22nd December 2015
We have just spent three days with Mark Lorimer, who has been leading our first choreographic lab. Working in trios he introduced us to his analytical methods, which provided new and clever ideas for transforming basic movement material, i.e. walking, into something truly rich and unexpected.
Mark describes his workshop under the title Darwin's Dance:
" In Darwin's Dance, the aim is to first develop a very short movement loop - our simplest dance organism - and transform this, through various clear choreographic procedures, to evolve into an infinitely more complex creature. With the combination of a range of mutations created by any one task, plus our (not entirely) 'natural' selection, we will at each new task choose the new mutation to be carried on through. Where 'theme and variation' usually refer back to their starting point, here each change will organise a constantly forward-moving development - each change creates the new material for the next change. My interest recently has been analysing separation and focusing on the transformation of various aspects inherent within movement, but I hope, in addition that we can work together to develop other new choreographic and performative processes. What happens if you attempt to desynchronise or alter the time, space, dynamic, mechanic or coordination inherent in any movement phrase whilst maintaining the rest? What sort of sophisticated mutants or hybrids can we create?"
The workshop enabled us to not only focus on finding new possibilities within our own movements, but also to work as an ensemble, to make collective decisions when setting as well as when improvising materials. As part of the warm up we experimented with Mark's variations on 'Flocking', a way of following each other spontaneously. The group feeling that developed through this exercise seemed to become an important foundation for everyone to take into the more intensive group work that followed. The detail and quality of movements always remained important. Mark is one of the best communicators I have met, and just watching him demonstrate and articulate his ideas made me want to dance.
Some comments from the participants:
'What I enjoyed most was being mentally and physically challenged, the group evolution and the refining of listening skills.'
'I really enjoyed the sense of group agreement and complicity in the flocking'.
'What I liked most was Mark's approachable and direct manner'.
' Experiencing workshops like this allows for me to engage in another person's practice without the financial pressure or the expectation if I was employed by them.'
Photos below by Jason Haye. See more of his videos and photographs of the workshop here
Choreographic Lab 2015
Sat 19th - Mon 21st December 2015, 10am - 6pm
@ DanceEast, Ipswich
An opportunity to share the practices of international choreographer Mark Lorimer. Artists working across dance, performance and the visual arts will be invited to take part, engage and interact with each other within this framework.
Mon 21st December 2015, 7-10pm
@ Pacitti Company's Think Tank, Ipswich.
Public event, £5
How do we keep a diverse arts landscape flourishing? An open conversation with Robert Pacitti, Mark Lorimer and participants of the choreographic lab. Join us for some debate and a glass of mulled wine.
Participants: Sam Moss, Tom Hobden, Mary Davies, Lucy Blazheva, Pam Challis, Lynnette King, Sarah Lewis, Rachel Canavan, Stephen Moynihan, Richard Court, Aaron Markwell, Anders Duckworth, Laura McGill, Jason Haye, Katsura Isobe, Charlotte Kitchen and Stephanie Schober.
About Mark Lorimer
Since graduating from the London School of Contemporary Dance in 1991, Mark Lorimer has worked as dancer, choreographer, teacher and rehearsal director. His main collaborations as a dancer have been with Rosas/Anne-Teresa De Keersmaeker (1994 - present) and with ZOO/Thomas Hauert (1997- 2005). Alongside these he has worked on many projects with (among others) The Featherstonehaughs/Lea Anderson, Bock and Vincenzi, Mia Lawrence, Jonathan Burrows, Deborah Hay, Alix Eynaudi and Boris Charmatz. As a rehearsal director he has worked on several creations with Rosas and continues to tour with "Vortex Temporum" while dancing in Boris Charmatz's most recent work "Manger".
As a choreographer he has made two full-length evenings "To Intimate" with cellist Thomas Luks and fellow Rosas mainstay Cynthia Loemij, and "Dancesmith - Camel, Weasel, Whale" again with Cynthia plus graphic artist and dancer Clinton Stringer. He has also made works with students of the Laban Centre, London and a duet with Chrysa Parkinson - "Nylon Solution". This year he works on a second collaboration as a dancer with Alix Eynaudi on the piece "Edelweiss". And next year Mark will create a work for the Bhodi Project at SEAD, Salzburg. Aside from Independent Dance, Mark teaches regularly at P.A.R.T.S., and has been invited to teach at Impulstanz in 2015. (Photo above by Alioscha Van Aarvort)
About the choreographic lab
Stephanie Schober & Dance Company has joined forces with Independent Dance this year to extend their Winter Labaratory (WinLab) and bring an element of it to DanceEast in Ipswich. The project is realised with the additional support of DanceEast, Pacitti Company and the Arts Council England.