News and Events
MATTHEW HAWKINS ‘READY’
In August of this year DRS had the pleasure of hosting a solo performance by the independent artist Matthew Hawkins. The beautiful work was titled ‘Ready’ and was inspired by a box set of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, left to Matthew by his father. The performance was followed by a very interesting Q&A discussion with the small guest audience. DRS is delighted to launch both a short film of the performance – filmed and edited by Flavia Bertram – along with the full recording of the Q&A.
REFLECTIONS FROM AN ARTIST RESIDENCY: TARA SILVERTHORN
Four short dance films by Jacky Lansley
Over the pandemic, DRS Artistic Director Jacky Lansley tasked herself with creating short dances for camera as a way to keep moving and creating. ‘For Them’ – a suite of four films – is a result of that process.
“The film ‘The Open Door’ came about during one of the lockdowns when I simply decided I had to see other people – even a glimpse of people passing by would be a feast! Sometimes people would stop and look in, chat and even dance a little in the street. This live sharing was a relief and inspiration and reminded me, again, that creative ideas can come from the everyday and the minimal.
This project is also a celebration and honouring of the Dance Research Studio… which for 20 years has inspired and supported radical dance of all descriptions. Many artists have found a home at the studio, hundreds of works have been made on its beech wood floor… It has allowed me to continue researching through challenging times and I am grateful that I have been able to create this project ‘For Them’.”
– Jacky Lansley
Click here to read more about Jacky Lansley’s creative process.
DEAR BODY WORKSHOP SUPPORTED BY DANCE RESEARCH STUDIO
August 18th 2021 (6:00 pm – 7:30 pm)
Dance Research Studio will be hosting and promoting a series of digital and participatory workshops, residencies and talks over the next six months which address the extraordinary issues that artists are confronting during the pandemic.
As part of this programme DRS is supporting a Dear Body online workshop led by Anna Furse which will introduce a relaxing and enjoyable way of working with, through and from the body. Inspired by the Blason – a Renaissance poetic form in which the smallest body part such as an eyebrow or earlobe is praised by the poet – participants are encouraged to convert negative self-image into liberating selfie-eulogy. The results of these will become contributions to the Dear Body gallery, which might include a short piece of writing, a photograph or drawing with/without recorded voiceover. Every contribution is added as there is no selection process (anonymity will be guaranteed if desired).
Workshops have proved very successful with artists, academics, teachers, health workers, students and medics. Book early, limited places. Workshops have proved very successful with artists, academics, teachers, health workers, students and medics. Book early, limited places. Click here for more information and for registration.
Anna Furse and Artistic Director of DRS Jacky Lansley have shared a profound history of radical dance and feminist performance since the 80s. Both were members of the seminal X6 Collective, co-editing New Dance Magazine and co-founding the Chisenhale Dance Space in Hackney.
Dear Body is a collaborative digital art project by Athletes of the Heart commissioned by Chats Palace in Hackney.
Creative Conversations from Lockdown
Dance Research Studio has made a short documentary film about some of the projects that we were able to support with Arts Council emergency funding during lockdown:
‘The Free Artist?’ A research and consultation process to explore the impact of lockdown and beyond on the freelance independent sector. Participating artists: Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, Emilia Robinson, Esther Huss, Ingrid MacKinnon, Jreena Green, Rachael Davies, Seke Chimutengwende, Susan Kempster, Jacky Lansley, Timothy Taylor, Ursula Early, Zosia Jo and Lucy Tuck.
‘The Speaking Dancer’ online interdisciplinary performance workshops, led by Jacky Lansley and Sally E Dean. Participating artists: Jemima Bennett, Angela Elvira Bruce, Katya Bourvis, Kat Cooley, Anna Dighero, Kemi Durosinmi, Manny Emslie, Bettina Helmrich, Josephine Hepplewhite, Lauren Hart, Donald Hutera, Katie Keeble, Ioana Kirk, Anna Kuman, Andrea Ondrušková, Malti Patel, Alejandro Postigo, Mary Price-O’Connor, Nicholas Quinn, Helen Robertson, and Emily Robinson.
We Are Animals
Interdisciplinary Research Project
Originally scheduled to take place at DRS and Dance 4/iC4C in the spring-summer of 2020, ‘We Are Animals’ is a research project which aims to engage with the urgent cultural momentum driving forward awareness about environmental sustainability and animal extinction – and make a valuable research contribution through remembering that we too are animals.
The creative team have continued to meet online throughout the lockdown period, taking the research forward and supporting each other through a difficult period.
They are exploring a wide range of cultural, political and ecological narratives, which both celebrate the human animal as part of human subjectivity and also degrade the animal as the opposite of everything human beings aspire to. These sources will provide a framework for creative research, which aims to achieve some understanding of human symbiosis and empathy with other animals and to ask fundamental questions about an idea of ‘civilisation’ which separates ‘us’ from ‘them’.
On the ‘We Are Animals’ pages of the DRS site, the artists – Jacky Lansley, Jreena Green, Esther Huss, Ingrid Mackinnon, Fergus Early and Tim Taylor – share starting points and fragments from their individual and collective research.
‘The Speaking Dancer’ Online Workshops
Saturday October 24th 2020
‘The Speaking Dancer’ online workshop offers students coming from a professional and or performing arts degree background the opportunity to rethink their relationship to their practice, within the supportive and innovative context of Dance Research Studio. The workshop will introduce cross disciplinary training methods and stimuli which support the artist as both performer and author.
During the pandemic crisis we have all been severely challenged while struggling to maintain emotional and physical equilibrium within the new and strange reality. For many it will have been a time of isolation and splitting from the warmth and energy of family and friends. The idea of ‘The Speaking Dancer’ online suggests the opposite of separation, and will be an opportunity to come together remotely as a group to create, play, learn and explore collaboratively.
Images of previous ‘The Speaking Dancer’ workshops at Dance Research Studio and (top right) site specific research led by Jacky Lansley.
Dance Research Studio Receives Funding…
The programme will offer participants the opportunity to create new work, engage in innovative training and research strategies, meet a wide community of practitioners online and contribute to fundamental debates and new writing about the current challenging issues facing all of us. Watch this space for more information over the coming months.
Images (clockwise from top left): ‘The Speaking Dancer’, workshop at DRS; Jacky Lansley, Esther Huss and Jreena Green researching at DRS; site specific research in Cornwall, Yoko Nishimura in foreground; Eleven Farrer House, residency at DRS.
‘FOOT NOTES’ – Films from the Covid Crisis
At the beginning of the Covid Crisis, Dance Research Studio’s Artistic Director Jacky Lansley began making a series of short unedited films which focus on her feet, as a way of staying in touch with everyone. She called this project Foot Notes and invited other practitioners to make their own short foot films and send them to DRS. To date the studio has received sixteen beautiful foot films from different parts of the world, which can be viewed on the DRS Foot Notes page, in DRS’ Facebook and Instagram feeds.
DRS is continuing to invite practitioners to send in their foot films to become part of the Foot Notes project: you need very little room to make a foot choreography, though make sure it is a safe environment in which to move and film; you may find it useful to choose an inspiring piece of music or soundscape– and/or your space maybe your inspiration; you need a phone camera which you can hold yourself, or someone else can film you.
If you would like to send your foot films to Dance Research Studio (firstname.lastname@example.org) we can put them out on our website and other platforms alongside my films.
Wishing you all well – and happy foot movie making!
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
See reviews by: Lynn MacRitchie, Nicholas Minns, Rosie Lehan and The Dancer-Citizen Journal
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 email@example.com.