same place As you set out, walk alongside one another As you walk take it in turns to talk, beginning each sentence with
the wide white sky, the shape of that cloud, the light on the slant of that slate tile, the dark of the water stain in the stone… One person talks the other listens as you each walk alongside one another When one person wants take a pause from finding words, or runs out of words, the other can begin
I notice…. The slabs in this pavement, the gum on the ground, the crack in that curb, the crumbling, that it can’t take my weight, the distance of that crossing, that the time the beeper gives isn’t enough for me to cross
Keep walking Keep talking and listening,
Work on them for thirty
taking turns until you arrive where you said you would Return to a work space/place Working not too close but not too far from one another
minutes Whatever working means for you Take a break for fifteen When you return to your work place/space
Alone, set a timer for fifteen minutes and free write whatever words come from your journey When those fifteen minutes have gone Take another five minutes to read your writing back Pick two things out, phrases, images, whatever collection of words call your attention Take those words and alone
Share the words you’ve been working on with your companion Don’t share how you’ve been working on them or anything of your thinking about them, just pass them to your partner
Take twenty minutes to work separately on each other’s words
Then share what you’ve done with one another Take something/s, from what your partner has done And bring them back into what you have been working on for a further thirty minutes
If you were to think of what you’ve been working on as a sketch And that sketch had a reverse, a backside,
Work on what that would be, for twenty to thirty minutes
Take a break
Now, if you think of the front and the back as opposite ends of a spectrum, a binary, black and white Begin to work on what is the grey-scale between,
Art is an act of courage. Fear and failure come but they are not helpful, hunting is what you have to do. It’s important to go out on the hunt, to protect the need to go on the hunt even if you bring back an empty hand, it is not failure it gives you something. Risk is a path to knowledge.
FLEUR DARKIN Artistic Director Scottish Dance Theatre
WHAT WORDS CAN DO
From summer 2014 to Spring 2015 we brought together Nicola Conibere, Kimberley Harvey, Robert Hesp, Wendy Houstoun and R. Justin Hunt to experience the following works within festival and venue programmes that spoke to worlds of dance and disability:
UNLIMITED FESTIVAL 2014, SOUTHBANK CENTRE Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods Michelle Ryan & Torque Show: Intimacy Marc Brew: Remember When Chisato Minamimura: Ring the Changes Ian Johnston & Gary Gardiner: Dancer Tourettes Hero: Back Stage at Biscuit Land
DANCE UMBRELLA 2014 Jérôme Bel / Theater Hora: Disabled Theater Eduardo Fukushima: The Crooked Man =DANCE SADLER’S WELLS Candoco Dance Company: Close Encounters
SOUTHBANK CENTRE 2014 Cando2: Game Over Candoco Dance Company: Playing Another Thomas Hauert, Notturnino Hetain Patel: Let’s Talk About Dis DANCE INTERNATIONAL GLASGOW 2015 Candoco Dance Company/ Jérôme Bel: The Show Must Go On
Informed by these works and ongoing discussion the artists hosted a lab workshop Working Words at the In Dialogue symposium. The workshop drew from thinking generated across the months to pose questions and provocations about dance and disability and offer participants creative stimulus for their own practice whilst informing the questions explored with other people - artists, participants, programmers, policy makers, audiences - throughout the weekend. What follows are traces of what was offered and arose during the symposium weekend and the distinct responses arrived at by each of the writers, in words that take different forms:
An series of academic micro reviews of performances that attend to the choreographic, the inter-subjective nature of performance and how language is complicit in our construction and perception of the other.
• A score for physically exploring and playing with what comes up in this territory.
• A personal response from a young disabled artist. • A critical consideration of the terms with which we read bodies and performance and subsequently apply ethical frames to them and on whose terms. • film.
A playful provocation in the form of a
A COMPILATION OF QUESTIONS
( to be read aloud )
Did you use your training today?
How about now?
Can choreography be political action? How?
Do you wanna dance?
So you’re a dancer?
Whose line is it anyway?
Do I need to acknowledge your words?
Who’s giving you permission to be here?
Have you reached an answer? Now?
What happens when you notice that the body that appears to others is not the body you know? Am I invisible?
What do bodies do? What is your relationship to this institution?
Is politics in the training? What’s the score?
How does misquotation help me communicate my body?
What can bodies do?
Are you listening?
What do you expect from me?
Am I winning?
Do you want to? How useful are ideas of binary opposition?
How do we attend to each other?
What stories does my body tell that I don’t know about?
How do we perform the self? Are we always in a state of spectatorship? Are you enjoying yourself?
When? What is the function of a question?
Do I have to use meaty words to be taken seriously? Is it the job of dance to present an image of an ideal society?
Where is the exit?
How do you participate in this? What are ‘meaty’ words?
What are the steps?
Do you feel gross when you hear words like honesty?
Should you worry about framing?
When do you participate?
How do you measure difference?
What can choreography do?
Where did you train?
Is ability a form of currency?
How is she though? Where are the limits of participation? Do you feel professional today? Can I ever appear as myself?
Questions were generated by Nicola Conibere, Robert Hesp and Dr. R. Justin Hunt as the opening of of their Working Words workshop at the In Dialogue: An
Evolving art form symposium in response to the works they had seen and heard and as prompts for their own and participants explorations and thinking.
How is blending like (or unlike) integration?
Have you kept your promise?
Are you very tired?
Have you now or have you ever been a dancer? Is that bad?
Are you enjoying this performance?
Is knowledge a form of currency?
From whom do you seek an answer?
How do words meet flesh?
Do I want to be invisible?
What can I do, what canâ€™t I do?
Can I just copy what you do?
Did you dance today?
Can we talk about this?
Are you very busy? Can we have more meaty words?
