Exploring at The Point

Following on from last weeks "All Change Please" Monday Musing, Lucy takes us through what the team have been up to over the last couple of weeks at The Point...

What we did – Busman’s Holiday at The Point

Today I felt a little sad as I strolled into The Point in Eastleigh and passed the signs posted of our cancelled performance. We haven’t cancelled a performance since 2004 when I sprained my ankle and Dan Watson injured his big toe in Oslo. 

But what can you do when you collaborate with a disappearing Orchestra.

None the less it was a bright Autumnal day and I was greeted with the buzz of a full company of exuberant artists gathering their senses for class in the gloriously light filled Creation Centre at The Point.

So what did we get up to over these last few weeks?

Well I had plenty of ideas to explore (too many as per usual).  But I settled on creating a few adverts for inclusive dance – celebrating the skill, virtuosity and originality of our artists plus a few homages to the dance greats.

Why?

To be honest I am a little tired of people still not realising the central role the disabled dancers play in Stopgap’s choreographic style. I am also a little tired of the opinion (often forced upon us) that because the disabled dancers have a natural beautiful fragility (not us generalising) that they should just ‘be’ onstage and that is enough.
As a company we get the whole authenticity thing, we also relish in the less is more stuff – but only because whilst we are doing nothing onstage or seemingly being just ourselves, we know deep down we have the ability to tumble, fly and smack that isolation right on its accent.

So in order for the dancers to let off a little steam we created a relentless, count dictated, bouncy, sharp, full and loud dance to ‘I feel Love’ by Donna Summer. We then set in on a space station. LOVE ON SPACE STATION.

But. . .

A few days in to simply dancing and nothing else I had a realisation. This is not the era for making slick, greedy dance for dance’s sake – well not for me anyway. I soon realised I missed the characters, narratives and the dancer’s own stories. I missed having something to say, something to share, and so a new avenue of research began to unravel.

I decided to use the three weeks to explore the mechanics of the creative process, not so much the movement making but how I communicated with the dancers and how I could get them to interpret the movement better. I practiced putting the piece first even if that meant a dancer had less to do, even if they were a disabled dancer.  I practiced asking for more even if after all - it was less.

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