Groundswell is an open gathering to talk and listen.
We meet to use our practices, our ability to connect with each other, face our current concerns, to question and move into action on whatever terms we can. It is open to all.

In September 2016, Groundswell will be in Cardiff at Groundwork Pro. Groundswell will be led by Katye Coe and Frank Bock.

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Next event
Groundswell Cardiff (Groundwork Pro, Cardiff) 
17 September 2016
10.00 – 12.00 noon – Class
12.15 – 13.15pm – Groundswell
13.15 – 14.15pm – Lunch
14.15 – 16.30pm – Groundswell
Open to all, free to attend
Contact, or see Groundwork Pro’s website for more information.
Dance House, Wales Millennium Centre, Pierhead Street, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff CF10 4PH



The ‘basic’ Groundswell questions:

  • What is it to be a dance artist today, now?
  • What are the important questions that I experience within my practice?
  • How do I employ the principles and knowledge beyond the immediate dance arenas?
  • Can I think of recent interactions or events that have stimulated my process / practice?
  • Are there movements that excite me about embodied practice / choreography / dance performance?
  • How am I applying my experience?
  • What kind of resourcing do I need to sustain all this?
  • How can we usefully find community and communication across different  areas, forms, practices, and applications of dance?

Previous events

Groundswell began in early 2012, as a series of artist conversations where the process of conversation and dialogue is the central focus for meeting. These gatherings set out to find what underpins or moves thinking and practice, not to gather information per se.

Groundswells take place in changing venues, to keep the presence of institutional space a part of our conversations. The first three Groundswells took place at Siobhan Davies Studios. Two were followed by some self-organising studio time to take ideas further. The fourth and fifth Groundswells were held, with in-kind space support, in the Purcell Room and the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre, and the sixth in Coventry.

About the talking, about the space

These conversations at Groundswell are events in themselves, finding fresh ways of having the experiences and understandings we arrived with.
We find ourselves at a particular time where questions of how to live together sustainably have particularly urgency.

“We say that we ‘conduct’ a conversation but the more genuine a conversation is, the less its conduct lies within the will of each partner. Thus a genuine conversation is never the one that we wanted to conduct. Rather, it is generally more correct to say that we fall into conversation, or even that we become involved in it. The way one word follows another, with the conversation taking its own twists and reaching its own conclusion, may well be conducted in some way, but the partners conversing are far less the leaders of it than the led. No one knows in advance what will ‘come out’ of a conversation. Understanding or its failure is like an event that happens to us.”
Hans Georg Gadamer (:30 Gadamer, 1960/1991)

“’We’ are not outside observers of the world. Nor are we simply located at particular places in the world; rather, we are part of the world in its ongoing intra-activity.”
Karen Barad  (:29 Barad, 2003)

Living consists of processes, events, actual happenings, not mere verbalisations, concepts, or representations. The implicit living process is open-ended. The process of living implying is always implying a further implying, a changed implying. This is because it is an implicit body-environment process of happenings, not consisting of only verbally defined entities.
Eugene Gendlin (2013,

19 October 2014: Groundswell – anew

A symposium event, Thinking Together, took place in this summer in Darmstadt, Germany. Practitioners from many disciplines came to “connect their different knowledges and practices towards future Imaginaries of Living Together”. Choreographer Hamish MacPherson was able to participate, to contribute knowledge and to bring back fertile questions containing the urgency that concerns this time of neo-liberalism we are living in.
There, it was stated that all concerns are political because that is how we organise our lives, resources and forms of togetherness. Here it is likewise true.

Groundswell engages with these ideas from the ground up: that concerns and futures aren’t determined by those who are in possession of certain theories and expertise but belong to us all; that we are not spectators but understand ourselves as responsible to the possibilities for our present living and change. All too often ideas are shared on a purely cognitive level, whereas many of us have practices that can draw on our embodiment to find deeper forms of responsiveness, listening and directing attention – creating spaces for things to happen.

The aim of this Groundswell is to connect up knowledge and vital experiences belonging to this present moment; to make links with each other, beyond the usual networking, through meaningful exchange.

Groundswell is a meeting point where artists and others, not just those working in relation to dance, can talk about working. It is open to all, underpinned by the idea that new conversation has the power to be generative. We encourage those from across the art form and beyond – dance artists, teachers, artists, newly graduated, body workers…and so on: you know who you are.

Choreographer Hamish MacPherson reported on his attendance at Thinking Together in Germany and contributes to the set of questions we worked with at this Groundswell.


Groundswells take place when opportunities arise; please subscribe to our newsletters to be kept up to date on upcoming events.