The end of 2015 finishes with a bang for me with the fruition of some really important elements of my residency thus far. Last week saw the culmination of my second project with Tidemill Academy in Deptford, in which I worked with two year 4 classes over the Autumn term to create a dance performance that the students performed on the National Maritime Museum’s Great Map to an audience of family, friends, museum staff and visitors. The piece entitled Crossing the Line was inspired by the theme of competition in exploration from the past, present and future. The students were divided into 8 teams of explorers and raced to outdo one another in speed, discovery and power. The students performed with amazing energy and focus and it was brilliant to see them grow in confidence and skill over the course of the term.
I very much enjoyed working with the two classes and it was a great opportunity for me to approach thinking about exploration in an alternative way, using the concept of competition to zoom in on a very broad theme. During our creation process myself and the Tidemill students discussed the variety of competition that is relevant to exploration, from historic races to ‘discover’ unknown areas of the world by sea to future possibilities of where and what is left to explore on earth and beyond. From these ideas we then worked on creative dance tasks that generated the movement material, which we used to shape our final performance piece.
Last week also marked the opening of Who is the Land, a dance film created by myself and choreographer/videographer Stacie Lee Bennett. It has been amazing to see how all of our ideas, expeditions and work from the past 6 months have come to life and it really feels like we have been on an epic journey to get to this point. The film forms part of an installation that myself and Stacie have created at the National Maritime Museum through which we intend to portray a slice of the process we have been through, display some of our expedition documentation and evoke an atmosphere that reflects the film we have made.
Who is the land can be seen now in the RE·THINK studio at the National Maritime Museum (Floor 1) and will be on show until the beginning of May 2016. As a part of the installation we are inviting visitors to respond on the postcards we have created for the project and send them to us (via a post box in RE·THINK gallery) which will then be displayed in the studio during the course of the installation run.
I am extremely excited to say that for the whole of January I will be exploring the incredible, stunning and epic New Zealand. It has been 7 years since my last visit there, so I am looking forward to seeing what has changed, stayed the same and to see some familiar faces. I hope to come back with some great tales of adventure in light of my exploration focus this year.
See you in 2016!