Research Lab 2017 – 2018

Sharing research with fellow artists can be an energising moment in a project’s evolution.
In response to approaches made by artists, Independent Dance invited five artists to open up their current research, with a focus of researching through (rather than about) dancing, teaching and making. The artists shared their practice-based research in an informal, facilitated and inquisitive space of peers.

Each morning had a different format, based on each artist’s inquiry.  For those attending, it was an opportunity to experience and contribute to evolving ideas.

Research Lab 2017

3 July – Carolyn Roy

I will share my research into the experience of dancing as companionship and ‘being with’, with reference to socially engaged thinker Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay Being Singular Plural. This will take the form of a short performed sharing of dance and text and a practical, discursive exploration of these notions and whatever arises from their consideration through moving and talking together in a durational improvisation.
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4 July – Rosanna Irvine

Figures Series is an expanded choreographic project and the umbrella title for a growing collection of works that includes choreographic scores, participatory performances, reviews, writings and interviews. Extending across and between dance, visual arts and participatory practices, Figures Series questions what 21st century choreography is and what it can do.
Many of the scores from Figures Series can be worked with using movement, drawing and/or sound – and occasionally writing. Many also involve a particular attention towards breath.
During the Research Lab we will investigate some of these scores. Drawing and writing materials will be on hand – as will portable amplifier and microphone for sound work – and of course space for moving. People will work with their material(s) of choice. We will spend time researching/playing with the scores, observing each other, reflecting and discussing together. Our enquiry will orientate around how a choreographic set of instructions manifests through different people and through different media.
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5 July – Margarita Zafrilla

For this research laboratory, I will be working with some of my current movement investigations in the form of an experimental dance presentation. I will be voicing and moving some of the submerged fictions that keep me alive, the survival of being a dancer. I’m hoping that this can generate shared energies and transmissions, bridging new and restorative conceptions of what our dancing can move.
Other moments during the session will be guiding and being guided by visuals, dances, scores, questions and calls.
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6 July – Susanna Recchia

The work started while teaching at La Manufacture in Lausanne (CH) on the 8th of November 2017, on the day I heard the news of Leonard Cohen’s death and of Donald Trump’s election.
I decided to go to the studio at night, switch the lights off and dance.
I am a performer who mainly works on collaborative projects. This is the first time that I felt the desire to spend time alone in the studio and make a dance.
Since November, I have regularly returned to the studio and revisited the score I assembled: a collage of ideas, movement tasks and music tracks to keep alive questions on the relation between sensation and form, reciprocity, interrelatedness and the relevance of personal actions in the current political climate.
At this stage of the process, I am interested in sharing the initial phase of my work and talk about what others see and perceive when being exposed to this dance.
The session will be divided in three parts: the presentation of the work in progress, a practical exploration with the viewers of two of the tasks that are part of my movement research, a conversation about the work that I have presented.
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7 July – Charlotte Spencer

I will lead a session focusing on the processes of my latest work, Is this a Waste Land? Practical investigations will inform discussion and writing experiments in an attempt to experience the choreographic processes at play. In particular, we will focus on the inter-relationship of questions concerning the valuing of space and felt senses of belonging – enquiries that lie at the centre of this work. We will work directly with some of the practices that have emerged in the development of Is this a Waste Land?

Is this a Waste Land? is part live performance, part interactive audio experience designed for 6 performers and up to 80 audience members on disused urban sites. The nature of the work is interactive, experiential, tactile, collective and individual. It invites us to consider how we value space, waste, home, belonging and community.

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Research Lab 2018

Presented in partnership with Siobhan Davies Dance

Mon 2 July – Ben Ash

Wayfaring Encounters

This research laboratory draws on notions of Wayfaring and Transport by Tim Ingold ‘Traveling is not a transactional activity between one place and another, but a way of being’ .
Using a collection of life sized collapsible wooden Tripods, the intention is to explore the actions and gesture that occur as movement language whilst arranging and rearranging the objects along an unbroken pathway through which a mobile DIY self build puzzle will unfold.The session will be a fluid combination of practical play/research and discussion:

Suppose the self and self in relationship are a DIY project we are constantly constructing, what do we build together, how do we compose the spaces and places we inhabit, how do we respond to each other?

What modes of being/doing co-arise through a relational ‘availability’ towards the dynamic presence of another, whilst grappling with the tripods and articulating a landscape in flux?

Ben’s biography

Tue 3 July – Stefan Jovanovic

How do we recognise belonging? How do we know that we find ourselves in the right place? How can we use our bodies and sensations to orientate in rituals where both individuality and togetherness are present? In this research lab, I invite you to join me in investigating and improvising the set of relations that can exist between our bodies, physical materials, and the invisible field that moves us, through a series of movement scores, systemic dances, and blind constellations.
A set of silver sculptures will be used as mediums of channeling, transferring our intentions into a set of objects, which will be manipulated and positioned as we, the dance, evolves. The sculptures will render an alternative story line to our moving practice, enabling for a discursive ending. I invite for this dance to be a healing practice, integrating our individual intentions with a ritual of gathering.

Stefan’s biography

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Wed 4 July – Kimberley Harvey

This Research Lab will reflect my insatiable curiosity for ‘what is means to be human’ and how (notions of) relationships factor into all of this – the relationship we have to ourselves; each other and to our environment.
Specifically we’ll explore the idea of being ‘held’ in someone else’s attention and how it can be embodied?
What form does this sense of holding take between dancers? Is it one way? Is it reciprocal?
How do you find yourself being ‘held’ in someone’s attention; and what opportunities (in terms of the encounter/interaction/relationship) does it create?
Being held in someone’s attention, however fleetingly, is the starting point…How can it progress? What role do the eyes have in all of this?
How can we play with how the interaction unfolds?
Gaining an embodied understanding of the other;
Mapping physicalities
As conversations between people and specific parts of the body;
Attention to detail; nuances; listening.

Kimberley’s biography

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Thu 5 July – Amy Bell


Based on installation piece TOMBO(Y)LA, we’ll dance and talk about how our sense of ‘me-ness’ is always happening in the spaces in between – between people and between modes of communication. We will investigate a series of improvised structures based on witnessing and conversation to ask how it might be that our bodies and identities are in constant, subtle, intersubjective flux. Together we might tune into this dynamic process of becoming and hijack it a little. We’ll also plunge into a state of playful, associative overload by talking and dancing at the same time. This might invite some compelling co-exisitences, cross-currents, ironies, body-puns and brain farts which might encourage us to feel our experience and each other differently. We might ask

– How can language and movement influence each other? Can they remain in counterpoint? What does this achieve or feel like?

– What aspects of basic subjective experience (physical sensation, body or identity) are interesting to have a conversation about?

– What kinds of physical tasks might connect or disconnect to the topic of conversation in interesting or fruitful ways?

– How do different people occupy associative, physical ‘thinking’ and literal, verbal language?

Amy’s biography

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Fri 6 July – Matthias Sperling

In this Research Lab session, I will share elements of the solo choreographic score that I have recently been developing as part of my PhD research. This work moves within a questioning of the relationship between dance/choreography and knowledge-generation. It develops material from my previous work, including Loop Atlas and Now That We Know, and draws on the practice of Deborah Hay. I really welcome this chance to share this developing research with others at ID. In the session, we will focus primarily on getting a taste of doing several of the physical practices and reflecting on them together.

Matthias’s biography

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Open to professionals and students in dance and related fields
First week of July, 10am – 12pm each morning
Free to attend.