News: Finding Inspiration from Outside the Theatre

Sunday 24 June 2012 by Sarah Golding

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance 'TooMortal' Photo: JP Masclet

A theatre seems the obvious place to go to see dance. However, many choreographers are finding inspiration in alternative spaces such as churches, railway stations and city squares. Judith Mackrell meets Shobana Jeyasingh, Siobhan Davies and Jonathan Goddard to find out what draws them to locations outside of the conventional proscenium arch stage.

Shobana Jeyasingh explains what it is that draws her to unusual spaces,
“It’s like dancing with a really interesting partner,” she says. “You think, ‘How can I work with them? They’re much taller than me, or they’re fatter than I thought, or clumsier, or maybe more elegant.’ A stage is just a blank space – but a site or a building comes with a personality.”

Siobhan Davies is interested in the audience having closer contact with the dancers,
‘Audience can focus on the subtle articulations of the dancers’ bodies; they can also choose how long they look for, and from what perspective. “It’s a completely different relationship between audience and performer,” says Davies.’

Jonathan Goddard explores the boundaries of the performance space
‘Goddard believes that setting his work in venues and situations that impose their own spatial logic has worked wonders on his choreography. “Your mind is opened up to possibilities you never imagined in a theatre,”’

Read the full article in Guardian, 24 June 2012

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company perform TooMortal on 28-30 June St Mary’s Church, Stoke Newington and 12-14 July St Pancras Church, Euston Road

Jonathan Goddard’s latest work Casting Traces is at Testbed1, London SW11, 10-13 July.

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