Archive for the ‘Class’ Category
12th August 2013
This week I am taking workshops at Greenwich Dance for 6-10 year olds with dance company Charlotte Spencer Projects. We are using Charlotte’s latest work Walking Stories as a starting point for play, experimentation and creativity.
£15 per day, turn up on the day or book in advance. 020 8293 9741
12 – 15 August 2013. Monday – Thursday 10.00am – 1.00pm
8th June 2013
Today Greenwich Dance (GDA) opened the doors to the local community for a day of free dance classes Open Doors, Open Dancing, as Greenwich Dance Resident Artist I organized easy going art workshops throughout the day. All ages participated, youngsters drawing the dancers on long sheets on the floor while the class was in progress, older children and adults preferring to use individual sheets of paper.
Drawing the dance class while the dancers danced
Some preferred to sit apart and try collage or drawing from memory
African Dance Class
We made a Greenwich Dance Gallery
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.
Exhibition Picasso & Modern British Art opened at Tate Britain on 15th February. The exhibition explores Picasso’s connections with Britain, not only do you see work by Picasso but paintings by British artists for example Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and David Hockney, demonstrating the influence Picasso’s work had on them.
English National Ballet took up residence at Tate Britain for a week. A raised stage was placed in the Duveen gallery, each day began with morning class on the stage followed by rehearsals and discussions, culminating in performances on Friday of 3 new commissions inspired by Picasso’s collaborations with the Ballets Russes.
I joined the dancers to draw them in class and rehearsal.
17th – 20th January
The last few days with Russell Maliphant Company rehearsing The Rodin Project before they leave for Paris to perform at Theatre National de Chaillot 31st January – 10 February, rehearsing at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, next door to Sadler’s Wells where the company will perform on 5th February.
Each day begins with a warm up led by Russell. I find it fascinating, he directs the dancers while discussing anatomy with them, which muscles are flexing, which bones are moving what the dancers feel in their core as they get deeper into the movement. Gentle flowing movement growing to a massive crescendo in dynamics, pace and energy.
Tommy Franzen, Jenny White, Dickson Mbi, Ella Mesma, Carys Staton and Thom Gulgec warm up before the rehearsal
To describe Michael Hulls as the lighting designer of The Rodin Project feels like it falls short in the description of what he creates on the stage. The dancers bodies shimmer where the molten gold light falls on them, deep shadows are cast by their moving limbs, it all feels very sensual.
Carys, Ella and Jenny
Immersed in darkness, I rapidly work soft pastels on black paper that I can’t see, hoping that I will somehow convey the burning glimmers and flashes of life in front of me.
It is clear being in the same room as Russell Maliphant and Michael Hulls that they have a deep respect for each other’s work and trust each other with an intensity that can only come from sharing a long and creative history. Both remain calm and generous throughout the week.
Thom and Tommy
The dancers too, are calm in the breaks, but when dancing, the energy is so high it feels as if the roof might lift.
These are just a few of the many drawings I made of Russell Maliphant Company rehearsing The Rodin Project. Such a stunning work on so many levels. Thank you to Russell, Dana, Michael, Tommy, Jenny, Dickson, Ella, Carys and Thom for welcoming me in to your rehearsal space.
In September I am having a London solo exhibition where I will show paintings inspired by The Rodin Project and other dance works, more details will follow shortly.
To see past blog posts of Russell Maliphant rehearsing The Rodin Project see
and Russell Maliphant’s After Light danced by Daniel Proietto. (More drawings of After Light Part 1 coming soon)
I’m with the Russell Maliphant Company, drawing during rehearsals for The Rodin Project at his studio in north London. When I was last here there were 4 dancers, now all 6 are here (see November 14th).
Standing together, eyes closed, breathing deeply in yogic unison, I am aware of the energy gathering, the dancers softly move to the floor in high arched bridges that seem impossible.
The pace is quickening and their muscular bodies begin to fly through the air as if they have internal springs that are suddenly and without warning uncoiling at tremendous speed.
For the next 2 days I draw movement inspired by breakdance, contemporary dance and popping, and it is just stunning. These are a few of my drawings.
Wonderful to be drawing the Russell Maliphant Company again. I am loving seeing sculpture that has inspired me over the years come to life in the body of dancer, Dickson. To have the opportunity to capture the choreographed movement in my drawings which in turn will form the resource for my painting, etching and who knows? possibly sculpture too.
Your last opportunity to see The Featherstonehaughs live, they will perform The Featherstonehaughs Draw on the Sketchbooks of Egon Schiele on Wednesday 23 November and Thursday 24th November at The Riverside Studios. On Friday 25th and Saturday 26th The Featherstonehaughs will dance Edits at The Riverside for the last time. Ever.
The Featherstonehaughs rehearse Edits
Last week, I had a wonderful 2 days drawing the Russell Maliphant Company while they rehearsed in North West London. Here are a few of the drawings.
Morning class led by Russell
13th September. I am with The Featherstonehaughs, Lea Anderson‘s all male contemporary dance company, drawing during rehearsals leading up to their farewell tour. They are reworking the 1998 company classic The Featherstonehaughs Draw on the Sketch Books of Egon Schiele.
The day begins with Release class led by Chisato Ohno.
Release class led by Chisato Ohno
Rehearsal of The Featherstonehaughs Draw on the Sketch Books of Egon Schiele
It was 10 years ago when Lea Anderson invited me to draw The Featherstonehaughs and her all female company The Cholmondeleys during the rehearsal process of ‘3‘. Since then I have drawn The Featherstonehaughs and The Cholmondeleys many times, but this will be the last time, they are to disband following 100% funding cut from the the Arts Council.