WORDING CHOREOGRAPHY: GESTURING TO IDENTITIES Dr R. Justin Hunt What Words Can Do has been a highly discursive year long process. That might seem obvious, but well, it bears identifying. Shifting from watching to talking and back again for a year has been delicious. The writing is a different form of discursivity. It alienates, sometimes. It may also be easier, safer, to speak from a place of the written word. Whose voice do you hear in your head right now? Do you imagine fingers on a keyboard, or a pencil in hand? Do you know that my back hurts terribly today? Do you know that I become terrified at the digital blankness of a word document? Where are you right now? What will these words do? As a scholar of performance, I’m interested in the ways which words work to do things for and towards our experience of
performance events. I am also interested in everyday as performance, though from a slightly more philosophical standpoint. The reiterative processes of our subjectivity, the way we come to know our bodies and identities through performative effects, is thus a central focus for me. I have been teaching about the body, identity and culture since 2005, using performance as a lens of inquiry. In what follows I have decided to bring you to three of the pieces that moved me, over the past year, to consider what words can do. That the framing of this is about disability and dance will become evident. But I’m interested less in this frame and instead about what structure of meaning those words engender in your reading of
them. Indeed it was these pieces that required me to consider my relationship to what words could do and the eventuality of this, my words about them. What follows then are micro-reviews in the key of an academic inquiry, opening out as a process of thinking with language and movement. I have titled the sections MOVE, MOVING, and MOVED. The verbal forms of the infinitive – to move – mark a way in which my body interacted with the language of the choreography at play. The performative effect of the three different choreographic projects have inspired me to think about the discursive effect such work has on identity in general and question the way I approach such an Other with my words.
MOVE: BISCUIT Backstage in Biscuit Land Touretteshero & Captain Hotknives Unlimited Festival, London 5 September 2014
Organized chronologically, the pieces are an attempt to open out various questions about the way words are moving. In this case that doing is always related to certain choreographies of the self and then those bodies’ relationships to others. I am not trying to position one line of argumentation, but addressing each piece in the ways I was thinking about the choreographic and the discursive. Each piece highlighted below found its way into my body by considering the ways in which identities were dancing before me. This writing is not exhaustive; instead it takes a gestural form that allows you to read the various identities in movement. I position the pieces, then, here to see what my words might do with each of them.
On her website, Touretteshero offers that her site and her public works are not about mocking or commiserating but about reclaiming a misunderstood syndrome. Both her website and her live performances allow the viewer/spectator a chance to interact with, most significantly, the phonic tics that manifest because of her tourette’s syndrome. Touretteshero’s most frequent phonic tic is the repeated utterance of the word “biscuit,” which can happen up to 16,000 times a day. Eloquently, this potentially linguistically stalling repetition becomes the means to produce a choreographic score. Using the somatic production of the tics as a phonic score for her audience, Touretteshero choreographs her shows, a comedic mix of storytelling and cabaret song, onto her
audiences. Willingly, her audience engages with production of the score material, having to pay close attention to the chance encounter with the key words that signal them to move in certain ways. I arrived slightly late on 5 September to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, to a crowd already deeply committed to moving for and with Touretteshero. I couldn’t help but smile at seeing a fellow performer so dynamically train her audience; a huge sea of smiling faces that responded immediately to their choreographic commands, moving in swelling unison whenever key tics were uttered. Participation is a scary word for many audiences, especially in the realm of dance. Within the auspices of Unlimited Festival the relationship to participation in terms of “ability” is already a necessary and political question. Touretteshero structurally turned these questions on their head. The politics of movement, how we are taught to move
MOVING: INDIVIDUATION and from whom we take such instruction, is a complex and culturally loaded function of subjectivity. And, of course, Unlimited offers up a public forum for the question about our assumptions of normative movement and normativity in general. Touretteeshero moves us, as an expert choreographer in a lineage that includes Merce Cunningham and John Cage, as well as folk and social dance (where a caller recites moves that become quickly ingrained). This was my first performance as part of the What Words Can Do residency and I had come in with the idea that I would probably be considering a relationship to performativity, in the Austinian sense, in relation to how the language of disability and dance might produce or deny certain subjectivities. But social choreography predicated on the change utterance of a
phonic tic, words that may or may not be said repeatedly, to move us, threw me. Suddenly the post-structural slipperiness of language, of its attendant chain of signification and the material effects of its illocution, were positioned in another somatic reality. This piece moves us by chance; literally the phonic chance of utterance of a set of words, which within the context of their illocution create meaning, and, by perlocution, moves us. Biscuit, repeated over and over, means within the space of touretteshero’s work that we must move, and so we do. We are her backup dancers, interrupting our laughter, cheers, boredom, sips of wine and chatter to move as she tells us, without “meaning” anything perhaps. But of course, the moving is done and there is meaning and, wow!
Let’s Talk About Dis Candoco Dance Company Unlimited Festival, London “Candoco Dance Company is the contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers.” In Hetain Patel’s Let’s Talk About Dis (2014), a new piece of Candoco’s repertory, the company unpack this statement. Importantly, and rather quickly within the piece, the addition of the “repertory” as an adjective to describe the company is added to the statement. This statement, which legally produces the company as an individual (remember, corporations of all types are individuals), performs for us the intricate choreography that is identity itself, specifically one that attempts, politically, to be inclusive.
