Finding the Glory in diversity

bodies moving in harmony in a rehearsalHow do you make professional work with real people not trained performers?

How do you craft performance for a paying audience when you can’t simply use technique to dazzle them?

How do you draw attention to the beauty in the ordinary, and make us marvel at the very variety contained within the human species?

I don’t know, but I know a woman who does. Continue reading

Witnessing a Private Party

a blurry pic of lots of people at a party dancing including a wheelchair userOver the past few weeks I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the development Janice Parker’s latest dance piece – Private Party. Conceived as a follow on from Private Dancer, her award-winning Unlimited Commission for 2012, Private Party takes an eclectic group of 12 dancers one step further to open up various notions, rites and rituals associated with the concepts of both ‘private’ and ‘party’.

I use the word ‘witnessing’ with care as it has both a general and a specific meaning within dance. Continue reading

Five tips to building personal resilience for those in the creative sector

a drop of water about to hit a pool of water, all lit in reds and oranges.If you work in the arts sector, you’ve probably caught sight of the Guardian’s piece on the fickle nature of acting, and the ultimate toll it can take on actors (also worth a read is Katie Brennan’s musings on that piece).

Basically its harsh trying to make it as an actor, and at the moment I’d extend that to all of us working in the cultural sector – it’s tough out there at the moment and getting tougher. Continue reading

When being an independent sucks

one white cloud in a blue skyUsually I love being independent and not working simply for one organisation.

I love the flexibility, the variety, the ability it gives me to follow multiple interests simultaneously, the avoidance of office politics and the fact I don’t have to sit through team meetings. I don’t like ‘being told what to do’ but oddly I love working with clients to get the results they want – I think the difference is about coming in as an equal rather than being squashed within a hierarchy. Continue reading

To do or not to do: Managed Funds, G4A and the Arts Council of England

pears in on a weighting scaleI’ve delivered two arts projects in 2013 that have been funded through Arts Council England’s managed funds (not quite the same as the new strategic funds which still require a degree of open application).

Basically they were the funds ACE could allocate itself to seed work, push agendas and fill gaps.

Both projects went really well – achieving their aims and generating support, ideas and enthusiasm. And there is momentum in both to continue, which is excellent and … but how to go about this? The discussions go something like this… Continue reading