Exact timings for workshops are provisional until bookings are confirmed, but this should still be a reliable guide to the structure of the weekend.
Making S p a c e s for Poetic Performance – Saturday 29 Sept 10am-12 noon
Alison & Elaine will lead a workshop that explores phrase-making-in dance practice as method and as an approach for creating poetry scores and for defining and realising performative space.
Elaine Thomas – Dancer and choreographer
Elaine is a Senior Lecturer at Roehampton University teaching contemporary technique, inclusive and community dance practice, improvisation and choreography. She co-founded the performance collective, Collaborative Dance Experience (CDE) in 2010 to create collaborations and live performances across art forms. CDE have produced performances at Village Underground, London, the Ragged School Museum, London and The New Baltic Dance Festival, Lithuania. Elaine has been a member of Amici Dance Theatre Company for 17 years, performing with the company in the UK and abroad. She also leads workshops as part of the Amici education team. Elaine has collaborated with Alison Gibb since 2009 to produce, drawings, choreography, dialogues, sound-scores, texts and performances. Their collaborations have been shown at E-Poetry Festival, Practice, Process and Paradox and Dance Fields conferences at Roehampton University. Elaine studied dance, performance, fine art practice and choreography at The Urdang Academy, Chelsea College of Art, Goldsmiths’ College and the University of Roehampton.
Alison Gibb – Poet, artist and researcher
Alison’s work investigates language through experimental, explorations into creative processes and artistic methods of making art, poetry and performance. She performed her work at a variety of conferences, reading series and arts events, including The Other Room, POLYply & E:Poetry Festival. Alison was resident at The Banff Centre, Canada as part of the In(ter)ventions Literary Arts programme in 2013. Her recent publications include: a. Gender Bias Binding, Long Poem Magazine, Smile. Love. It might never happen, Poetry Wales, Get Pretty. Girl, The Colony Literary Magazine Ireland & I am her.e , 3am Magazine. Her sound collage CD, Pomegranates In The Oak, was produced by zimZalla, Manchester in 2012. Alison has published three pamphlets with The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, Manchester, a.vase -2017, Silent Diagrams – 2013 & Parallel To Red In Chorus -2011, Her bookwork I am knot . . .a. poster in pieces of POWER was published by ambergris press in 2016.
Moving Words: Dance and Poetry – Saturday 29 Sept 1-3pm
A creative workshop aimed at nourishing your practice be that poetry or dance. Workshop leader Diane Amans has a wealth of ideas and the flexibility to adjust the sessions to suit the needs of participants. This workshop is ideal if you are a dance artist, dance student, professional or amateur poet, activity leader or participatory arts worker.
Diane Amans – Dance artist, choreographer, author, training consultant
Diane is one of the leading practitioners in community dance and her textbooks An Introduction to Community Dance Practice and Age and Dancing: Older People and Community Dance are set books on undergraduate community dance programmes in the UK and abroad. She is a dance artist whose career has included working in education, managing dance projects in diverse community settings and training staff in arts, health and social care. Diane is a 2014 Winston Churchill Fellow and has worked with community dance practitioners in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Reading Movement: An Introduction to Somatic Poetics – Saturday 29 Sept 3-5pm
This workshop uses techniques developed during the creation of Reading Movement – a 30 minute movement language piece that physically and sonically disrupts, extends and transforms the act of reading – to foster a similarly sonic and embodied engagement with language in workshop participants. This session explores how language emerges out of the sounding, moving body and works to stimulate novel combinations of sound and movement in relation to spoken and written text.
Camilla Nelson – British language artist, occasional lecturer, curator, workshop leader and editor
Over the last ten years Camilla has published, installed, exhibited and performed her work in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. She is currently touring her first solo show – Reading Movement – a movement language work whose draft script was long-listed for The Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers in 2016. Camilla was awarded a PhD in Performance Writing by Falmouth University in 2012 and is the founding editor of Singing Apple Press, a small independent press that produces hand-crafted, limited edition poem-prints, books and other objects.
