For my work based project, I attended two different venues, ‘The Arc’ in Stockton on Tees and the other at ‘Dance City’ in Newcastle
My two days at Arc consisted of working with Rachael Ankers who’s the Creative Learning Manager and Kelly France who’s the Arcs’ Marketing Manager. Together, we focused on exploring the organisation of the Dance Hub, where I had the responsibility to support the setup of a project, also researching Youth Dance Provision age (12-19) in the Tees Valley including in school provision, out of school provision, community and private dance opportunities. By researching Youth Dance in the Tees Valley I compiled a report of my findings focussing on what provision exists, most popular activities, least popular activities, where the gaps are and what my recommendations are for improving young people’s dance experience in the Tees Valley and around the North- East.
Travelling to ‘Dance City’ in Newcastle where I worked a long side the Programme Manager/Creative Producer Patricia Stead, my role was to look at the Regional Dance Agency, as well as how they support dance artists and regular activity programme. Throughout the day, I shadowed Patricia in various meetings with projects on professional dance development. Furthermore, I participated in a professional Pilate’s class to gain an insight into the professional classes taking place at that venue.
During my Erasmus exchange to Berlin, Germany, I was given multiple opportunities that contributed to my learning and personal development. One main project I was given the chance to attend was an exchange at Fabrik Potsdam completing a week of dance students sharing ideas and working together. The students came from the Masters in Choreographie program from HZT and the Masters degree from Arnhem, to complete a week intensive of classes, sharing research and working on score writing.
This week consisted of morning training classes taught by each of the students, providing a training of something they are interested in as a research. Classes included: Graham technique, imagery as a change of movement quality, contact work, trust between dancers, hip hop from a different angle, and mine which was anatomy and massage as a beginning for improvisation. The afternoon workshops consisted of learning about score writing for dance, writing your own scores and giving them to others to perform. The idea was to develop your own style of score writing which I found very interesting as it’s never been a technique id use for creating choreography.
This experience gave me many ways to create choreography, and to show ideas of my own, ask questions to professionals of a company, watch performances of the Fabrik Festival, meet other dance companies, and organise events for the festival. I feel much more confident in the dance world thanks to this opportunity of being trusted with large tasks and ideas.
For my third year work based project I worked as an assistant for a professional choreographer, Louise Wagner, in Berlin, Germany on a piece called RheingoldResonanzen. The project was a sound instillation with movement and live musicians, working on the resonance of Wagner sounds depicted from his operas. I fortunately was able to observe and assist the whole process from the beginning of rehearsals, right through to the final showing in Weimer, Germany. This to me was an exciting opportunity as it gave me the chance to be a part of a professional choreography within the dance industry; the chance to observe and have input into this project was exciting for my personal development and my knowledge of the industry. My roles were to offer technical help such as setting up the space for the performances, giving observations of rehearsals and processes, providing feedback and recapitulation of previous ideas and movement qualities, offer help for dancers and musicians, and other small jobs such as giving opinions on spacing, cues etc. The fact that my jobs were so small meant that I could focus more on the personal interests and around other aspects of the process. This was beneficial to my studies at it gave me an understanding of the field of work that I want to go into, preparing me for the process I will be undertaking and ways to handle situations.
As part of one of my third year modules for my BA(hons) Dance, I undertook a work based project on a dance festival named Ausufern with the Tanz Fabrik in Berlin during August 2013. There were four organisations involved with the festival overall, they were: Tanz Fabrik, Ufer Studios, Ada Studio and Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin (HZT). My role during the festival was Production Assistant to an artist named Britta Wirthmüller on her interpretation of a Jean Weidt work called Physical Encounters.
The festival had so many other people involved in the festival who were from various places around Europe, this aspect of my work based project was very enjoyable as I got to meet other people from the dance scene all with different areas of interests.
I felt that my experience of working so closely with a professional artist allowed me to see how a production was organised and what aspects needed to be done in order for it to be successful, which was great as I hope to organise productions at some point in my dance career. The main experience I will take from working on Ausufern is how the atmosphere was completely different from any other performance event that I have ever been involved with both from a performers point of view but also the behind the scenes aspect of creating productions, as it gave me a totally different view point.
Gabriella Garroway BA (hons) Dance third year