The programme, mainly hosted in the Yorkshire Dance venue, provided physical training for the dance makers and activities with guest artists, local projects, “life experts”, institutions or associations.
After a shared physical workshop on Sunday morning, the dance makers and dramaturges presented reflections about practice with each other facilitated by the artistic director Wieke Eringa. During the following two days, the dance makers had time to develop their research/sketches and work alongside Tanya Steinhauser in the role of dramaturg. The other 3 visiting dramaturgs, Nina, Sergio and Greta observed and listened by invitation on Monday. The dramaturgs worked together to start articulating their practice and had been in conversation with each other and the dance makers in a carousel of ‘walking meetings’.
Most of the activities were reserved for the 5 dance makers:
- Beth Cassani, renowned choreographer and dramaturg, led a one-day workshop focussing on how we talk about our own practice and that of others. The workshop built communicative skills in relation to the personal perspectives on Gender.
- Mine, Yours & Ours // Soloing, Connection & Creating Collaboration workshop with Amy Bell – A two-day intensive choreographic workshop with dance artist who took part in the first Performing Gender project. When we work with personal material in a solo around gender and sexuality, how can we find ways to invite the audience to connect to us and to our ideas, even if they do not share our experience? How can we invite other dancers to connect creatively to our ideas if we develop this solo into a group work? How can we maintain personal specificity, make space for difference and yet find something in common when working with other people?
- Whilst the PG artists were working with Amy Bell, Yorkshire Dance hosts a day of professional development for a group of diverse local artists with a focus on Gender, facilitated by David Harradine (co-Artistic Director Fevered Sleep). The group were selected on the diverse nature of their practice (could include hip-hop, South Asian, community practice etc.) For this one late afternoon session, this group came together with the PG artists for a fun, connective workshop followed by a discussion and food to share ideas, practices, concerns and curiosities.
- Gender Moves with Phil Sanger and Fernanda Prata – The Gender Moves group is an intergenerational group of local people who have been recruited from the Leeds and Hull LGBT communities. This was their second ‘explore workshop’ and they joined the PG artists in a playful, ‘get to know you’ workshop prior to a discussion and sharing of experiences of living with divergent gender identities in Yorkshire today.
28th May, 9:30am, Yorkshire Dance
During the workshop will be developed a non-gendered improvisational language that will inform how we dance with one another. Drawing on the partnering and group improvisation elements of Passing Through technique, Contact Improvisation, Martial Arts and traditional social dances it will be possible to re-imagine the rules of partner dancing to create a new and non-gendered form of social dance.
Open to professional dance artists >> Register online for a place
31th May, 10:00am, Yorkshire Dance
How queerness could be a political and creative practice?
Starting with an introduction to theories on gender and sexuality, the lecture will explore some of the ideas, contradictions and tensions that have emerged out of ‘queer theories’.
Then, drawing on the work by artists such as David Hoyle, Trajal Harrel, Penny Arcade, Christeene, and Heather Cassils, we will look at a number of queer performance strategies. These might include: camp and trash, excess, abjection, failure and messiness, pleasure and desire, and shame/loss/denial, offering a way to think about our engagement with politics in our own practice, especially in relation to gender and sexuality.
For professional dance artists, makers and practitioners >> Register online for the lecture
1st June, 6.00pm, Yorkshire Dance
After Ljubljana and Bologna, the third research sharing: each Dance Maker will present a sketch of their work, representing a richness of ideas, approaches and enquiry into gender.
The spectators are invited to share their perspectives at the end of the performances: Peggy Olislaegers will facilitate a post-show discussion.