News: Compass Live - Meet Laura Dannequin

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Laura Dannequin

Tell us about your creative practice:

I first studied theatre and then landed into dance through a series of chance encounters really, getting inspired and finding ways to stay curious along the way. Moving to Ireland in 2006 to join Daghdha Dance Company – first on their mentoring program then integrating into the company – marked a huge shift for me. It offered an alternative way of looking at and practicing dance and choreograph; dance as a manifestation of the complex, fluctuating, powerful yet fragile beings that we are.

You’ve been selected as a Compass Commission artist 2016/17, talk us through the work you will be producing:

Making Each Other Possible came about as a long term desire from dance artist Stephanie McMann and I to dance together. We’ve been looking at what keeps us curious and really alive in our dancing and digging into that, developing strategies and playing around with what it means to co-exist in that way.

We’re interested in embracing abandon, precision and untamedness in equal measure, to unearth layers of ourselves towards transformative states. We’ve joined forces with drummer Rachael Horwood (Trash Kit/Bamboo), and we’re interested in creating something that breaks away from certain dance conventions that just don’t feel useful to us. We completed a first period of research in March – with a sharing of work at Trinity Centre Bristol – and are now starting to make plans for the next phase, opening it all up again and seeing where we want to go with it.

How will the support from Greenwich Dance and Trinity Laban help you produce this work?

Having such partners at this stage of the process is a huge help to the longer term sustainability of this project, and is helping us think/dream more widely. It’s really great, and rare, to be trusted at such an early stage in a project.

Where do you draw inspiration from when creating new work or performing live?

Seeing work, reading, talking, and all the things that happen that somehow end up in the work without our even realizing. We hold so much more information than we are consciously unaware of. I think most of the work emerges from those more invisible layers and somehow (in)form the work without our really being able to make sense of it. So we try to make space for that, in the space and in our bodies.

What do you most enjoy about performing/choreographing?

Feeling myself and others in ways I only experience and witness through the practice of dance.

What’s next?

After a recent sharing, we’re taking a bit of time to digest what’s just happened and decide how we want to move forward with this. I’m really excited about the team that’s come together to work on this – including outside-eye Dan Canham and lighting designer Jo Palmer – so right now it’s about finding ways for us to move forward together. In the meantime, I’m keeping various collaborations going, including working with Simone Kenyon, Clare Thornton and long-term collaborator Dan Canham/Still House.

Laura will be taking part in a live Q&A, along with the other 2017 Compass Commission choreographers, on the 01 June on the LondonDance Facebook page. Find out more here.

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