The desire to be inclusive is at the heart of the corpus that is Candoco. Patel’s work as choreography is to separate out the nuance of the individuals that form this corpus and to attempt to portray modes of integration. This integration operates through discursive practices that at once alienate and include both the performers and the audience. Sign language, multi-language speech, song and choreography all operate along various discursive pathways. Audience members may be able to “read” or “hear” these discursive practice, or not. The beautiful integration of the various forms draws attention to both the structural differences between the performers (and their audience) and how they work to integrate. This process of separation and integration, for me, is reminiscent of the word “individuation” as described by
psychoanalytic theorist D.W. Winnicott. Now, it’s important to pause here and say that Winnicott begins his paper on individuation (1970) by stating that he dislikes and never uses the word. However through the paper he explores the nuanced process of identification that we must all go through to address our identity. What I love most about this paper is that it’s not pretty. By this I mean that Winnicott reminds his listeners/readers that to fulfil identification, we do so with painfully useful relationships to objects (people, places, things). This may seem obvious. Even for Freud, of course, identity is fraught with repressed feelings and battles of the drives. But Winnicott’s object relation theory, and description of the process of individuation, reminds us more formally of a number of connections to the external world, that other theories of identity do not provide so plainly.
How we use the objects around provides the structural outline of our identities. This is a process of separation from objection and integration of objects. As Candoco’s performers separate out and integrate the formal statement of their collective identity, we see the powerful interplay of language at the heart of objectifying difference.
The elephant in the room is, of course, physical difference for this piece. But, importantly, from the start the performer’s remind us of the vast physical differences which separate them as a collective, and not just about definitions of “disability.” Sex, gender expression, age, sexuality and race (cue nervous laughter from most of the audience) are addressed, but also evaluated. Taxonomies of separate identities are put into question. The movement of the piece is, then a choreographic project
MOVED: TALKING SKILL of language. One in which the performers inquire of any statement the sureness of its validity. Dance becomes a methodology of addressing integrated dance. One of my favourite moments is an autobiographical tangent made by Mirjam Gutner. Her rant is framed around her training, a formalist training in dance and is prompted by the ability of the performers to ascertain their collective (integrated) coherence. Any dancer will recall this sort of autobiographical digression, once in which the passive aggressive dismissal of others’ abilities occurs through the litany of formal stylistic training received by the speaker. This is a comedic moment, and perfectly positioned within the piece. Difference and ability become reframed by a somatic relation to disciplinary training evidenced by the proper nouns associated with dance training (I trained in Graham; I trained in Cunningham, I trained in Cecchetti, etc.).
Naming (and indeed branding) difference in this way offers another formal way of painfully alienating others’ bodies for the useful integration of the self.
Patel’s piece, steeped in his style of autobiography as/with performance, propels Candoco to perform the question at the heart of their identity – how are we integrated? And indeed opens this out to attendant questions of identity and difference. In a direct invocation of Stuart Halls’ Radical History (1989) essay, what is the equation we’re working with when we add identity and difference? How do we discern the sum when we solve for x? Patel’s first foray into choreographing on and for others performs this question for us, attending to separation and integration; allowing us the spectacle of individuation as a painful, funny and on-going process.
The Show Must Go On Candoco Dance Company, Tramway, Glasgow 22 May 2015 Jérôme Bel’s The Show Must Go On offers us a way of thinking about how words, as command, perform on bodies. In the performance event Bel choreographs bodies working under the direction of 19 pop songs, and coordinates a dance theatre which requires the audience “to do” the show, as a practice of meaning making. As scholar Claire Bishop notes: “appropriation, de-skilling, and spectacle are all key descriptors of [Bel’s] practice” (2009). I want to focus in specifically on the notion of de-skilling in this section. It is important to note, though, how important appropriation and spectacle are in terms of the last section and its interrelation with this piece.
Working, only briefly, backwards, the spectacle of the body in performance is a key issue when considering the taxonomy of bodies on display. Spectacles of ableness by and of identified dis-abled bodies are necessary for celebration as much as they are open to critique for specatularising Other-ness. Unlimited Festival, from which the first two sections of this paper pulls, is entrenched in this spectacle, as indeed Britain has been (let’s think of the paralympics, and what that word and its attendant spectacle a few year ago brings up). Secondly, in a repertory company, questions of appropriation become legally if not philosophically interesting. Once a piece is taken on by a company for its repertoire, what occurs in terms of authorial signature and stylistic reference? But if the last section and performance were about the ability of words to identify
individuals and collectives (in a relation to skill, technique, expertise within language) then this section shifts to think more specifically about dance and its linguistic relationship to skill and expertise (or decided conceptual lack thereof, perhaps). It could then also consider the skill of words to demarcate shifts in choreographic practice. Thus skill and labour interconnect within these relations to dance and language as both the labour to produce taxonomies of difference and how bodies are read as skilled in and of their labour. Bishop’s comments on Bel’s practice operate in a way to consider access. Bel’s practice is notably conceptual, stripping away normative trappings of dance to, as my colleague Nicola Conibere has considered, give the audience tools “at realising the experience of theatre” (11, 2008). Conceptual practice is a structural mode
of working that requires the audience to participate. But unlike with Touretteshero, this participation is an act of completion. Bel opens a circuit that the audience must close to create meaning, to have done the piece. As I noted above, Touretteshero’s piece performs choreography on and of the audience through a phonic word play. As Bishop goes on to say, Bel is as interested in the discipline of performance as he is in undoing it. The 19 songs interpreted, usually rather literally (“Let the Sun Shine In” brings us light on stage, “Tiny Dancer” sees the female identified bodies within the cast performing balletic steps on repeat until the end of the song), remind us of the structure of narrative, of melody and how this plays into choreographic action, and the prospect of theatre. Revelling in a post-dramatic construction of dance theatre, The Show Must Go On
rids itself of the desire of individuation that Patel’s Let’s Talk About Dis offers its audience. This is not to say that various indexical frameworks are emptied. As I noted above, during “Tiny Dancer” only cis-gendered female bodies (at the show I watched) performed the balletic movement. Collective identities still function to govern certain modes of spectacle here, but the over-all effect, at least for me, is more about what Bishop calls “de-skilling” and its relationship to the labour of theatrical/ performance production. Deskilling here is, of course, meant to address a perceived refusal of stylized technique. A central tenet of the conceptual move in choreography was the use-value of quotidian movement. In The Show Must Go On literality is key, the performance does what the lyrics of the songs say. So when the “sun shines in” the lights go up, and when it’s time to “dance” we see bodies moving as of themselves.
