Being a Commissioner

Juncture 2016 - Young Comms Team - Ellie Scott (c) Yorkshire Danceby Ellie Scott
Young Comms Team

We Know That Everybody Dances

a workshop with Sara Lindström

Sara Lindström’s simple, effective and eye opening way of working has changed the way I look at devising and creating. Evoking real discussions around how performances make you feel, coming up with new frameworks for contemporary work and simply connecting with new interesting people, with amazing ideas around what contemporary art is to them.

The workshop was personally so helpful, honest and exciting, this was through the way in which Sara works. Her workshop allowed the group to discover interests and frameworks of performances and share these with groups of unfamiliar people and invest time in talking about how, why and what the idea involved. My group came up with an idea of ‘Wilderness’, something that was such an open word or idea. This idea amazed me, it came from another group member who’d been intrigued by this idea of uncultivated and abstract movements within the body. Finding parts of the physical body, mental state or even finding the wilderness within the room and space itself. We then took this idea having to then set it out in rules, scores or even simply using words we felt were appropriate to the theme.

After we created the frameworks, we then had time to share and exchange our ideas with another group. We gave our idea of ‘Wilderness’, to another group and in return we got back a framework for social boundaries, mannerisms and greetings though cultures and groups of people. This therefor went on to creating these pieces in five minutes, quickly but I would say very effectively. The performance’s that were displayed later on in the workshops were surprising and also fascinating. We only got 5 minutes purposely to think of how we would perform the score, rules or words from our commissioners and through this lack of time and thought the material that was created was so lovely and interesting, especially when it was time to watch what one group did with our idea of ‘wilderness’. You really got to see how they interpret the words and themes, making me think of how I would change aspects of the wording used but also what possibilities came from our ideas.

Personally I felt this workshop was so useful and honest to me as a performer it showed me how an idea can be perceived and changed, but also how different it is to be the creator and performer or to be the commissioner. It opened my eyes to new ways of devising material at the first stages of creating a framework. Sara’s way of working amazed me in so many ways, introducing me to working with the body, humor, socialization between two bodies in a space and also interpretations of themes and ideas. What an incredible workshop to have the opportunity to take part in.


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