News and Events
DRS Announcement: COVID-19
In response to on-going developments surrounding COVID-19 worldwide, Dance Research Studio has decided to stop public activities from Monday 16th March until further notice. We take the safeguarding of our artistic community very seriously and believe it is necessary to support and comply with the closure of non-essential public spaces at this time.
We will maintain a social media presence and are considering ways of keeping creative work going through online discussion and research. We very much look forward to welcoming back our associate and residency artists, teachers, students and others to the studio when the situation has changed for the better.
In the meantime we wish you all well.
Jacky Lansley, Director
‘X6 Dance Space (1976-80): Liberation Notes’ at Cell Project Space
February 7th – March 22nd, 2020
‘X6 Dance Space (1976-80): Liberation Notes’ at Cell Project Space is the first presentation of work about the X6 Collective (1976-80), founded by dance artists Emilyn Claid, Maedée Duprès, Fergus Early, Jacky Lansley and Mary Prestidge.
The X6 Collective was a counter-cultural dance movement active from 1976 to 1980 in London, UK. X6 established an entirely new structure and way of working outside of Britain’s mainstream ballet and contemporary dance institutions. It was concerned with a fundamentally new approach to dance aesthetics, organisation and teaching, informed by emerging feminist and queer theoretical frameworks. The collective resisted style as a definition and operated within a non-hierarchal structure, producing a diverse and radical programme of performances, classes and workshops that took place in a warehouse in Butler’s Wharf, London – the X6 Dance Space. In addition, X6 produced and published ‘New Dance’ magazine (1977-88), a vital platform for progressive writing, which explored dance and its social context. The collective played a critical role in the development of UK contemporary and New Dance practices.
This exhibition brings together unseen, archival material including original publicity from performances and events as well as a display of selected New Dance magazines. X6 developed new radical ways of working and thinking about dance relevant to its particular social and political moment.
This exhibition presents an opportunity to revisit the movement and consider the legacy of X6 within a contemporary framework, rethinking strategies of collectivity, resistance and opposition to oppressive politics within a current cultural and social context.
Image credit: Workshop (1976) at X6 Dance Space. Photograph by Geoff White
A programme of discussions and performances will take place throughout the duration of the exhibition, including new performance work by X6 founders Emilyn Claid, Fergus Early, Jacky Lansley and Mary Prestidge.
Click here for more information
Reflections on ABOUT US
Performed at Modern Art Oxford, February 19th 2019
“ABOUT US is a remarkable embodiment of ordinary human experience that reveals the universal through the personal, and places dance firmly in the political sphere.” – Maggie Watson of Oxford Dance Writers
“……it was lovely to see the dance performance yesterday. I loved the idea of how small movements embodied, reflected, revealed and foreshadowed inner worlds.” – Audience Member
“I find any group of people moving in a public place exciting to watch – if I allow myself to really look at the cacophony of gestures, shapes and rhythms that are happening. The passings, almost meetings and near collisions are somehow choreographic. In our performance ABOUT US there are episodes, which seemingly don’t connect to each other – moments that might seem obscure, but which, we hope, provide enough clues for viewers to go on a journey with us.
ABOUT US developed slowly over 3 years and explores a collage of personal stories the performers brought to the studio to share. These stories, while unique to the individual artists involved, foreground the everyday choices we all make around loss, joy, anger, pleasure, fear; choices which may feel ‘free’ but are in fact often determined by our personal histories, the economic system and by societal expectations. As a team we asked how these experiences (not all painful and melancholy) might resonate with audience members because of the way they reflect a more generalised space relating to contemporary life in the UK.
Modern Art Oxford has been a very positive and inspiring context for us. In 1977 I collaborated with the artists Sally Potter and Rose English on a performance project titled Mounting which was commissioned by Modern Art Oxford (then Museum of Modern Art Oxford). The surface form of ABOUT US may seem very different from Mounting – more ‘choreographic’ – however, many of the same performance strategies are there: playing with a juxtaposition of visual and theatrical languages, drawing on ‘high’ and ‘popular’ forms, deconstruction of archetypes and intimate dialogue with audiences. In my recent book ‘Choreographies’ *I say of Mounting “… the audience was invited to share in the process of making performance, which at times felt very uncomfortable. Their attention was used to create energy and effect, they were in the ‘spotlight’ – we explored their presence in relation to the woman performer.” It is so interesting to me that, after all these years, I am still working with the same intentions.” – Jacky Lansley
ABOUT US is directed and choreographed by Jacky Lansley, with new music by Sylvia Hallett and performers: Vincent Ebrahim, Esther Huss, Fergus Early, Ingrid MacKinnon, Ursula Early, Jreena Green, Tim Taylor. Cinematographer: Roswitha Chesher, Lighting Designers: Nao Nagai and James MacKenzie, and Dramaturg: Ramsay Burt.
Jacky Lansley Awarded One Dance UK’s Jane Attenborough Award
Congratulations to Jacky Lansley who has won The Jane Attenborough One Dance UK Industry Award!
This award honours an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form. Named in memory of the founding Director of Dance UK (later to become One Dance UK), the award aims to highlight the important, but often unacknowledged, contributions made by exceptional individuals who make a real difference to how dance is created, supported and seen.
The One Dance UK Awards salute the outstanding contribution of people working in dance, the annual event is an opportunity for people in the industry to unite, celebrate, acknowledge and recognise the people who have made an impact on the vibrant UK dance landscape.
Click here for more information about One Dance UK’s Awards and other award winners.
Chisenhale Dance Space - Collaboration Between Generations Commission
R-AGE, created by Jacky Lansley and Grace Nicol, is a conversation through dance, image and performance between a ‘young’ and ‘older’ woman. Together they explore the power of women working across generations and examine questions about women and age, including those frustrating generalisations which frame women as never being the right age.
Drawing on their working relationship and friendship over the last five years, the artists have created a cross-disciplinary performance score which engages audiences in a series of challenging, humorous and radical questions about women, power and art.
Jacky and Grace consider their artistic dialogue as highly topical in a polarised Brexit Britain, in which conservative driven austerity has divided generations. Through performance, they explore finding a common and intergenerational language that can contribute to positive collective action around these issues, within the arts and beyond.
R-AGE was performed on December 8th 2018 as part of Chisenhale Dance Space‘s ‘Collaboration Between Generations Commission’, supported by The Choreographer’s Gallery Trust and Arts Council England.
CHOREOGRAPHIES: Tracing the Materials of an Ephemeral Art Form
By Jacky Lansley, Published by Intellect Books
Choreographies offers unique insight into the processes behind independent choreography and paints a vivid portrait of a rigorous practice that combines dance, performance art, visuals and a close attention to space and site. For a signed copy please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.