This gesture to the self is not the individuated movement of Let’s Talk About Dis. The individual capacity for movement isn’t a part of the meaning making of the choreography. Instead the movement offers a part of a whole which draws the quotidian into a unique ontological perspective, or as Shane Vogel (2009) has called it the “eventology of the ordinary.” But the ordinary here is extraordinary; it is the hyperbolic quotidian that Bel utilises. Bodies just do what the words say, and across the 19 songs, we follow an arc that metonymically is “performance.” I wonder in this practice of de-skilling how we then read the labour of the bodies in performance. The work of de-skilling is one that should allow for any body to labour on stage. Bel’s brilliance perhaps is the highly formulated way in which the eventology of The Show Must Go On,
will work with any body. And indeed the imperative that frames his appropriated title form the Queen hit, tells us that no matter who dances, no matter what, perhaps, performance will go on. In this way, Candoco loosens its collective identity as “inclusive dance company.” Or perhaps, conversely, by framing the event of this performance as anybody’s it highlights the uselessness of the categorical imperative which frame identity and notions of skill (especially within the normativising disciplines of dance). If the words move these bodies, it is the audience who is forced to make meaning out of said movement. The best effect of this meaning making through illocution is near the end of the piece when the performers put on headphones and we hear only small snippets of repeated phrases of what they are listening to. The performance
becomes, of course, a pastiche of itself at this moment. The repetition of utterances that may or may not be recognisable as specific phraseology from specific songs shifts the meaning making process and introverts the actions of the performers. Drawing the audience into the mechanism of the lyric as a command to do something, Bel choreographs us to complete the phrase, to make meaning in and of the piece, and importantly for us. The Show Must Go On, with our labour in deciding who or what is moved in this performatic event.
WHAT WORDS CAN DO A RESPONSE: Kimberley Harvey Words are now my tool as I attempt to decipher and articulate my thoughts that have arisen over the past six months or so in response to the shows I have seen and the discussions I have been a part of. I think the first question to myself has to be, “What am I aiming for with these words?” The answer is, to communicate, to open up areas for discussion; and if possible, an attempt to move things on from those repetitive discussions around ‘disabled dancers’, ‘dance & disability’ etc that many of us are all too familiar with.
companies that work inclusively; the work they make and how they approach it, as well as their views on disability. A variety of inclusive approaches that are grounded in good practice, in my opinion, serve to enrich the sector. I am aware of some thoughts around a unified approach, but I personally would be wary of this for fear that it would limit possibilities and ways of thinking. Where does an act of ‘rebellion sit within such diversity? Why is one person perceived to be rebellious or courageous, when for someone else doing/thinking the exact same thing would be seen as utterly mundane?
Diversity. Diversity is a good thing we all know that – diversity in dance, performance, people, opinions - there is clear diversity amongst artists with disabilities or dance
‘Representation’ was a key point that arose for me very early on during Unlimited at Southbank Centre last year. There is no doubt that some disabled artists/inclusive
companies are more well-known than others and they produce high quality artistic work that deserves to be recognised and that the sector should be proud of. However, isn’t it also important to remember that a few successful disabled artists; or the presence of several inclusive dance companies does not mean that the wider ‘dance world’ has accepted the presence of dancers with visible/invisible disabilities? Surely, the need for festivals such as Unlimited (that are specifically for disabled artists) is proof that the wider contemporary dance world still has a very limited view of ‘who can be a professional dancer’? In addition, although this may seem ridiculously obvious to say, one well-known artist/inclusive company/festival is not and
cannot be representative of all artists who have disabilities. There is no doubt that progress has been made over the last twenty years, but my question is, do we take it for granted that perceptions will continue to widen with regard to what a professional dancer can look like. When in fact, given the society we are currently living in, with benefit cuts to the likes of the Independent Living Fund and Access To Work, there is a real risk that the progress that has been made in terms of the visibility of dancers with disabilities will begin to deplete and fade away. Over the last few months I also have been drawn to thinking about the role of the choreographer and the responsibility that they have towards the dancers that they are working with. This can apply to both non-disabled and disabled dancers. In this instance, I am thinking in terms of autonomy, making informed choices and the option to ‘say no’. This becomes particularly
poignant when working with dancers/ performers with learning disabilities – what happens when the autonomy of the dancers isn’t clear? What are the potential dangers of this? I am a dancer with a physical disability – if I was working with a choreographer who I felt was exploiting me with regard my disability, I would like to think that I would be able to voice my concerns. I am also a choreographer and by no means do I think that choreographers should shy away from potentially controversial issues. However, I believe that if you (as the choreographer) choose to go down this route then you should realise the implications. If the work raises sensitive issues and leaves the audience questioning how the dancers were asked to perform (which may well have been a conscious choice) then I, as a choreographer, would want to explain why I chose to do this and I also feel that the performers have a right to offer their response too.
Are disabled artists ‘expected’ to make work that relates to their disability? Is that our USP? What happens if we choose not to? Will visible disability still play a part in an audiences’ interpretation of the work even if that is not what it is about? I am a dancer with a disability, but can I ever be just a dancer to mainstream audiences? I know there are some artists/performers that see their disability as an essential part of their identity, but for me personally, I don’t. Again, shouldn’t we have the option to choose? A final thought for you to make of what you will… Balloons are hugely ‘disabling’ to me…and that has nothing to do with my physical disability.