Yoga class facilitated by Sally-Shakti Willow – Sunday 30 Sept 9-10am
In this Sunday morning session, we’ll work ‘backwards’ through a traditional yoga practice – from lying down to standing – to move from restfulness to alertness in preparation for the day’s programme. Key to this experience will be sensing into our bodies and breathing, with a focus on mindfully embodying each breath and movement and noticing our own internal rhythms. Through lying, sitting and standing we’ll cultivate an awareness of our bodies’ connection with – and support from – the ground beneath us. There will be time for reflective free-writing towards the end of the session.
If possible, please bring: a yoga mat and/or blanket, notebook and pen, and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. We will practice barefoot. If you are unable to lie or sit in a comfortable position, you are welcome to sit on a chair during these parts of the practice.
Sally-Shakti Willow has been practising yoga since 2002 and occasionally teaching since 2009 when she trained with Unity Yoga School in Brighton. She is increasingly making her yoga practice a focus of her writing and performance, as can be seen in her 2018 collaborative performance Freedom of Movement and her forthcoming chapbook Atha (Knives Forks and Spoons Press).
Vital Signs: Strategies for Integrating Poetry and Movement in Performance – Sunday 30 Sept 10am-12noon
Drawing on several years of studio-based experimentation, Slee and Thurston will introduce their project and share a number of techniques they have developed for working across, between and beyond the disciplines of movement and poetic writing.
Sarie Mairs Slee – Trained musician and dancer
Sarie has been working in the messy territories between dance and theatre for the last fifteen years. She is a Lecturer in Dance at the University of Salford and works as an artist/academic across choreography, devising and writing. From 2010-2013, her work has focused on collaboration with Studio Matejka, a performance laboratory ensemble in permanent residence at the Grotowksi Institute in Wroclaw, Poland. Since 2013, her creative work has delved into interdisciplinary collaboration, working with a range of writers, composers, designers and performers to the performative possibilities of the body in creative action.
Scott Thurston – Poet and mover
Scott has been writing and publishing poetry for over two decades and since 2002 has been exploring the dialogue between poetry and movement with a number of internationally-known artists. His last four poetry publications: Draft Vicinity (2018), Poems for the Dance (2017), Figure Detached Figure Impermanent (2014) and Reverses Heart’s Reassembly (2011), draw on these rich experiences. Scott was interviewed on Radio 3’s The Verb on a special programme exploring ‘The Language of Dance’ in 2017.
Open Lab: Digest, Explore, Integrate: Sunday 30 Sept 12noon-1pm
Drawing from the workshops and connecting it all up to the bigger picture, Mary Pearson will curate a final, improvisatory session to explore and integrate everything learned and experienced throughout the festival weekend.
Mary Pearson (USA/UK) – Multidisciplinary performance maker
Based in Liverpool, Mary has trained, performed, and mentored at Ponderosa Dance P.O.R.C.H. summer school (Germany), and studied physical theatre creation at Kiklos Teatro (Italy). Her BA was in visual art and English literature, with dance, from Oberlin College, (USA). Solo works FoMO, mofos!, The Sand Dog Cometh, and FAILURE (& other opportunities for non-linear success), centred on themes of failure, gender performance, consumerism, excess and digital age overwhelm, and toured in the UK and internationally 2012-18. Mary’s latest project, How to be Afraid? is a duet collaboration with Mayfield Brooks (NYC) that approaches the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade as a haunted house, finding ‘hauntings’ and unresolved trauma in our current psyches. Alongside her performance work, Mary teaches regularly as a visiting artist in HE, at Liverpool Hope University and various UK performance departments. As an independent, she teaches, curates and organizes improvisation and performance workshops and international artist exchanges, recently including FAILURE lab and REMIX residency at Betonest (Germany).