2013 – ReGENERATION 3: Desert
Choreographies at play in desert spaces
From an escalating cacophony of inner city hustle and its computerised obsessions, one traveller is expelled to seemingly silent and empty desert lands.
Inspired by the works and concepts in the exhibition Dancing Around Duchamp at the Barbican (Spring 2013), and images and experiences of the desert, SpiralArts explored the idea of emptiness versus overload, movement versus stillness, and presented a dance narrative created and choreographed by the company members.
Reviews of the show
“We both came out of the performance saying glowing things about it.”
“I think it is a great idea to have mixed ages, shapes and sizes etc … ”
“Spiral Arts Dance Theatre’s new show, Desert is an immersive journey for audiences, from the cacophony and angularity of technology and digital communication to the evocative environment of the desert. There is the the weighty stillness of the desert, shimmering heat and its power to deceive and beguile, and the brilliantly captured intrusion of movement and habitation from desert animals and life in that extraordinary environment. No mean feat then to achieve all of this with no set and minimal costume changes, but instead with a talented company whether working as soloists or as a the fluent whole that typifies this unique company’s work. The engaging end result is a performance that is inclusive, accessible and as able to draw in those new to dance and physical theatre as those already familiar, and a new work that deserves to be seen by a wide audience.”
“Silence never ceases to imply its opposite” Susan Sontag
2012 – ReGENERATION 2: THE MOUNTAIN
An intergenerational dance piece which incorporated electronic and live music and the work of a local artist, which was performed as part of the Big Dance, accompanied by a series of workshops which took place at Open Ealing, a West London Arts Project.
SpiralArts were delighted to have received a micro grant to develop a new intergenerational dance piece for Big Dance: ‘The Mountain’, following on from ‘The Lake’ which had been performed in 2011. The company consisted of dancers of all ages including Music Theatre students on the BA Hons course at London College of Music, University of West London, as well as professional dancers, choreographers and teachers. The company worked together in a creative and inclusive way guided and focused by the two directors, Bryony Williams and Elizabeth Blake. Their theme for the dance in 2012 was ‘The Mountain’ and they explored and worked with images, drama and qualities of movement this inspired and invoked through dance.
The music was mainly electronic, composed from the early years to the present day, as well live music and sound. They worked closely with a local artist who came to the rehearsals and painted pictures inspired by the dance.
The company believe there is no age limit to dance, that every age has a gift to offer and that we all learn and benefit from each other, from the exuberance and prowess of youth to the experience and essential creativity of older dancers, and we have found that the communication and interplay between different ages, styles and disciplines of dance enables a creative dynamism that is very rewarding to work with.
Running alongside the workshops and performance, there was an exhibition of mixed media works on paper by Tracy Burgess – inspired by the energy and movement of Dance and Sound. Spontaneous drawings produced during rehearsals with SpiralArts, as an ongoing exploration of the interplay between drawing, dance and the artist’s practice of Qigong, a traditional Chinese energy practice which informs and propels her creativity through internal awareness and freedom of movement.
2011 – Regeneration: The Lake
A dance piece for performance inspired by the legend of the Lady of the Lake from the Arthurian stories with an intergenerational company of dancers aged early 20s to mid 60s, which included students on the BA (hons) Music course, London College of Music, University of West London who wanted to expand their professional practice and dance experience through this project. The piece was created and rehearsed over the Summer under the guidance of Bryony and Elizabeth, and we explored what the imagery and meaning of this legend suggested to us through the mediums of dance, voice, music, cloth and lighting.
The work was performed at the Cockpit Theatre, and Reading University.
2004 – Ongoing work developing SpiralDance, creating educational programme, Platform and Improvisation evenings, and regular classes.
2003 – The Moving Musician – Kumite. A performance event at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Interactive music, dance, improvisation, choreography and composition.
2002 – Celebrating Cultural Diversity – Children’s Workshops. Dance and music workshops for the Cornwall Children’s Fund at The Eden Project. 3rd – 4th December 2002. SpiralDance, and music from Candida Valentino (voice, Tibetan bowls and gongs). Exploring ‘The Starfish’ and ‘The Firedragon’.
2002 – Grant application to South West Arts to do a site specific, integrated arts performance at Restormel Castle, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, based on the story of Guenevere in the Arthurian Legends.
2002 – Summer course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to introduce instrumentalists to dance/movement and integrate it into their work – received a Curriculum Initiatives grant.
2002 – Sire specific performance at Castle Drogo, Devon to celebrate Midsummer. All day event with workshops.
2002 – ‘Kumite’ Performed at Chat’s Palace, London. Collaborative performance with classical musicians developed out of improvisation.
2002 – ‘Maelstrom’ Performed at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton. Collaborative performance with Michael Ormiston and Candida Valentino.
2002 – Development work on SpiralDance. Ongoing timetable of classes and events.
2001 – Performance as guest artists of Michael Ormiston (Europe’s leading khoomii/overtone singer) at St Pancras Old Church and St. James’ Piccadilly.
2001 – ‘The Bambu Monks and Nuns’ A site specific work performed at The Eden Project, Cornwall over a two day period (including workshop).
2001 – ‘King Arthur – A Pilgrimage’ Performed at Rudolph Steiner House, London, Glastonbury International Dance Festival (with accompanying workshop), Gaunt’s House Summer Festival (with workshop).