Falling, folding and shoulder dancing

So much dance tradition involves our feet: stationary and standing, or travelling in space – walking, running on them, etc. But how about dance which is falling, folding in our body, and dancing with our shoulders on the ground? I played with some ideas and created a couple of sequences.

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One year on: stay home, save lives, do Qi Gong!

It’s about a year since the Coronavirus epidemic began in the UK (March 2020) and there have been two periods in lock-down (stay at home order). During this period, I’ve had a regular practice of Qi Gong (Qigong) – the 18 movement form – and this is what I’ve found in it.

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Spring Awakening #HeadstandChallenge

Oxford City Council (as Dancin’ Oxford) asked for contributions to its Spring Awakening project. Dancers contribute video clips of themselves dancing which are edited into a final film for digital distribution. A headstand seemed to summon-up the period in which we were living – the world turned upside down by Coronavirus!

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New dance : Spring Awakening (triptych)

The Arts Centre at the Old Fire Station, Oxford had requested proposals for short films under the banner of ‘Lights Up’. I submitted a dance called ‘Spring Awakening (triptych)’ which used the concealed human figure – inverted in a headstand, as its basis. It’s a solo piece and used humour – which seemed appropriate for a venue that hosts Oxford’s fringe festival.

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Lessons from dancing with sticks – the semiotics of stick dancing

When I began teaching and facilitating dancing with sticks, I draw on my experience of contact improvisation but quickly found it wasn’t enough. I needed new concepts. A movement practice with sticks, has its own semiotics (meanings) and its own physics.

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Becoming Gentleness: performance

I’m very proud that despite a global pandemic, we still managed to create a new dance – ‘Becoming Gentleness’ – at Oxford Contact Dance. We danced with sticks – outdoors – in University Parks, Oxford on 23 October 2020. There was a beautiful sunset and a carpet of autumn leaves.

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Becoming Gentleness: composition session

A dance performance during a global pandemic was always going to be a bit different. At the composition session for it on 14 October 2020, we devised an outdoor dance in a park using sticks called ‘Becoming Gentleness’. The outdoor setting and the distancing from each other through sticks reduced the risk of infection from COVID-19.

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