I chose to investigate my own physicality, my own movement potential with the crutches, that interaction, that possibility. I am not trying to dance like anyone else, or trying to dance like I have a body other than I have. Iâ€™m inherently more interested in the movement of disabled dancers. I am interested in a deeper question around the lived experience of disability and the dancers and artists that creates, choosing to embrace that notion explicitly and what that brings to performance. CLAIRE CUNNINGHAM Performer and Choreographer
I had to think of bodies in dance as a series of transformations. A highly skilled ballet dancer is a body transformed. A Graham dancer is a body transformed. All bodies are transformed, you work with a group of transformed people When you start to think this way the possibilities are endless.
JAVIER DE FRUTOS
I’m interested in people. I work with the collective, but people within a collective. What connects us is that we are all alive. ROSEMARY LEE Choreographer
EXALT Marc Brew, Indepen-dance + Scottish Ballet EXALT â€” verb (used with object) to raise in rank, honor, power, character, quality, etc.; elevate: He was exalted to the position of president. to praise; extol: to exalt someone to the skies. to stimulate, as the imagination: The lyrics of Shakespeare exalted the audience. to intensify, as a color: complementary colors exalt each other. Obsolete . to elate, as with pride or joy.
The project came about as a response to the success of a previous collaboration with Janice Parker and Cesc Gelabert for the creation of Arthurâ€™s Feet for the Edinburgh Festival Programme 2004. Karen Anderson, Artistic Director of Indepen-dance, came to Scottish Ballet with a proposal to seek more opportunities for dancers from Independance to share a creative experience with those from a more traditional dance background.
In 2015 they embarked on a new partnership which brought together both Companies and their dancers, with renowned choreographer Marc Brew to explore that initial question, mixing together dancers with different bodies, abilities, techniques and knowledge. Exalt was premiered as part of a Scottish Ballet double bill, opening the first edition of Dance International Glasgow at Tramway on Friday 24th & Saturday 25th April 2015.
WORDS Janice Parker + Craig Simpson
I’m Janice Parker and I’m a CHOREOGRAPHER and dance-maker
I’m Craig Simpson and I’m a PERFORMER and dance/maker
Janice: • Making people more of themselves • Attending to detail • Challenging who can dance and what dance can be • Different pathways, no set plan • On whose terms?
• • • • • •
• • • •
Where is the art Anyone everyone Possibilities of potential Who is missing? Making it happen On whose terms?
Shifting context An attitude Making it happen On whose terms
• • • • • •
Being a good student Knowing what you are doing To be a good dancer Learning from doing it To do all the different shows Have to think about the timing & music & what’s next in the dance piece
• • • •
Rehearsing Being in it & involved in it To enjoy it Doing different movements together with different people • A nice wonderful feeling, people taking part all the time
• A good performance dancer • How you perform the dancing • How to make it look good. Do it every day • How to make your own show • Does it look good. Fantastic • A good feeling in the audience
DANCES Gary Gardiner + Ian Johnston HELLO
Ian and Gary donâ€™t like to talk
Our dance is the dance of autobiography
they prefer to dance
A choreography of moves collated over a lifetime of experiences
So when they dance for you they dance their story.
But this is also the dance of manipulation of tokenism
the dance of a power struggle whose choreography is this anyway? Who Scored it?
and why does he dance like that?
WORDS DO THINGS Nicola Conibere
I’ve been asked to think about what words can do. In particular, I’ve been asked to think about what can be done with words in relation to bodies on stages, in events called choreography and dance. I’ve been thinking about choreography and dance as proposing ways for people to be with each other in the time and place they share.And how those proposals will be experienced differently in different bodies, whether watching or performing. I’ve been thinking of written words as reaching from one body in a particular place and time, to another body in a different place and time. And that the meaning of those words evolve during their journeys of interpretation between one body and another. Within the words presented here are words borrowed and augmented from other people. These words remember,
extend, morph and repeat encounters with performances, and with conversations and ideas that somehow connect with those performances. The thoughts they contain are loose. They are a collection of fragments
A friend had been to see Disabled Theatre by French choreographer Jérôme Bel in collaboration with Theater HORA. He expressed concern that the piece was all about the choreographer, and that the performers did not have agency in the show that was presented through their performances. This reflection was pertinent given that the work’s title referred to the performers’ social designation as intellectually disabled, and contained
elements of their personal histories, interests and dancing. Another friend recalled a post-show discussion for Disabled Theatre, most notably an excited anxiety on the part of spectators who felt that the performers had been exploited. She said a minority expression that those performers were professionals, and therefore should be considered cognisant of the contract they had entered into, was lost to the lack of guarantee of its truth. These words from others, about the words of others, ask what conditions of appearance might cause a spectator to question the ethical situation of a performer.
There is a section in Disabled Theatre in which, one by one, its performers enter the stage, announce their names, the nature of their disabilities and how long they have been performing. These are each aspects of daily identity that operate in different, yet overlapping, structures of social categorisation. At least I think they do. I mean, the performers spoke in Swiss German, which I can’t understand. In fact the piece began with the translator’s selfintroduction, and I am depending on her translation of the performers’ words to make these recollections and associations. Theatre plays with how things, including people, appear to us. It explores how we encounter meanings that may or may not seem to belong to those things. The words of the performers in Disabled Theatre lived
through mechanisms of interpretation just as their actions and their bodies did. And I’m not sure what those mechanisms might have been doing. Think about it. If I’m not entirely sure that the performers know what they were doing up there on the stage (which is the gist of audience concern about their exploitation), can I really be sure that the translator knows what she’s saying? And according to whose terms do they know or not know? And what kind of knowledge? After all, it’s theatre. They’re all performing within a choreographed event. Why would I choose to believe in the translator but not in the other company members?
In Disabled Theatre, the choreography’s layering of translation revealed the uneven social weight carried by certain aspects of the performers’ identities. For some spectators, the societal label of disability as indicating incapacity, determined the dominant characteristic of the disabled performers’ appearances on stage. It rendered them vulnerable, and their vulnerability as unsafe. Yet this was a piece that played with the fact that we are constantly in relationships of appearance and interpretation. Questions of safety, agency and consent seem a result of its explorations into how social regulation of our bodies informs our understanding of what certain bodies can and should be seen to do.
