Halfway through the festival, A Gathering takes us across Siobhan Davies Studios with talks, installations, performances and movement sessions over a day and night, with offerings from more than 20 artists. Threads weaving through the day include ritual, collectivity, belonging, support, and joy.
Join us for a relaxed and convivial day of meeting, talking, resting, eating, drinking, watching and dancing. Come gather!
1pm – 1.30pm Laughter yoga with Flora Wellesley Wesley
1.45 – 3pm Chaired by Nic Conibere, a conversation with Brian Lobel, Denise Rowe and Rebecca Swift about how belonging is generated through collective action
3.10pm – 3.40pm Movement session led by Denise Rowe
4pm – 4.45pm A ‘watch party’ of streamed performance created live, remotely, by five improvisers in five countries. Designed by Mary Pearson with Carolina van Eps, pavleheidler, Michael Kaddu, Elvan Tekkin, George Maund
5pm – 5.30pm Post-watch-party conversation facilitated by Ava Riby-Williams and Aleasha Chaunte
5.45pm – 6.30pm A longtable discussion hosted by some of ID’s artist-ambassadors Mira Hirtz, Alisa Oleva, Teresa Skamletz and Rosalie Wahlfrid; how do artists survive and help each other in these hard times?
6.30pm – 8.30pm Vegetarian dinner, drinks and more chances to check out the durational offerings
3.30pm – 7.30pm (durational, pop in and out) Chris Matthews and Dr Sarah Sigal want to talk queer dance history with you in Pillow Talk. Unfortunately Arabella Stanger is no longer able to be part of this event.
3pm – 8.30pm (pop-up) A collective comprising Adam Moore, Abby Nocon, Erin Robinsong, Sophie Seita and Florence Uniacke share winter readings and rituals
8.30pm – 8.50pm an improvised solo performance by Flora Wellesley Wesley
9pm – 10pm THE BAND THAT DANCES (the band formerly known as The Yonis) perform tracks from their album HEADLINER and lead the dancing
Join Flora for an introduction to somatic laughter yoga and ‘moving to amuse ourselves’ as a strategy for creative self-care. Come and discover how laughter can be brought into our lives (and improv practices) by choice. Together we’ll centre levity, compassion and play, gently disarming the seriousness that can creep into professional dance. This can be confronting but also a huge relief.
“When I take what I do less seriously things open up, life feels lighter, and I actually get to go deeper. Let’s find out how laughter can be a joyful interruption of, and catalyst for, our dancing. No need to be funny, feel happy or have laughter yoga experience on arrival. ” This session can be done seated or standing.
Flora Wellesley Wesley has been researching embodied ways of inducing natural highs since 2016 when she was diagnosed with bipolar II. In the last five years her creative practice has expanded to include clowning, laughter yoga and biodynamic craniosacral therapy. She has become passionate about supporting people into more sensuous, playful and awestruck relationships with themselves & others. After a (pandemic) orbit away from dance she’s hungry to do more of it again, but differently this time.
Chaired by Nic Conibere, Brian Lobel (artist & celebrant), Denise Rowe (Earth Dances) and Rebecca Swift (artist & creative director of Entelechy Arts) in conversation about how their practices generate a sense of collective action and belonging. It invites speculation on how and why people gather together to forge a sense of togetherness through rituals, as spirituality and to access a sense of collective consciousness, enabling thinking and feeling beyond the self. The talk will navigate choreographic forms of conversation and the performative and even political nature of collective action.
Who belongs, where and how is part of ID’s talk series Dance, Intimacy Civic produced in partnership with Sadler’s Wells and University of Roehampton. The talk will be recorded and available in ID’s Digital Library following the event.
Which parts of our identities want to be seen? How does our self-perception change with who is seeing us? And how are we moved by seeing what might otherwise remain hidden, silent, or invisible. Join us for a ‘watch party’ of a streamed performance created live by five artists in five countries and live-mixed by George Maund.
Witnessed in Translation is a project designed by Mary Pearson with collaborators Carolina van Eps, Michael Kaddu, pavleheidler and Elvan Tekkin. Together they have been developing techniques which evolved during lockdown to transmit physical, sensory and relational experiences through screens. Their focus is on improvisation mixed with stories reflecting multiple experiences of cultural displacement and translating words into gestures, body states, energies and images.
A post-performance discussion among the audience, facilitated by Ava Riby-Williams and Aleasha Chaunte, will offer an opportunity to share experiences of witnessing and consider livestream as an emergent artform.
Witnessed in Translation is rooted in Liverpool with support from FACT, Together, Kitty’s Launderette. Produced by Harriet Warnock and supported through public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Mira Hirtz, Alisa Oleva, Teresa Skamletz and Rosalie Wahlfrid from ID’s artist-ambassador group invite you to a Long Table discussion. They are curious to connect with the dance community to exchange thoughts on present concerns and dreams we hold for the coming years. Some questions might be: After years of dealing with a pandemic and with one crisis following the other, how do we keep going? What do we wish for from the broad independent/freelance dance community? How can we support each other and share knowledge?
