27th – 30th June and 1st July 2012
Beyond Front@ is a Dance Communication Lab in which dancers from partner organizations from European countries, join together to communicate and connect through dancing, moving and exploring together. A dancer from Slovenia, Austria, Croatia and Hungary arrived at Greenwich Dance on Wednesday to join London based dancers to work together for 4 days with UK Dance Artist Robert Clark. Rob is a british contemporary dance performer, choreographer and teacher. None of the dancers seemed to know each other although the European visitors from Beyond Front@ had previously met a few months ago and taken part in a workshop.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday began with a morning class with Theo Clinkard. The daily class at Greenwich Dance is open to all professional dancers, each week led by someone new.
Morning class with Tho Clinkard in Greenwich Dance
Each afternoon Rob Clark led a fascinating workshop. Using contact improvisation as a starting point, the movement and energy began to flow between the dancers.
Day 1 at Greenwich Dance
Spatial awareness seemed a key element, Rob encouraged the dancers to consider the negative space, trying to ignore the surrounding walls. The Breath too, was considered and focussed on, in a way I hadn’t seen before in dance, (reminding me of the cranial osteopathy that my sons have with the incredible Paul Kyte).
Day 2 at Greenwich Dance
Wednesday and Thursday were based in Greenwich Dance and Friday was at Trinity Laban, Deptford, outside on the landscaped grass. It was very beautiful watching the group dance the movements that had developed over the last 2 days in a studio now take place in the open air on the grass. Partly because they were in their 3rd day of working but also because of the space all the movement and transitions seemed to extend accompanied by lots of laughter and a strong sense of unity in the group.
Day 3 in the open air outside Laban
On Saturday we went to the old Laban site where the studios are next to Goldsmiths College, New Cross, when I was at Goldsmiths taking my degree this is where Laban was based. The dancers worked independently but together in one studio during the first hour, warming up in their own unique ways, the atmosphere was meditative, calm and focussed. The rest of the day the dancers continued to develop the dances to be performed the following day. Three unique and intricate dance works were developing very fast in front of me, pulling together the movement experiences that had happened over the last three days.
Day 4 at the old Laban site next to Goldsmiths College
On Sunday the Greenwich World Cultural Festival 2012 at Eltham Palace provided a stunning backdrop for the dancers to give 3 performances.
There are many more drawings that I made of the fabulous creative journey of Beyond Front@ during the 5 days in London. Some will be developed further, as etchings and paintings to be shown publicly at a later stage.