27 episodes

Greenwich Dance presents Talking Moves, the podcast where artists come together to share practice, experience and ideas.

Designed for dance professionals, we put artists centre stage, upfront, in the spotlight, at the microphone so they can talk about the ideas and issues that move them.

Talking Moves is a Greenwich Dance production.
Presented by Melanie Precious.
Production by Carmel Smith, Lucy White and Melanie Precious.

Talking Moves Greenwich Dance

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Greenwich Dance presents Talking Moves, the podcast where artists come together to share practice, experience and ideas.

Designed for dance professionals, we put artists centre stage, upfront, in the spotlight, at the microphone so they can talk about the ideas and issues that move them.

Talking Moves is a Greenwich Dance production.
Presented by Melanie Precious.
Production by Carmel Smith, Lucy White and Melanie Precious.

    Working Across Genres

    Working Across Genres

    In this episode, we talk to Harriet Waghorn and Kamala Devam about their experience working across different genres of dance. As dancers we often train in streams of dance genres – often there are expected routes mapped out for us and aesthetics we are expected to achieve. It’s therefore refreshing to find artists whose work transcends those divides, fuses aspects of styles together to make new aesthetics, new vocabulary. What does that mean in terms of training for themselves, as well as making work, working with dancers who may not have the same experiences?
    We begin by asking our guests how they came to find dance – both Kamala and Harriet mention their mothers and how they facilitated their first steps on their journeys. We discuss their training and how they came to build their experience across the genres of contemporary, ballroom, Bharatanatyam, acrobatics and contact improvisation.
    We ask our guests why are they drawn to the styles in which they work, and how stepping away from the usual framing of genres and fusing other styles relates to their audiences. we find similarities that may not be obvious such as the constant flow and trust that is needed in both contact improvisation as well as ballroom – and how important the connection with your partner is.
    We move on to discuss their own teaching practices and what they are looking for in dancers when they choreograph work. The importance of training is a huge part of any dancer and artists life and we discuss how they train across such different genres of dance.
    Finally, we are intrigued to hear what’s next for our two artists on their journey working across genres.
    Talking Moves is a Greenwich Dance production
    Presented by Melanie Precious
    Production by Carmel Smith, Kajsa Sundstöm, Lucy White and Melanie Precious
     
    Recording date: Monday 28 March 2022

    • 48 min
    Building Audiences

    Building Audiences

    In this episode, we talk to Deborah Light and Tom Hobden about building audiences for your work.
    We make art for people – and if we have no audience, what is the reason for the work? How do we then bring audiences to the work? How do we introduce dance to people who haven’t had an opportunity to discover it? And what do we want of them other than to be spectators?
    We begin by asking our guests more about their work and the work itself – Deborah making work in Wales with the company Light, Ladd and Emberton as well as being an independent maker and discussing the part installation, – part dance performance Seeds & Bones which incorporates both personal as well as audience stories.
    We then move on to discussing the work of UNIT – where Tom Hobden is artistic director and how the pandemic shifted the very local audience to one that is online and from everywhere. We speak about how UNIT is making dance for the “everyday people” and what that means.
    A big question that comes up is – what comes first? Do we make work with our audiences in mind, or do our audiences come to our work? We discuss the need to “make things”, regardless of the outcome and the audience participation, and how as makers we need to practice making things without the pressure of who will see it and who will like it.
    We discuss how we invite and allow our audiences to participate in the work, and talk about a very special moment being one of a very few number of people experiencing a show.
    Finally, we discuss whether everyone does want to dance or take part in dancing – is it for everyone? And who decides what dance is, and what dance isn’t?
    Talking Moves is a Greenwich Dance production
    Presented by Melanie Precious
    Production by Carmel Smith, Kajsa Sundström, Lucy White and Melanie Precious
     
    Recording date: Tuesday 22 March 2022

    • 47 min
    The Role of Dramaturgy

    The Role of Dramaturgy

    In this episode, we talk to Karthika Naïr and Eva Martinez about the role of dramaturgy.
    An artist’s creation space is a rather special place to inhabit. It’s vibrant, exciting, tense sometimes nail-biting. And it always feels to me to be an honour to be there. But by the same token, it comes with much responsibility particularly if you are invited not as an onlooker but as a contributor. One role, increasingly in use within the creation process is the role of the dramaturg. But what exactly is this, how do you become one and what benefit can a dramaturg bring to an artistic process?
    We start off by discussing what a dramaturg actually is and Karthika shares a clarifying analogy we here at Greenwich Dance will reuse again and again about an elephant…
    Our guests have held over the expanse of their careers multiple roles within the creation process and Karthika and Eva clarify some distinctions between writers, producers, dramaturgs, dance scripters and librettists to help us understand the complexity of the work that goes on behind the scenes. We also discover a new word, fabulist, which again will be reused again and again.
    We talk a lot about the creation space and the dynamic within, about permissions, boundaries, feedback and respecting both the process and the work itself as well as the collaborators who make it. We weave a basket with our threads of conversation as we touch upon trust and the ways trust can be built (particularly this past year in remote settings), about whether prior relationships need to be established (or not) and whether all artists or only those using narrative would benefit from dramaturgical support. And we discuss, as we often do, the use of language and whether the words ‘authority’ or ‘power’ are ever at play in these settings. Eva makes the point that she has been an activist within an institution for many years and Karthika states that she would never work with anyone she could not disagree with.
    And finally, we talk about the importance of acknowledging the plurality of the creative team in crediting and the need to break away from the ‘primacy of the single narrative’, which is so often prevalent in the way that work is presented and marketed to audiences. As ever there seems so much more to discuss and dig into.
    Talking Moves is a Greenwich Dance production
    Presented by Melanie Precious
    Production by Carmel Smith, Lucy White and Melanie Precious
    Recording date: Thursday 22 July 2021

