Chaired by Nic Conibere, Brian Lobel, Denise Rowe and Rebecca Swift discuss 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 navigates 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.
Nic Conibere is a London-based choreographer making work for theatres, art galleries and other places. Her work engages choreographic processes to explore the potentials of how bodies relate, investigating states of exchange between people, duration, place and further materials. She is particularly interested in the politics of performance, and in the nature and potentials of spectatorial exchange. Her work often investigates notions of theatricality, public appearing and social choreography.
In 2015 Nic was given the biennial Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award to embark on new research exploring experiences of bodied excess and contagion. From 2009-14 she was an Associate Artist with Nottingham based dance agency Dance4. Her work has been shown at venues including: 20th Biennial of Sydney, Australia; Hayward Gallery, London; Royal Academy of Arts, London (Block Universe Festival); Dance House Helsinki, Finland; Tramway, Glasgow; ANTI Festival of Contemporary Art, Finland; Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham; Laban Theatre, London; Purcell Room, London and many others.
Nic has a PhD from Laban, her thesis was entitled ‘Audiences, Choreography, Publics: The Politics and Practice of Spectatorship’. She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at Roehampton University . Nicola has collaborated with a range of artists and regularly works with dance artist Helka Kaski and dramaturg Martin Hargreaves.
Brian Lobel is an artist and scholar based in the United Kingdom. He is a Professor of Theatre and Performance at Rose Bruford College His work has been featured at the Sydney Opera House, the National Theatre in London, and Harvard Medical School. He is known for his Live Art practice based in ‘candid, personal interactions’ and his work dealing with themes, issues and experiences around cancer.
Denise Rowe is a creative practitioner, ceremonialist and experiential facilitator with over twenty years experience in creating and holding safe spaces for powerful transformation. Denise’s passion is for the deep embodied remembering that is encoded within our beings as part of this living earth. She works with music, dance, prayer and landscape as access points for this remembering.
Denise’s work has evolved from many intensive immersions into indigenous wisdom, including the hunter gatherers of the Cameroonian rainforest, the mbira tradition in rural Zimbabwe, and her own embodied movement practice in the landscapes of Devon, UK.
Denise has toured internationally as a performing artist with Baka Beyond, Sakoba, Ballet Nimba and Ombiviolum. She works collaboratively across genres on various projects, including Arts Council funded ‘Enter the Circle’ in 2019. Denise is lecturer in Dance at Plymouth University, director of Earth Dances and co-founder of Trees of Hope.
Rebecca Swift is a practice-based artist, freelance creative consultant, and Creative Director at Entelechy Arts, with over 30 years experience developing artistic work, co-produced by different communities within grassroots settings. She works within embodied enquiry arising from the interface between arts, care, health, human rights, and community cohesion. She is passionate about sensory, physically led intelligence and improvisation, inspired, and informed by people living with profound/multiple/learning disabilities (PMLD).
Work takes place within various environments, such as care homes, arts venues, SEND schools, hospital wards, outside, civic spaces and different localities. Her expertise lies in inclusion, and the design of spaces that bring different groups of people together who would not normally encounter each other – across generations, cultures, and diverse abilities, between organisations & professions. For Entelechy Arts she has led on large scale productions in collaboration with different communities and interdisciplinary teams of artists, across geographical areas, in non-traditional spaces, such as Memory and Place (2016, Elephant and Castle shopping mall commissioned by SDDS), Wilderness tales (2019, Albany Theatre/ Ladywell Fields), Ambient Jam improvisation with the Tavistock Institute (the Swiss church, 2019), Ambient Jam Collective in residence at Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Arts 2021-22; Entelechy Arts 21st Century Tea Dances.