Started my Dance Artist Residency at The Work Room yesterday for my podcast "Anonymous Dancer”.
The idea behind Anonymous Dancer is to create a podcast that gets people dancing regardless of where they are or their ability. Following on from the success of my 'Kitchen Dance' series (84 dances streamed live in my kitchen in the middle of night whilst my baby son was sleeping) which was viewed around the world I had this idea to create something people could try that wasn't so exposing as video but allowed them to experience the wonderful benefits of dance. As I am a lone parent I find myself excluded from many cultural activities I used to celebrate and participate in fully - the structures (for the most part) are limited and support a small demographic. This is a shame, because the content of many of these works could be appreciated and celebrated by a larger demographic. I am interested in turning existing systems on their heads and building/nurturing individuals and communities through my work.
SO Day 1 of Residency... Spent day getting to terms with technology and plotting out the week.
I wasn’t feeling particularly (physically) well with the tail end of illness my son had passed to me (thanks for sharing buddy ;) ) - That said I was glad for it. Too often we make work (dance or otherwise) from a perspective of wellness and ability to use our full bodies in a particular synchronicity. A big part of this project is looking at creating works that can be accessed and experienced regardless of physical (body) ableness or access to space. I recorded some bits and pieces and it was interesting to see how *some* were difficult to access on physical levels and some on psychological levels - some I didn't *do* physically but *imagined* I was doing and *that* in and of itself was interesting and enjoyable.
Got thinking about the use of vocabulary in the context of dance. On the one hand we have Laban (a contemporary dance form/theory which uses terms in a kind of scientific way to manifest movement sequence and (sometimes) emotion or character), the Five Rhythms 'approach' which *feels* more from natures rhythms (believing that all movement on the planet can be split into five rhythms - flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness) and Indian Dance Forms such as Odissi which I studied in Puri, India in 2008. Odissi is thousands of years old and was practiced (originally) by Priestesses in temples. There are links to what we call yoga in it's poses. It utilizes the whole body (even having poses for hands, eyes etc....). The interesting thing about Odissi (for me) is how the form can and does have mastery alongside community. Whilst I was there I was always impressed by the ownership the residents of Puri had for the dance (even when not dancers of the form), the pride and recognition in it being done by highly trained gurus at the same time it welcomed and celebrated new participants.
Lastly got to reflect on the 'successful' bits of my practice related to dance in the past few years. Thinking about how my 'Kitchen Dances' (84 dances in my kitchen when my baby son was asleep and streamed live to audiences globally (Mongolia! Saudi Arabia! South Dakota!)) and what that might have been like for them watching. And my Broomielaw Dancing along the River Clyde (484 dances over 2 years) - and how the success (on reflection) was the ability to manifest/live/nurture an authenticity in myself and others. We 'authored' a story on those shores - and it was silly and beautiful and real. And we really need that.
So pretty big job to accomplish in the next few days, I feel I will only scratch the surface!
OH and A REQUEST - I need some 'podcast testers' - either tomorrow or Thursday I will have a five minute audio I would LOVE some folks to try and give me some feedback.
Lots of love xxoo
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