Art is a process of collaboration; how we share, connect, engage, learn and understand each other. Over the past few years, it has been a real pleasure to collaborate with all the dancers in EncoreEast; they support me, teach me, challenge me and inspire me.
So, I was thrilled when Viking TV asked if I would like to create a new site-specific dance as part of their Dance Week (9th – 15th August). Viking TV are always keen to promote the work of mature artists, showcasing the range and diversity of talent that exists in our age group. I had already been working on an idea to create a piece at The Redoubt, Harwich with EncoreEast, so this was the perfect opportunity to realise my ideas.
The Redoubt is a Napoleonic Fort built to defend our borders. It should be an austere space, but its thick walls wrap around a circular central open space, creating an equal sense of security and freedom. When I work site-specifically I always begin with the site itself, this balance between security and freedom interests me. In life we create boundaries around ourselves to make us feel free, whether this is family, home or friends. Within EncoreEast I sense the same balance as we support each other in movement. Through the connections we make we create freedom to allow ourselves to take risks, to push ourselves beyond our own expectations. Our collaboration creates strength to allow each individual to shine.
I am developing a technique which I call choreography in edit. I create set structured scenes and use film to capture improvised movement. The movement is created by each dancer as an organic response to the space, the climate, each other and my instructions. I then choreograph the dance, in edit, from all the captured movement.
For this project I am collaborating with James Prismall from Viking TV. It is interesting to see how a film-maker’s creative process connects with my shaping of the movement material. I hope we can do justice to the wonderful style of every dancer involved. It’s been a joy to witness both the individual highlights of each dancer and the group strength of the movement created. It will be very exciting to see the final screen-dance and accompanying documentary on Viking TV at 7pm, Friday 13th August. Please join us if you can.
By Stella Eldon