In these interviews we wanted to share some of the knowledge and thinking by some of the artists we work with, and invite them to talk about not just their relationship with us, but also their personal pathway and career in the independent dance sector; to discuss what interests them now and what informs the way they work within their current dance practice.
Between them, the five interviews illuminate a part of independent dance sector in the UK – its influences, current explorations and its future.
The artists we introduce below all teach regularly on ID’s morning class programme.The idea behind our classes and workshops is that they develop not only the attenders, but also the teaching artists: we encourage them to question their teaching, and participants come to classes and workshops as co-investigators in this process of enquiry. Much of our work is based on improvisation and somatic techniques – methods that start from kinaesthetic awareness and internal processes, rather than external forms.
It is also important to us to acknowledge that dance artists work in different modes throughout their careers: most independents combine performance, teaching, making work, writing, and many other activities in their daily working life. For these artists, their teaching practice is a part of the artists’ wider creative process, which is a recurring theme in their interviews.
Andrea Buckley has performed with many independent artists touring the UK, Europe and America, including Siobhan Davies Dance, Kirstie Simson, Nancy Stark-Smith, MacLennan Dance Company, Rosemary Lee, Gill Clarke and Deborah Hay. Her primary research as a performer and maker draws upon an extensive range of improvisation and contact improvisation skills as a way to continue to develop an awareness of the moving body and expand a repertoire of composition.
Andrea speaks about her personal journey into dance, and how she has navigated her career as an independent dance artist. She considers some of the early influences that propelled her into the independent dance sector, and talks about what interests her now, in particular detailing how her experience as a Rolfing practitioner feeds into her work and teaching.
Charlie Morrissey is a performer, teacher, director and researcher, who has worked in the UK and in many other countries for 20 years. He creates large and small scale site-specific, theatre and gallery based performance work in diverse contexts working with set and improvised materials. Charlie speaks about his interest in making and performing dance work. He explains his interest in revealing what is happening in the present moment between audience and performer and the nature of that particular relationship.
Charlie speaks about his interest in making and performing dance work. He explains his interest in revealing what is happening in the present moment between audience and performer and the nature of that particular relationship.
Gaby Agis is one of the pioneers of collaborative performance in Britain, working with leading artists of her generation from other disciplines in galleries, museums and theatres. She founded Gaby Agis & Company in 1985 and the artists she has worked with are Turner Prize nominee Isaac Julien, sculptors Kate Blacker and Cornelia Parker, composers David Sylvian and Gavin Bryars, architects Muf, and the director Atom Eyogan.
Gaby reflects on the influence that growing up in the sixties had on her dance practice, in a time when challenging ideas and freedom of expression was the way of approaching and dealing with what was happening in the wider context. She speaks of the influence of Rosemary Butcher, who was her teacher during her school years, and how this informed her later work. She discusses finding Skinner Releasing Technique and her relationship to SRT as an artist, and the recent and many reconstructions of her seminal work Shouting Out Loud.
Lauren Potter performs and teaches as an independent artist. She danced with London Contemporary Dance Theatre for eight years, and became a founding member of Siobhan Davies Dance Company; she has also worked with Lloyd Newson, Yolande Snaith, Jonathan Lunn, Ashley Page and most recently Rosemary Butcher. Lauren was artistic director for EDge at London Contemporary Dance School.
The interview with Lauren highlights the intertwined relationship of her performance and teaching practice. Beginning by speaking about her own entry into dance, Lauren expresses her interest in the performance of dance improvisation. She acknowledges the influence that working with Siobhan Davies has had on her as a performer and her interest in the language and expression of the body. Lauren discusses the influence that working on Deborah Hay’s Solo Commissioning Project has had on her both as teacher and as a performer, changing her views on being seen within performance and developing this idea of visibility/invisibility with her students. She also speaks about her recent performances of a retrospective of Rosemary Butcher’s work.
Marina Collard is a choreographer and performer interested in collaborating with artists from different disciplines, including a 15-year creative partnership with film maker Tom Paine. Marina has performed for Florence Peake, Dog Kennel Hill Project, Carol Brown Dances, CandoCo, Joe Moran and ceramicist Claire Twomey, among others. She teaches in professional and educational settings both nationally and internationally.
Marina speaks about her relationship between the different teaching contexts she works within and what these different contexts present for her as an artist and teacher. She explains her interest in biodynamic craniosacral therapy and how this feeds into her dance work, discusses her current work.