So, words do things, and bodies do things, and lots of those things are lost and grown in translation. The whole business is unstable. We stumble into meanings. They emerge from, bang against and hitch rides with our bodies. Words can be as misconstrued as a body’s actions and appearances. Ian Johnston and Gary Gardiner know the unreliability of words. At the In Dialogue symposium in Glasgow, sharing the ideas behind their piece Dancer which was co-created with Adrian Howells, they reminded us that “talking can be so… misunderstood, misquoted, misconstrued.” That “…sometimes… there just aren’t words for things,” but there are “always bodies,” meaning “there are always dances for things.” And whilst the words quoted here appeared on a projection screen they danced on the stage beneath to Lady Gaga. Neither Ian nor Gary are trained dancers, but they like to dance.
The question of whose terms determine the nature and dynamics of artists’ works formed a refrain throughout a presentation by Janice Parker and Craig Simpson at the In Dialogue symposium. On whose terms is a practice professional; On whose terms a performance an experience of participation; On whose terms a performance progressive? Their repeated questioning was another reminder that words and the frameworks in which they occur, and through which they make sense, are constructed. Those frameworks are created by people. There is a who and whose behind every expression. They are social. And the very notion of making sense by using words is active: on whose terms do I create sense out of the body that dances before me, on whose terms do I construct meaning between bodies and words that have an established currency? Do I want to change those terms?
Words affect who we understand another person’s body to be. The term disability promotes incapacity over the many facilities carried by people whose bodies have been labelled as disabled. Yet choreography explores what bodies can do, how they can be together and how they might appear to others. In Glasgow, Rosemary Lee spoke of her choreography as exploring what people have in common, through a practice that seeks to exercise how people attend to each other. Over the last three decades she has created projects that bring together people who fit a range of social categories. Yet she spoke about how she stopped creating such work when David Cameron, the current British Prime Minister, introduced ‘The Big Society’ as a driving concept in the Conservative Party’s 2010 general election manifesto. The claim of this term to empower communities as political strategy, changed the foundations on which Lee had understood her practice to offer experiences that might be felt as empowering. Her past
choreographies had not changed, but the framework that determined how they might be interpreted as social gestures had been affiliated to a politics she found offensive. Here, the very particular deployment of three words sought to appropriate specific kinds of social experience in service to a political party. As a result, Leeâ€™s practice was disrupted, and the framework through which to consider her work destabilised.
PROVOCATION BY AN ABSENT PERSON Wendy Houstoun
Over the last 8 months or so since we have intermittently been meeting for What Words Can Do I have been noticing things almost from the corner of my eye. I have been noticing tensions or possibly discrepancies.
I sometimes feel, when I have been watching work: I am being asked to look at disability- at different bodies- and also being asked to ignore them at the same time. I notice that at times, the performer is presenting an individual, particular and special situation but I have the feeling I am also asked to not notice the difference at the same time.
Or I notice some collision where I appreciate the individual while feeling the frame of â€œissueâ€? around the personâ€Ś. I think about those things that separate people and what might join them.
I think about how the world has turned binary since the computer joined in the conversation and I also think about how we identify with people in stories and whether we have to be represented visually in order to relate.
I think about orthodoxies and blueprints that are out of date or just plain lazy. That makes me think about: cliques and groups, success and nepotism, reparation and atonement, patronising adjustments and lip service alterations and the place of guilt in relationship. I am part of this discrepancy and tension.
KEEPING SCORE Robert Hesp
A record. A set of instructions. A method of preserving and passing on an experience. A way to create a new experience. A practical solution to a written question. An experiment.
Having been involved with the In Dialogue project since Unlimited festival last summer, Iâ€™ve spent a lot of time thinking about words and performance. How words can incite, move and guide people. Words acting as anchors for definition and form, still open to interpretation but concrete enough to transmit particular meaning. Words stolen, words given, words inviting exchange. Words that exclude. Political words. Naughty words, forbidden words... At many points in the process it felt like I was drowning in words, in avenues to explore and conversations around the body, dance,
disability, representation etc. I returned to my own arrival into inclusive practice, something that came into being through action, through a decision to practically engage. Inclusivity had always just been presented as a buzzword, jargon and something to think about. Sometimes you have to do something to understand why it needs to be done, to learn kinaesthetically and really recognise the importance of experience. And so instead of creating my response by attempting to navigate a constantly shifting constellation of chatter, I made the decision to bring the focus back
to words and doing - to action, moving and being. I wanted to get people to think on their feet - in action rather than inaction. To feel an experience rather than just contemplate it. And as a writer in this process as well as a performance maker â€“ I wanted to show and not to tell. And so I started working with the idea of scores. When I first think of a score I think of music, of precise notation marked on sheets of paper and given to musicians to translate, invigorate and bring into existence. Like a blueprint for a building. Only in this
case the resulting thing isn’t a tangible object – it’s a moment, an experience or indeed a performance. A process in itself, and one without specific fixed objectives or goals. What if the instructions weren’t concrete or precise either but more open and abstract? Scores for performance were adopted by the Fluxus movement in the 60’s, actively reshaping the position of the artist and giving the mantle of creation to anyone who wanted it. The scores I created hold on to this same idea of accessibility – they don’t require any kind of training or artistic practice just a body and a level of engagement.
stimulus material. A myriad of different responses happening simultaneously in small groups around the space – people taking the instructions on the page and finding their own access points, meaning and relevance. Thinking and doing. instead of simply reading the scores published on the following page, I encourage you to try them. To see what you find in the
words and then maybe find some words of your own. Take them, interpret and play with them, and see what happens. They belong to everyone collectively and exist almost as puppets, artefacts, or even bones waiting to be fleshed out and reanimated, holding thoughts and fragments of previous experiences for you to encounter and repurpose as you wish.