Conceived by Lois Weaver, a Long Table is an open format where everybody in the space can be part of the conversation – through speech, listening, and moving. Come and share your thoughts!
ID’s Ambassadors are all artists who take part in and support the delivery of ID’s programme and act as advocates for the organisation.
Pillow talk in literature, theatre and film is usually a devising tool to expose something or a turning point in the plot through an intimate conversation. Act 3 Scene 1 has just happened and Christopher Matthews and Dr Sarah Sigal want to talk about it. They want to “talk about all the good things and all the bad things…” THEY WANNA TALK ABOUT…! This hangout will be a devising of the plot for a new work commissioned by Sadler’s Wells titled Pas de Deux, which is the final piece in a trilogy that Matthews has been making since 2016. The trilogy looks at queering dance history as well as how “desire” has been a recurring theme. Up to this moment, Pas de deux has been a series of puzzle pieces, ideas, inspirations, questions and curiosities. This intimate conversation will be the beginning of a process that will set off the R&D of this new work in preparation for a premiere in 2024. Christopher and Arabella invite you to join them in talking about what happened at the top of Act 3 and all the juicy details because that informs what happens next…
Christopher Matthews is a performer, choreographer, and curator. His video and performance works have been presented at Sadler’s Wells, Art Night 2018, Victoria & Albert Museum, Enclave Gallery, Arbyte Gallery, Performance Space, LimaZulu, 4BID Gallery (Amsterdam), Mount Florida Gallery (Glasgow), MCLA Gallery 51 (Massachussetts) Villa Empain (Brussels), Prism Contemporary (Blackburn), Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival and Loop Video Art Festival (Barcelona).
Originally from Chicago, Dr Sarah Sigal is a freelance writer, dramaturg, director and researcher working across theatre, film and fiction. She has taught at numerous British universities and is the author of Writing in Collaborative Theatre-Making (Bloomsbury, 2016). She is a Dramaturgs’ Network Advisory Board Member and an Associate Fellow at the Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre Research. She has recently directed her first short film No Caller and her first novel Murder à la Mode will be published in November 2023 by Lume Books. She is currently writing a best practice document on working with Jewish artists and content for the Royal Court.
Readings & Rituals is curated by an international collective of artists and writers including Adam Moore (UK), Abby Nocon (US), Erin Robinsong (CA), Sophie Seita (UK) and Florence Uniacke (UK).
“Thinking deliberately about the time of year, the space we’re in and the people we gather with, we use our bodies, voices, language and writing in tandem with improvised scores and simple/gentle gestures of inclusion to activate spaces of interdependency. Our readings and rituals create space for thinking about and feeling ourselves as part of an interdependent ecology. Entering winter, bring flowers to wear and fruits to share in rituals taking place in and around readings, forming a frame, net, or holding device for events throughout the day and across the building.”
Flora’s performance work is characterised by its visceral wit, exuberance and spontaneity. She has a deep affinity with improvised dancing, voice-movement synthesis and storytelling. Flora has spent the autumn researching how her clown, laughter yoga and dancer practices can come into a more integrated equilibrium.
She likes that within clown tasks, her dancer skills are de-centred but absolutely still show up. She draws on them, but the intentionality is different, and what she looks like ends up pretty far from her mind. In clowning, if the audience laughs, Flora’s succeeded. In laughter yoga, if Flora laughs, she’s succeeded. How then would she define succeeding when it comes to performing to a dance crowd? She’s working out her goal. Something about sensing, laughing, dancing, observing and compassion being great friends.
Flora Wellesley Wesley is a dancer, performer and teacher who lives in London. She wants to put her activism and values into action and contribute to the wellbeing of dancers. Her goal is to be and seen as ‘a person dancing, not someone in the role of “dancer” – a person with all their spiritual, dispositional and dynamic presence.’ (choreographer Robert Wood).
Flora’s solo performance practice sits alongside her work with Eleanor Sikorski and Stephanie McMann as the dance trio ‘Nora’. Recent collaborative projects include dancing in Hugo Glendinning & Tilly Shiner’s film Second Self and co-authoring and devising the novella and film Nora the Many with Nora & Eleanor Bauer.
“Performing tracks from our album HEADLINER, we invite the audience to join us on a loud and energising journey through a utopian pop culture in which our bodies may exist through a lens of our choosing. Inspired by gig culture, we want to recreate the shared feelings of joy, euphoria and togetherness that one feels when watching their favourite band. Expect riotous chanting, witchy humming, out of tune singing and 90s club bangers. We are here to dance and sing and shout. To give space and to radically listen.”
A girl band, a boy band, a pop band, a punk band. Started in 2017, THE BAND THAT DANCES (formerly the band known as The Yonis) are comprised of artists from Switzerland, Poland, Germany, UK and the US. We are forging a new path for contemporary dance; one that is not boundaried by standards of formal training or institutions. Working between Bern, Switzerland and London, UK, collectively we represent a movement towards non-hierarchical ways of working. We champion autonomy, giving power to the individual through the framework of collective creativity. We are a constantly shifting constellation of humans.