Thinking back to the Dance Beyond Borders programme in 2008, I recognise how significant that experience has been in informing my practice.
Some of the major learning for me was around finding new methodologies for making. Generating tasks with boundaries that relate to my choreographic questions is a really useful tool that I still use now. Paradoxically opening up the research in a very specific way, it seems to enable a whole world and language to accumulate from the smallest seed.
I’ve become increasingly aware of working between embodied intuition and cerebral processes- sensation, imagery, writing, map making, scoring and graphing, exploring the function, history or materiality of something. Post-it notes tend to make an appearance in my compositional process! Sounds, objects, images and words become arranged alongside actions and sensations. The world of the work emerges on paper as well as in the body.
Collaboration and being around people with various practices is still invigorating. It also helps me to locate my own work. Both performing in and not performing in the eventual ‘product’, has enabled development of my performance and directorial skills.
Relocating to a rural county has continued to prompt a wider thinking about place, audiences, and my responsibilities as an artist. It’s also made me consider how we can work with what is there, and create what is not. I continue to make for a variety of contexts, which excites me and offers different conceptual and practical challenges.
In developing my teaching practice, I reflect on how my training has influenced my working approach. I’ve been very lucky to receive the support given to me so far by other people. Each opportunity has been a chance to delve into the unknown or consolidate what has been discovered.
I am so grateful to LUTSF for giving me a stepping stone in 2008. Without that financial support I wouldn’t have been able to access the opportunity that sparked so many things for me.
Unexpected Animal (2014)
Performers: Lois Taylor and Jake Taylor-Bruce
Image: Pari Naderi