Wednesday, 26 December 2012

This Town

Next January I will start rehearsing with memebers of the Whitfield community for what promises to be the biggest community theatre performance in Dundee for the last 20 years: This Town, directed by Suzi Morris, head of Dundee Rep Creative Learning.

The performance will be devised as a site specific production at the Verdant Works, a former jute mill built in 1833 in the Blackness area of Dundee. Together, we will explore the city through the eyes (and the bodies) of its people, looking not only at stories from the past, but also at the experiences of those who inhabit it in the present.
I am very much looking forward to this project, since it will bring together two of my main interests in choreography: site specific work and engagement with the community.
 Performances will run from 26th to 30th of March 2013. More information on Dundee Rep Theatre's website.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Back in the kitchen...

After a very intense year working on my masters degree, I finally have time to get back to the studio to work on my own! Researching and writing my dissertation has certainly opened my mind and I am curious to see to what extent it has had an effect on my artistic practice.
With a couple of potential projects on the horizon but no clear deadline yet, I am enjoying the lack of time pressure and I have the feeling that I am creating just for myself.
At the moment, I am working on some solo material where I am playing with the ideas of struggle, violence and perseverance. I am also interested in exploring the relationship between the body as a site of inner and physical experience and the construction of meaning by an external observer.
More details to come in the next couple of months!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Love Games at the Pathways to the Profession Symposium

Last January Joan took part in the Pathways to the Profession Symposium organised by Scottish Dance Theatre, in partnership with Dundee Rep, Creative Scotland and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Over 200 delegates and speakers from across the world came to Dundee to take part in this two day event, which was aimed to bring about a cultural shift in thinking about disabled people in the performing arts and to move from a place of awareness to a place of action and increase the number of disabled people involved in the arts.

Together with SDT's artistic director Janet Smith and SDT's dance agent for change Caroline Bowditch, Joan presented the results of a casting exploration around his work Love Games. The aim of the inquiry was to explore the possibility of having a disabled dancer as a full time member of a mainstream repertory company like SDT, and the implications that this would have, for instance, in covering existing roles.

Caroline, herself a wheelchair user, learned the part that Naomi Murray originally danced in a duet from Love Games. Together with the dancers, Joan re-worked the duo in just two sessions and then shared it with the rest of the company. Working with the intentions behind the movement (wether emotional or physical) rather than with form, seemed to be the key to translate the movement and the dramaturgy of the dance to a new body.

The new version was presented in a SDT Interactive performance at the Tramway theatre in Glasgow, and then recorded to document the work.If you you are curious to see how the two versions look like next to each other, have a look at this video edited by Vicky Wilson:

The positive results of this little experiment open the doors for future inquires, and present new and exciting questions to be explored.  To find out more about the Pathways to the Profession Symposium click HERE.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Love Games Spring Tour

Joan's work Love Games will be part of Scottish Dance Theatre's Spring Tour '12. The programme will open next 8th of February at Dundee Rep Theatre and will visit, among others, the Robin Howard Theatre at The Place (London) and at the Luoghi Comuni Festival  in Bergamo (Italy).

The programme will also feature works by other company members, the solo My Sweet Little Fur by Israeli choreographer Idan Cohen, and Pavlova's Dogs, a new work created by Rachel Lopez de la Nieta.

Here's a full list of venues and performance dates:

8th - 11th February: Dundee Rep Theatre (Dundee, Scotland)
22nd February: Theatre at the Mill (Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland)
3rd March: Teatro Sociale (Bergamo, Italy)
9th and 10th March: Robin Howard Theatre, The Place (London)
14th March: Corn Exchange, Newbury (Berkshire, UK)
24th March: The MacPhail Centre, Ullapool (Scotland)
28th March: Arainn Shuaineirt (The Sunart Centre), Strontian (Scotland)
28th April: Woodend Barn Arts Centre, Banchory (Scotland)

For more information on SDT's Spring Tour '12 visit