Mentoring Lab 2013-14

The ID mentoring project was born out of the what_now 2013 festival.

Mentoring schemes have proliferated over the past years.
It takes place in many forms, encouraged by producers and funders, as well as through artists’ own informal networks actively supporting and providing feedback.
Exploring what constitutes successful mentoring and how skill and talent are to be developed are the main concerns of this 18-month project.

The project comprised

  • a Mentoring Lab, which took place in April 2013,
  • a discussion at Sadler’s Wells the following October
  • a mentoring scheme that ran until summer 2014, and
  • an Open evening: discussion on art mentoring to mark the end of the project – participants of the mentoring scheme and the lab met in July 2014 for a public forum discussion about their experience of mentoring in the past year.

The ID mentoring scheme is supported by the Marion North Mentoring Scheme and Siobhan Davies Dance.

Mentoring Lab

“A rare opportunity to take time to think, in depth, with a fascinating group.”
(Seth Kriebel, Mentoring Lab participant)

13-14 April 2013, at Independent Dance

Facilitated by Frank Bock and fellow artist Chrysa Parkinson, the lab brought together a small group of people from both the UK and across Europe working in dance, theatre and educational contexts.

The 10 invited artists and arts professionals, representing a range of perspectives, ages and levels of experience, were Theresa Beattie, Emilyn Claid, Rose English, Kate Flatt, Cat Harrison, Seth Kriebel, Jan Ritsema, Cecilia Roos, Pete Shenton, and Igor Urzelai. Jonathan Burrows joined the group for a presentation on the first day.

Over the two days there were formal presentations, provocations, and recorded interventions aimed at stimulating reflection and thinking from the participating group. In particular the group explored the political aspect of mentoring and looked at models of mentoring and how that affects the outcomes.

The two days were documented and transcribed, and Theresa Beattie was commissioned to write a response to her experience.
To read Theresa Beattie’s essay A Delicate Exchange please click here.


Mentoring scheme

The mentoring programme began in July 2013 following the festival and mentoring lab. Frank and ID identified 5 pairs who were to devise their own mentor/mentee relationship over a period of a year, meeting up to 10 times over that period.

Each pair would not only enter into a mutually beneficial mentoring relationship, but also develop their perspective on what mentoring might constitute, and how it supports their professional work and development. Each pair worked out its own schedule and timespan, and was able to modify a plan of activity as the relationships shifted and progressed.

Towards the end of their planned sessions together, ID held a final feedback session with all artists on 29 July 2014.

Some reflections from the artists involved can be found below, and the rest will be published on this website in due course. Please click on the names below to read their reflections.

The pairings are:
Rajni Shah and Hamish MacPherson
Frauke Requardt and Kate Enright
Moryum Begum and Marie Forbes
Igor Urzelai and Maria Munoz
Janine Harrington and Alice Chauchat


Mentoring The Work Or Mentoring The Artist?

Public talk and discussion
28 October 2013, Sadler’s Wells

Some of the questions raised during the Mentoring Lab served as stimulus for the talk Mentoring The Work Or Mentoring The Artist?, hosted by Sadler’s Wells in the Lillian Baylis Studio. 

It was chaired by Nigel Hinds began with an initial provocation by Frank, followed by short presentations by Caroline Miller (director of Dance UK), Kate Coyne (then producer at Frieze Foundation) and Deb Barnard (trainer, facilitator and coach).

A total of 40 dance artists and choreographers as well as arts producers, programmers and writers attended.