|Photo by Francesca Hughes - part of our site specific|
dance expedition in May 2010
2BU is made up of talented young dancers aged between 14 and 19. Although we’ve never defined them as a contemporary dance group, the dancers involved happen to be from that background. But this year started with me teaching them much more urban choreographies. It’s been really interesting to work both with the company and our University Work Placement Student, Joanne (who has been instrumental in assisting me on quite a few of my projects) to get using a movement base that feels much heavier than that they’ve worked with before. They’ve completely embraced the site specific element of the work, being very keen to film dance in unusual spaces and to experiment with movement in new ways. This kind of performance is something I have experimented with before, as a soloist, along with the help of my filmmaker/photographer friend, Francesca Hughes:
I’ve loved every minute of teaching 2BU, and I’m sure there’ll be many more occasions in the future where I can work with them again. I’m very much looking forward to the Pavilion Dance Cabaret, which takes place on Sunday 24th March, and will showcase the performance that they’ve been working on with me.
In my second moment of light bulbs flashing and fireworks going off in my little old brain, I wasn’t expecting a morning visit to Costa on Eastleigh’s high street to form yet another motivational experience. But it did. In that well known coffee shop I met a lovely lady named Zoie Golding, who not only runs Rock Challenge, a high profile dance competition that runs across the UK, but also is the Artistic Director of her own dance companies; FuzzyLogic and ZoieLogic. Zoie has such an amazing “can do” attitude and seems to have spent the last few years finding a way to make all her artistic dreams come true, whilst still holding down a full time job as a producer. It was really great to talk to her and get a sense of how she’s managing to do it all.
|Photo by Francesca Hughes|
In short, she’s inspired me to get a move on as far as my company, Broken Rose Performing Arts, is concerned. It’s so tempting after a long day doing what you love as a producer, to come home and avoid working on any other artistic ideas because your brain is telling you that it should be “down time”. But I don’t think you get down time as an artist and a producer. And I don’t think that those really passionate about it want the down time. This industry isn’t just a job, isn’t just a career – it very quickly, and very lovingly, becomes your whole life.
And so with that in mind, this week I’ve launched myself into a whirlwind of creativity, working on ideas for the content, soundtracks and set for what I hope will be Broken Rose’s first full length show. Watch this space - www.brokenrose.eu
In my head, I do sometimes get frustrated at how slowly Broken Rose appears to be moving, but then I have to remind myself that the pace isn’t slow at all. Broken Rose may have been an idea for a long time, but even those ideas only began to fully form themselves two and a half years ago, whilst speaking to my then mentor, Dance Producer Gwen Van Spijk.
I met Gwen whilst working at the Manchester International Festival. Gwen was appointed to be my mentor as part of the Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme that my role as Trainee Producer was part of. But what was really lovely, was to bump into Gwen at Pavilion Dance South West’s season launch on Thursday of this week. It turned out that Gwen had been working with Hetain Patel, whose stunning show Be Like Water opened our Spring Season. I think both of us never expected to find the other there, but it was great to have a quick natter and chat about what we’d both been working on since I’d left MIF, and to leave each other with a promise of coffee when Gwen next visited Bournemouth.
|Photo by Francesca Hughes|
I truly could not have formed the foundations of Broken Rose without Gwen. One of the first things she tasked me with, was to write what’s known as an “Elevator Pitch” for this proposed organisation. This is exactly what it sounds like! The idea is that, in the time it takes for an elevator to go from the bottom floor to the top floor of a building, you have to be able to tell someone who has never heard of your company before what it is about and why it has the aims it does. And they have to understand it, completely. We honed the Broken Rose elevator pitch together and, although the company has now moved on from that original form of words, it was instrumental in allowing me to work through what I wanted to do with it.
I remember researching into the original National Dance Agencies with Gwen, and it’s a sweet sort of full circle because of course now I work for one of them!
Gwen was initially paired up with me because she has worked in the US Dance Market, and so was the perfect person to talk to about my Californian Dreams. Again those dreams have moved on, to more cities than just one festival in San Francisco, and the steps towards making those dreams come true are building slowly. But it was Gwen who first told me, “No Gemma, of course it’s not a stupid idea.”
What was a stupid idea, was the EBacc, and I’m now glad to hear that this particular moment of stupidity has passed, for now. After such an inspiring week, I didn’t want to fill your brains with a rant about it, so just know that I’m pleased with the result. You can read my thoughts that came in the midst of the EBacc whirlwind here.