    • 56 min
    Breaking Through

    Breaking Through

    In this episode, we talk to Katie Serridge and Nafisah Baba about Breaking Through.
    This episode was put together at Katie’s request, who took the initiative and emailed us offering to talk about the challenges she has been presented with as a young artist trying to break into an industry that effectively shut down only minutes after her graduation. Nafisah Baba, BBC Young Dancer 2017, joins us to share her observations of the world of work thus far.
    We start off by discussing how Katie and Nafisah came to dance, the courses and training they embarked upon to prepare them for the industry and the opportunities they had to start making or performing in work pre-Covid. We reflect back on lockdown 1.0 and how it felt for them both returning to childhood bedrooms as adults.
    Most performers find a need to supplement their earnings with what Nafisah described as a ‘Muggle job’ and Katie talks about how for her these dried up as cafes and theatres closed. We discuss how they now think about ‘training’ which might once have meant daily class but is now weighted towards the maintenance of strong and positive mental health. We talk about resilience, networking, the pleasures and pitfalls of social media and how best to manage it.
    But these are two remarkable young women and, presented with the challenge of a global pandemic, they both set about finding creative ways to manage. Both are already making their mark on the world through their art, are politically and globally aware and have voices that are starting to be heard. Katie, along with a collective she formed at Laban, has already begun making films and sharing these in festivals and Nafisah talked about how she has enjoyed experiences of working with artists such as Akram Khan who have inspired her to break away from years of codified training.
    This is no ‘woe-is-me’ episode. This is an episode filled with hope, love, care and possibility. Yes, we talk about what the industry is demanding of young dancers right now but most excitingly we talk about how these young dancers are starting to push back against that expectation and make changes in a world that, let’s be honest, is ready for the shake-up.
    Talking Moves is a Greenwich Dance production
    Presented by Melanie Precious
    Production by Carmel Smith, Lucy White and Melanie Precious
    Recording date: Thursday 5 August 2021

    • 49 min
    Co-creating with Communities

    Co-creating with Communities

    In this episode, we talk to Nancy Hirst and Dan Canham about Co-creating with Communities.
    Building cultural communities is at the heart of Arts Council England’s Let’s Create strategy and for many organisations, this kind of work is at the very heart of what we try to do. But it’s not easy… it takes time, patience, diplomacy and care to do well. And sometimes, the funding and expectations of stakeholders around us, plus perhaps our own over-eager enthusiasm causes us to make mistakes. So we ask our guests to tell us more about how we might do this work better.
    We start off with vocabulary… what and who do we mean by the all-encompassing word ‘community’ and indeed what do we mean by co-creation? None of us feel very comfortable with either terms but find ourselves using them anyway and so we explore the reasons why we do and the complexities that arise for us when we do.
    We talk a lot about telling stories and the ethics of doing that, the juxtaposition of local stories linked to national conversations, of being authentic, of being of a place or an outsider to it and of finding a common purpose. We delve into Dan’s epic gig-like work Session which he undertook in partnership with Empire Sounds and Steppaz Performing Arts in Tottenham, and we look at the ways in which Nancy and her company Icon build theatre around local tales such as The Chatham Witch and The Silk of 1000 Spiders with her Medway communities.
    Both Nancy and Dan share some of the tools they use, show us where some of the traps and pitfalls can lie, and muse on the complexity of this work which we all agree felt different to simply ‘seeking out stimuli’ and mining material. The issue of ethics comes up for us, as does legacy and how we can continue to support a process even after the final curtain on the show has come down.
    And finally, we reflect on the joy – the moments where the stars align and the work comes together and the magic truly happens…
    Talking Moves is a Greenwich Dance production
    Presented by Melanie Precious
    Production by Carmel Smith, Lucy White and Melanie Precious
    Recording date: Wednesday 29 September 2021

    • 47 min
    Celebrating Diversity with Dance

    Celebrating Diversity with Dance

    In this episode, we talk to Vicki Igbokwe and Shane Shambu about Celebrating Diversity with Dance.
    The two artists we invited to take part in this episode each make extraordinary, distinct work using an original voice. We ask them about where their work takes its influence, how they have been able to make it, find audiences for it and how free they are to experiment with it.
    We start off by exploring Vicki and Shane’s beginnings – discovering how they found dance and where and how they learned their craft. Then we touch upon the first of many similarities between these two inspirational artists – their three ‘e’s – empower, entertain and educate… and how these same values infiltrate into every decision they make about the work they craft and the people they aim to serve through the making of it.
    I share my perspective as a white woman, watching Vicki’s The Head Wrap Diaries and Shane’s Confessions of Cockney Temple Dancer, and how I found myself gaining another perspective on the world. I ask our guests “is this intentional – are you trying to share an aspect of your cultural heritage? Or is there something else driving the telling of these stories?” The answer is complex and simple at the same time. Our guests tell stories about life as they see it and experience it. The want and need for the sector, myself included, to stereotype artists and ‘stamp’ their work with a label we think we understand is something that has to change if we are ever going to let artists be truly free to make the work inside them.
    We talk about authenticity and freedom to explore… how free did Vicki and Shane feel to explore movement language and stories and how necessary or helpful is the concept of ‘authenticity’?
    Finally, we talk about curiosity and conversation and the ways in which both artists float between cultural boundaries and expectations, how they draw the audience into their work and just how much they dislike the post-show talk!
    Talking Moves is a Greenwich Dance production
    Presented by Melanie Precious
    Production by Carmel Smith, Lucy White and Melanie Precious
    Recording date: Wednesday 22 September 2021

    • 59 min

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