This is a lab oriented towards artists, dancers and makers who see differently or are interested in the creative potential of seeing differently. Inspired by the strategies, movement techniques and knowledge of many of the Blind, Visually Impaired and disabled artists the facilitators have worked with, this workshop aims to explore how we see, say, and sense the world around us. All creatives welcome.
We will work with different modes of understanding and communicating including touch, language, periphery, unison, audio description and deception. By exploring these different sensory languages we will investigate different ways to perceive our own bodies, movement and the environment around us, and how this then could inform choreographic creations.
Jo Bannon and Holly Thomas will co-host the workshop and Katherine Hall will be providing a scaffolding support to Jo, Holly and participants.
We will begin by warming up our bodies, tuning in to the space and people around us, and searching for ways to embolden our senses. On each day we will explore Jo and Holly’s current choreographic research ideas and questions through movement, writing, speaking and touch. The workshop will include moving our bodies independently but in company, creative movement exercises in partners and in small groups, conversation, reflection and note-taking time.We invite you to bring clothes to move in, snacks, and your favourite way to record things – pen and paper, voice recording etc.
8 free bursary places are available for visually impaired participants. You can register interest by calling 0207 091 9665 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This can simply be your name and a request for a bursary place. If more than 8 individuals register interest, the bursaries places will be offered via a lottery rather than by any form of selection process. The deadline for registering interest is 20 February and we will inform everyone of the outcome on 21 February.
We understand access needs are different for everyone and we are committed to this workshop being an environment that is inclusive, accessible and supportive to each other.
- The workshop is a relaxed space meaning you are free to come and go, rest or take part, sit, move, make noise, lie down, as desired and needed.
- A quiet space and various seating options (mats, bean bags, sofa etc) will be available in and outside of the workshop space.
- We will be working with techniques inspired by audio description and so much of how we work will include integrated audio description. Katherine will also be providing informal audio description when needed.
There is a lift and wheelchair access. The studio space is on the second floor. The nearest bathrooms and a quiet resting room are on the first floor.
- Companion tickets are available for PAs and carers.
- BSL can be provided on request; please give advance notice if possible.
You are welcome to contact us on email@example.com or 0207 091 9665 to discuss access requirements with ID’s team.
Image 1: A colour photo of two dancers Holly and Ben in a moment of soft yet dynamic movement. They smile, standing side by side, their arms lifted in front of them, forearms connecting, sensing through touch.
Image 2: A colour photo of a performer with a purple velvet cloth draped over their head and body reminiscent of a homemade halloween ghost costume. They are seated at a table, hands resting palms down in front of them, their head is turned to their right, as if speaking.
An audio version of this text is available here:
Jo Bannon is an artist working in performance, choreography and film. Her practice is concerned with how our specific bodies, identities and sensory perceptions impact how we experience the world around us, and how this sensory experience can or cannot be conveyed. Her work is informed by her identity as a disabled woman and attempts to unpick the ways we look, hear and sense our immediate environment in order to rethink or make unfamiliar these intrinsic human behaviours.
Jo is currently researching a body of work entitled ‘Blind Magic’, interested in the relationship between the moving and narrating body, inspired by magicians patter, dance instruction and audio description Jo is researching ways we say what we see and what happens when we unsee or unsay – when sight and language falter.
Holly Thomas is a visually impaired dancer, working with sensory choreography and creative audio description. Her dance interests include improvisation, somatic movement, and integrated and inclusive approaches to practice. Holly is a resident at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol.
Her practice explores the often uncharted territory of dance and visual impairment and the aesthetics of choreography from a non-visual perspective. She works with somatic and contemporary dance methods and techniques, exploring the subtleties of these practices and how they might be reimagined within the context of inclusive dance making and performance.
Katherine is a dancer, choreographer, producer, community builder and holistic massage therapist based in Bristol, UK. Their dancing is currently curious with the material of the body, touch, attention, gesture, care, presence, imagination, the action of hope, growing food, and community building. Using improvisation, movement, sound, sensory work, materials, outdoor practices; Katherine creates choreographic works that give attention to and celebrate the movements and relations between non-human beings, people, and things.
Katherine is currently working as performer and collaborative artist with artists Jo Fong, Jo Hellier + Yas Clarke, Tara Silverthorn, Jo Bannon and Rosemary Lee. Their facilitation work draws on care, touch and inclusive practices and they are currently training in audio description.
Katherine co-leads GATHER UP, an artist-led programme for professional dancers in Bristol. They are a Guest lecturer at Bath Spa University and a member of INTERVAL, an artist collective in Bristol.