At the In Dialogue Symposium I presented a selection of these scores to the participants, with the instruction to explore the words given to them in relation to ideas of performance and experience. The resulting exploration was a fantastically varied collection of play, experimentation and free interpretation within the loosely structured
SCORE play Robert Hesp
Show and tell
Form a small group of people, make everyone the same height. Observe and record.
Sit quietly, side by side. Pause. Itâ€™s just not something we talk about.
Perform one of the above scores to an audience. Repeat said score again in private.
Two performers. One performer begins to sing, the other copies as close as possible. Applause.
Habit Do something that you never do. Do it again.
Audibly describe how you see yourself. Physically describe how you would like others to see you.
A polite instruction
Create a box. Find someone to tick your box. Repeat until satisfied.
Please read these words aloud to one other person, without explanation or warning.
Bridge Bridge Bridge Bridge. A supported composition.
Open mouth Hold emptiness in your mouth for a short amount of time. Speak.
Address undress Tell me Iâ€™m sexy.
Find something comfortable and lie on it. Tell someone of your experience.
There are no words Think of someone or something that you love. Perform a short dance for them/it.
A view to examine Occupy a space. Traverse. Occupy another space. Observe your current position from all possible angles then document your journey.
Positioning Talk to at least one other person continuously for 5 minutes. Alternate regularly between pointed and flexed words.
USELESS EXPRESSIONS, EMPTY PHRASES, POINTLESS WORDS (to be thrown away) USELESS EXPRESSIONS
Honest dance Interesting Useless I love you Where did you train?
Please You are so inspirational! Dialogue Art is Life How are you? Rich That was very good
Innovative Meaty Margins Sorry Abnormal Dancer Risky Normal Interesting Talent Slut
Questions were generated by Nicola Conibere, Robert Hesp and Dr. R. Justin Hunt as the opening of of their Working Words workshop at the In Dialogue: An Evolving art form symposium in response to the works they had seen and heard and
as prompts for their own and participants explorations and thinking, during the workshop participants were invited to place useless expressions, empty phrases and pointless words into depositories in the room.
A REFLECTION Kate Marsh
There seems to be no definitive answer to so many of the questions I am surrounded by. Only conversations, dances, touches, glances, collaboration and words… Words, the tricky, slippery, ‘right’, ‘wrong’ too much, not enough, framework that drives our practice and shapes our thinking. Moving further into my own research, my curiosity around words deepens. I find myself seduced by the sometimes functional, often controversial and hopefully provocative language we use to talk about our work. As I watch, listen and absorb during ‘InDialogue’ I am drawn not just to the words, but also to the spaces in-between them. There are indications of ideas or subtle
gestures of communication. It strikes me that this is an area where we can learn so much about each other. I think these are also the moments, the slow, quieter communications that are so easily lost. They become fragile, almost illusive in the context of so many evaluations, presentations and justifications for practice that they often go un-noticed. It was made so clear to me in Glasgow that space and time are what is needed here, not just to notice in the moment of communication, but also time in the aftermath to reflect and shift, to allow our thinking to be fluid and changeable. …….Do you know this place? I know this… I recognise this place.
We are in a circle (naturally) I wait for my turn, how will I describe myself this time? What will I choose to give to the group as an insight into me? Because it is a choice, I try to read the group to gauge the ‘feeling’ I know I can delve into my repertoire of ‘roles’ to define what I ‘do’ and who I ‘am.’ Even offering a question is a choice. We are old hands here. We know the drill, find a partner, someone you don’t know… we all know each other here, even if we haven’t met. We are the converted, the understanding, the experts. So how do we find something new, about ourselves about each other? If we journey alongside each other might we experience things a little differently, allow our thinking to shift, be informed by
how another person experiences the same journey. I am not suggesting a kind of ‘day in my shoes’ approach, I do not believe that treading the same physical path gives a sense of the lived experience of another person. How could it? When our lived experience is just that, lived. It is the here and now, the past, the present, the said and the silent.
task they have been asked to try. They are checking in on where they are and how they might speak to each other. We come to all these things holding onto our ‘practice’ the labels we wear. The trick here is to see how they might merge and emerge. How do we allow a space for our perception of ourselves and our practice to feed and be fed?
I do believe, however, that we have the potential to borrow from the perspectives of those around us, if we are prepared to allow these to sit alongside our perceptions to prod and poke them and provoke a question. “Is this territory familiar to you?” I hear one person ask another. I think they are talking about the building and location, but I know they could also mean the ideas and the
CONTRIBUTORS Marc Brew
Candoco Dance Company
Artistic Director and choreographer Marc Brew trained as a professional dancer at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and The Australian Ballet School. He has been working in the UK and Internationally for the past 18 years as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and speaker; with the Australian Ballet Company, State Theatre Ballet Company of South Africa, Infinity Dance Theatre in New York and for 5 years up until early 2008 with CandoCo Dance Company. In 2009 was appointed Associate Director with Scottish Dance Theatre – ‘Scotland’s principal contemporary dance company’ where he co-directed ‘NQR’ a work in collaboration with Artistic Director Janet Smith and SDT’s Dance Agent for Change Caroline Bowditch. Since 2001 Marc has been dedicating time to his own choreography with Marc Brew Company.
Australian born but Glasgow based performance artist and choreographer, Caroline Bowditch, describes herself as a performer, maker, teacher, speaker and mosquito buzzing in the ears of the arts industry in the UK and further afield. She has choreographed/performed work as girl jonah with Fiona Wright, created her own work Proband (2007) after being awarded a Wellcome Trust Arts Grant and co-created NQR and the Long and the Short of it as Scottish Dance Theatre’s Dance Agent for Change (2008-2012). In 2012, Caroline created Leaving Limbo Landing for the Cultural Olympiad and in 2014 created Falling in Love with Frida.
