Garden Dance Composition Workshop: Stacy, Andrew, Sonia and Tamsyn dancing with two sticks. University Club, Oxford, 23 September 2018.

Garden Dance : Composition Workshop – 23 September

There were four of us: Stacey, Tamsyn, Sonia and me at the Composition Workshop for the Garden Dance on Sunday 23 September 2018, hosted by Oxford Contact Dance.

We had a little over three hours to create the composition. It always amazes me that we can create a 15 minute dance in this time frame but it worked! Our previous dance experience varied from one person who’d taken part in a workshop for dancing contact improvisation, to another who was a dance teacher at a local school.

I had some ideas to bring to the workshop. Earlier in the week, I’d undertaken movement research at a Creative Lab session of Oxford Dance Forum. I’d also attended a Play-fight Intensive this summer which introduced me to the possibilities of using sticks – 1.2 meter wooden sticks, as devices in a dance. In the play-fighting then the sticks had been ‘weapons’ but it started me thinking about their use in a dance. Last year in 2017 at Oxford Contact Dance, we’d used books as devices in our Library Dance with which we could connect through and with, each other. Other dancers at this workshop had ideas too: dancing around or to, the sticks while they’re on the ground, and counter-blancing with them for example.

Initially, we simply jammed some ideas: dance as a duet with sticks; as a quartet with sticks; and dance with no sticks! We thought of an entrance and an ending: the composition was complete and we had a score (PDF) with which to dance!


The You Tube video above and the still taken from it were by Stacey Seigel on her mobile phone. She is also dancing too!

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