Choreographer in Residence Introduction

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Hello, my name is Bethan Peters; I am a London based choreographer and will be doing an artistic residency at Royal Museums Greenwich for the next year as part of the Traveller’s Tails project.

 

I am now in the third week of my residency and have caught my breath enough to note down some of my initial thoughts and responses to this exciting adventure I have undertaken.

After introductory tours and exploring the wonderfully diverse sites of the museums for myself, I am feeling inspired with a stream of ideas of how I may be able to respond to the spaces and exhibitions through performances and participatory dance activities.

In responding to the theme of exploration there are so many interesting possibilities and paths I could take, the majority of things I have come across so far within the museums have related to exploration in some way and could be a springboard to make work. A big challenge for me will be to narrow down my ideas and pick some key threads that I want to investigate in my work.

However, there have been some particular ideas, objects and materials that I have been drawn to over the past couple of weeks that I am keen to explore further such as:

  • Expedition and trade routes from the enlightenment era (including Cook’s voyages to the New World and the Pacific Islands)
  • Personal accounts and descriptions from people involved in exploration
  • Races and competition within exploration
  • Star charts and tracing journeys

 

A general chart exhibiting the discoveries made by Captain James Cook

A general chart exhibiting the discoveries made by Captain James Cook

Planesphaerial

Printed celestial planispheres

 

Dutch Yachts racing, Andries van Eertvelt, 1630s

Dutch Yachts racing,
Andries van Eertvelt, 1630s

I have also started working with a brilliant group of 8 students from Tidemill Academy who have given themselves the very apt name of ‘Cultural Explorers’. The students and I will be meeting weekly over the summer term to explore and test out ideas for workshops and activities that will take place in the RE·THINK space and around the museum from November 2015 for a range of ages. The group are bursting with great ideas about what we could do so keep your eyes peeled for updates throughout the coming months.

 

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Tidemill Cultural Explorers in dance workshop

 

I am very excited about the year ahead and am looking forward to bringing an injection of dance into the museums.