Candoco Dance Company is the company of disabled and non-disabled dancers. We create excellent and profound experiences for audiences and participants that excite, challenge and broaden perceptions of art and ability, and place people and collaboration at the heart of our work.
Nicola Conibere Nicola Conibere is a choreographer. Her work explores the politics and practice of spectatorship, as well as experiences of collectivity and social gathering. She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at Coventry University.
Claire Cunningham is a multi-disciplinary performer and choreographer based in Glasgow. Originally a classically-trained singer, she began to work in dance in 2005, after working with US choreographer Jess Curtis, who kindled her interest in movement. This led to her pursuing her own training with various practitioners, including a mentorship with Bill Shannon (aka The Crutchmaster) and training in elements of his own Shannon technique. Over the following years she has developed her own movement vocabulary based on the use of crutches, with a resulting interest in realising her own choreographic ideas often rooted in the use/misuse, study and distortion of crutches.
Brian Hartley is a Glasgow based artist whose work is a combination of visual art, photography and design. He works as a designer, creating stage designs for dance and theatre, graphic art and photography. Integrating these skills with experience as a physical performer, and theatre maker, Brian creates multi disciplinary collaborative performance events through his company stillmotion.
Robert Hesp is a dancer, facilitator and live artist currently based in London. A graduate from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Robert creates and performs his own live art works across the country having presented work at venues such as the Roundhouse, Pleasance Theatre and V&A Museum.
Wendy Houstoun Kimberley Harvey Kimberley Harvey is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Her most recent work as a freelance performer was with dance theatre company, Moxie Brawl. As well as being a Candoco Artist, Kimberley also has her own dance company, Subtle Kraft Co.
Wendy Houstoun is a London based maker and performer of movement and text based theatre work. An established soloist also known for her collaborations with artists and other companies (Forced Entertainment, DV8 Physical Theatre) she continues to commit herself to experimental forms of theatre which speak honestly, personally and with humour to address her themes.
Dr R Justin Hunt
Dr. R. Justin Hunt is a producer, performer and lecturer based in London. He is Executive Producer at Chisenhale Dance Space and teaches at Syracuse University, London. He is one-third of the performance production company I’m With You and performs acts of live art, internationally.
Vicky Malin studied Psychology and Drama and Theatre Studies at Roehampton University and before going on to train on the Candoco Foundation Course in Dance for Disabled People. After graduating Vicky performed for Blue Eyed Soul Dance Company, touring with works by Liam Steel (Stan Won’t Dance) and Jess Curtis before joining Candoco dancing, touring and teaching with them from 2008 to 2014, including Candoco’s first ever solo commission ‘This is it’ choreographed by Matthias Sperling Since leaving Candoco Vicky continues to perform, teach and create within different contexts. Most recently choreographing work for the Festival of Music and Dance, Granada 2014 and working with choreographer Dinis Machado in the UK and Sweden. Vicky is also an accredited personal coach and offers one to one coaching sessions.
Following a career as a dance artist and teacher, Kate Marsh has worked in a variety of settings both in the U.K and internationally. In 2009 Kate completed a Masters in Dance by Independent study at DeMontfort University (Improvisation and Widening Participation in Dance). This sparked an interest in dance research and she is now undertaking a full time PhD studentship at Coventry University as part of the research project InVisible Difference: Dance, Disability and the Law, exploring the development of leadership roles for disabled dance artists.
Luke Pell Fascinated by detail, nuances of time, texture, memory and landscape Luke Pell is an artist living in Scotland. A maker and curator - working in and in between spaces of dance, theatre and live art he collaborates with other artists and organisations imagining alternative contexts for performance, participation and discourse that might reveal wisdoms for living.
THANK YOU Karen Anderson, Indepen-dance
Hannah Dye, Candoco Dance Company www.candoco.co.uk
Marc Brew, Marc Brew Company
Hayley Earlam, Indepen-dance4
www.marcbrew.com Caroline Bowditch
www.carolinebowditch.com Haley Brown
http://thoughtpocket.wix.com/haley Catherine Cassidy, Scottish Ballet
www.scottishballet.co.uk Nicola Conibere
www.nicolaconibere.com Claire Cunningham
www.clairecunningham.co.uk Fleur Darkin, Scottish Dance Theatre
www.scottishdancetheatre.com Javier De Frutos
www.roh.org.uk/people/javier-de-frutos Daisy Douglas
weareunlimited.org.uk/commission/dancer-ian-johnston/ Susan Hay
www.susanhayconsulting.co.uk Brian Hartley, stillmotion
www.stillmotion.co.uk Kimberley Harvey
Dr. R. Justin Hunt
Janice Parker, Janice Parker Projects
Neil Price, Indepen-dance 4
Rosemary Lee www.artsadmin.co.uk/artists/rosemary-lee
www.candoco.co.uk/about-us/people/candoco-artists/victoria-malin/ Kate Marsh Emmie McCluskey
Matthew Robinson Craig Simpson
www.unlimitedimpact.org.uk/craig-simpson/ Adam Sloan
www.dancebase.co.uk/teachers/claricia-kruithof-100000036 Tim Nunn, Tramway Glasgow
Stine Nilsen, Candoco Dance Company
Thank you to all the contributors and participants at the In Dialogue: An Evolving Art Form Symposium
2T Leroy House 436 Essex Road London N1 3QP UK firstname.lastname@example.org www.candoco.co.uk
Candoco Dance Company's In Dialogue programme is an ongoing series of events and projects delivered in collaboration with influential artist...
Published on Aug 24, 2015
Candoco Dance Company's In Dialogue programme is an ongoing series of events and projects delivered in collaboration with influential artist...