I’ve been involved with live performance for about 35 years.
I’ve worked on a wide variety of events and performances ranging from elaborate installations with complex sets, costumes, lighting, pyrotechnics and large casts, through to intimate solo, duet and small group performances in informal settings with little or no technical or production requirements.
I have collaborated on, devised and directed large and small-scale pieces in different landscapes and buildings: on the shoreline, in the sea and on rivers, in fields, on cliffs, in the street, in parks, theatres, galleries, observatories, museums, and buildings ranging from a castle to a glass house.
I have often worked with people with very different working backgrounds who brought diverse perspectives and skills to live performance making: sound artists, scientists, architects, actors, pyrotechnicians and blacksmiths, for instance; and with professional performers, students and people with little or no formal dance or performance training.
What I do is very much concerned with and responsive to the context in which it happens – with what’s already present, and with utilising the live-ness of live events as environments for exploration, communication and transformation.
I’m as interested in how something gets made as what gets made – for me, the process is also the work. I’m interested in movement as a phenomenon – the movement of of things, of people, of thought and imagination. And I want to pay attention to the things that exist between and beyond the edges of other things, things which might be overlooked. How to bring attention to something which might have been invisible fascinates me – how attention makes things visible and substantial.
I enjoy making work outside of theatre contexts because it tends to attract people who would never set foot in the theatre, and because there’s already so much present and to be in relation to in particular spaces or locations.
I want to explore the immediacy of live performance work – the here now-ness of it and the things I make walk a line between the set and the improvised, and I want to challenge what is meant by those terms.
My site-specific work makes use of the visceral, the felt and three-dimensional nature of the environments in which they happen and have often brought large numbers of people together – performers and audiences, in works which bring a heightened attention to being in a particular time and space.
My work as a performer, teacher and director has taken me to many different countries around the world, and my travels contribute to a widening perspective on what I do and how it sits in a wider world.
Everything I do is informed, inspired, and often inhabited by substantial working relationships with a number of dance artists including Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson, Becky Edmunds, Scott Smith, Katye Coe, Siobhan Davies, Kirstie Simson, K.J.Holmes and many others.
With my partner Rob Hopper, and a growing group of dance artists, I organise and curate Wainsgate Dances – a programme of dance at Wainsgate Chapel in Yorkshire. It is an attempt to make a context for dance to happen in a non- institutionalised artist/participant/audience focussed space. It places experimental dance practice at the heart of a rural community. It is a hopeful endeavour and a labour of love.