I have run a couple of creative dance sessions this last month, covering for my friend, Katie Whitehead who set up the group. Katie runs a fantastic organisation called Divine Days, making the Arts available to all, working with both individuals and community groups. Do check out her website for more details.
Katie and I used to run a youth Arts Club together a few years ago, so it is nice to be collaborating again. I absolutely love working with her Creative Dance group. Members are a very varied collective of people living with addition needs. Each person brings something unique and marvellous to the ensemble and the variety of perspective and experience adds another dimension to the work they produce.
When Katie asked if I could cover a couple of sessions for her, I asked what she would like me to do. Anything, she said. The group relish and adapt to creative challenges. I took her word for it, and went with an autumnal theme as it seemed pertinent. I had this idea for a narrative dance, so we explored the idea of a landscape in autumn, firstly, choosing our music (we plumped for Puccini's 'Humming Chorus' from Madama Butterfly) and started by listening to the music and considering what we might feel or experience as we move through an autumnal landscape. We pieced together a strong piece of narrative dance, telling the story of our journey through the autumn scene. We decided we wanted to end the piece with a physical sculpt, drawing all of our stories together. The finished performance is something we hope to add to the dance showcase which will be happening soon.
It has been a real privilege to work with the Creative Dance group and I'm looking forward to collaborating with them again soon.