David's thoughts on working with Yoshi
David writes about working with Yoshifumi Inao on creation part one of Artifical Things.
Yoshifumi Inao recently choreographed a new stage work for Stopgap using Gaga Technique to choreograph interesting, exciting movement that is as unique as the dancers are. Beginning each day with a Gaga class helped us to find our body’s traits, the range we have and how to add layer upon layer of information without becoming restrained or bogged down.
The piece is Yoshi's depiction of the way the Stopgap dancers move. He watched us very closely during our improvisations and managed to set material that had a sense of both the dancer and himself. His awareness of the dancers in the space and how they move is unbelievable. It truly is a well-honed talent of Yoshi's and can only be acquired through hard work and dedication to a craft. Stopgap have also had the pleasure of several daylong contact improvisation workshops, lead by Charlie Morrissey. His ability to describe the sensations and actions behind a movement helped make the partnerwork more accessible, especially for Chris and Hannah. He spoke clearly, calmly and very informatively. Words that are often left unsaid about my teaching style!
Being 6ft tall and having the body shape of "a professional rugby player" (as one osteopath bleated), left me acutely aware of the risk of crushing a partner whilst being lifted. A risk I am proud to say I ignore (most of the time...), but Charlie's technique behind partner work was a real eye opener, and often relied on a 'less is more' idea.
These two men are experts in their respective fields, and having the chance to acquire knowledge off them is a sure fire way to furthering myself as a professional choreographer, teacher and dance artist