I have surprised myself over the last 2 months. It has been a challenging time as I ride the rocky uneven ground of parenthood, arts practice and teaching. I have been full up with big, positive and invigorating forward planning for my own projects, classes & practice and the PAVE Festival 2015. Two grant applications, 3 expressions of interest applications, 3 different performances, delightful time in the studio with Alice Cummins & the Footfall Ensemble, my regular teaching & some new teaching gigs, some writing, widening circles of involvement and connection and the daily tasks of motherhood have all been revolving in a cyclical motion of nausea and adrenalin inducing rapidity.
So what do you do when its all a little bit too much but you can’t, and don’t really want to stop? Well, if you are me…. You become ultra focused on apparently random things that, in the end, bring together the different parts of yourself in odd ways.
My latest little obsessions have travelled a meandering path, beginning as some much needed family fun time, developing through a research phase (which was perhaps more focused & frequent than was helpful given how busy I was) before finally reaching into my own creative practice in the studio and on the stage. I decided to share this process as a little microcosm of the marvellous interactions between the mundane and utopian in making art & life happen. It all started with a music video by a Belgian Hip Hop artist called, Stromae. Thankyou hubby for showing it to us.
Papaoutai by Stromae
(For all you parents reading this it is perfectly kid friendly and that was one of its most inspiring aspects for me)
Jackpot!!!! Dance battles with mummy and boys occurred frequently for about 10 days and it was really fun! Then I began appreciating the camera work and choreography of the film clips we watched, again and again, on youtube. While writing grant applications for Circling the Brink (CTB 2015) and editing some of the video footage from CTB 2014, spending time in a studio by myself and dancing with the footfall ensemble, making new dance installations and showing them, I started researching the choreographer….
Her name is Marion Motin and I really wish I could speak French. I really enjoyed her take on hip hop. It seemed to me that she had a very versatile and accessible style that was fearless in its use of the whole body. It was incredibly expressive and very real rather than hyper stylised in a particular way. I wanted to join her in a studio and find my own way of moving, with her fearlessness.
Over the last three years I have been working towards bringing together the major movement and creative influences in my life in both my performances and the classes I teach. My main influences are modern dance technique (via both Elizabeth Cameron Dalman back to limon and the early black American choreographer Eleo Pomare, and Ruth Osborne back to the Bodenwieser technique), Mobius Kiryuho (a Japanese movement meditation form) and studying the epsitemological validity of dance & film and making dance & film as a research method and tool for gaining social knowledge and making strong communities.
As I watched more of Marion’s work and reconnected with the joy, play and particular in my own movement…. BAM! It all connected and I made this.
My main driver in teaching and in creating is to use movement as a mode of concious self expression. Perhaps it is storytelling, perhaps it is self knowledge, perhaps it is just a lot of fun! Whatever it might be it is all connected. And I still listen to Stromae, as I complete the mundane tasks of life, and smile and dance a little because its all connected and the kitchen and the loungeroom are great spaces for new ideas!