SITE SPECIFIC DANCE WORKS
This section is designed to help you form ideas around sited work - often referred to as SITE SPECIFIC.
The whole purpose of sited works is that they are MADE for that particular site (inside or outside) and can use the landscape, architecture, framing of the site to inspire and start ideas for movement vocabulary. Artists also use the HISTORY of the site to build context and these can also inspire starting points for work. Sites can vary and sometimes restriction within a site can be an advantage to frame the work and to guide the direction and dynamic of the work.
In 2008, Artistic Director of MÓTUS - Helen Parlor (Parlor Dance) - was commissioned to make ‘Forbidden - A Tale of Love & War’ throughout the grounds of Goodrich Castle. Working with a cast of 150 performers, horses, aerial performers, musicians and artists to create a full length work.
Inspiration for the work came from:
The real life ‘Romeo & Juliet’ tale of love and war of characters from history Charles Clifford and Alice Birch - whose feuding families forbade them to be together resulting in the couple fleeing the castle and coming to an unfortunate end in the River Wye. Their ghosts are said to haunt the castle still today. This story led to:
Flag projects, illustrating the opposing families ,from local schools which led the audience up the pathway to Goodrich Castle.
Poetry projects inspired by the stories of the castle and then using the words to inspire images and dynamic throughout the choreography.
The idea of escape and ‘running’ led to an exciting aerial section of dance above the audiences’ heads in the entry of the castle.
Horses and performers were used in the final work with images of the couple arriving and disappearing on horseback.
The architecture of the castle was used - the steps - the portcullis - the courtyard - the balconies and all of these spaces were used as a FRAME to position the work and draw focus to particular aspects of the story.
All participants had the opportunity to have a heritage visit and introduction to the castle through English Heritage so this allowed prior knowledge of the site to filter though during all rehearsals.
Watch an interview about the making process here:
And a trailer of the project here:
MK Calling. In 2013 Helen Parlor was one of the artists presenting work as part of MK Calling at MK Gallery. Helen worked with graduate and professional dancers to respond to the exhibition and promenade through the gallery. This work was created over 3 days and performed on the fourth day. Processes to draw out material included:
What elements of the exhibition the dancers were individually drawn to and why? Why was it that piece of art/sculpture/film or space stood out to you? How does it make you feel and what is your response to it?
What impact on the space the dancers had in relation to the artwork; how did the space work in the round?
How do we use the architecture of the space to change the viewing points of the choreography; what elements do we bring closer, what sections do we slightly shield from public viewing but play with the space so they follow in a promenade fashion?
What are the inspirations and stimuli of the artists whose work is on display and within the exhibition? Which of these are we drawn to and what particular elements - how can we develop that particular idea - no matter how small or slight.
What open questions do we ask about what is on display - what are our own answers/responses to these questions? (Do not worry too much about factual truth - allow your imagination to roll!)
How do we also use the outside spaces and what difference does it make to the audience?
Watch the performance:
https://vimeo.com/83178029 - Part 1
USING SPACES AND CREATING SITE SPECIFIC DANCE
Presented by Hannah Pickett of Hannah Pickett Dance
This video gives an insight into creating Site Specific dance. Hannah shares how you can create choreography using space out of the theatrical setting, along with top tips to think about when choreographing and with some creative tasks to try. Video two shares Hannah’s work,B.ISK, which was performed across different levelled rooftops in a back street of Brighton.
To find out more visit Hannah’s website: www.hannahpickettdance.com.
This video series is for young dancers to expand and develop their dance technique and practice during Spring/Summer 2020.
Useful for: school students, youth dancers and young people interested in artistic collaboration.