Vertical Dance Research Creating International Connections

This time last year we were just finishing up on the final online sharing of a project called “Creating Connections’, a collaboration with Wanda Moretti and Kate Lawrence  funded by British Council’s International Collaboration Grants to deliver a project exploring participatory and inclusive practice in vertical dance.

Aiming to build on our previous collaborative practices in vertical dance Creating Connections‘ drew on the approaches developed in the experimental dance scene of the 1970’s (think Trisha Brown, Simone Forti, Robert Morris) to deepen and develop our practices around inclusion, participation and inviting different and new audiences into our work.

Throughout we were joined online and in-person by long term G&L collaborator and aerial designer Mish Weaver who responded  with simple design propositions for participants to work with in the vertical dance space which might encourage cooperation, trust and play.

 Wanda Moretti hosted week 1 of  the project at the Vertical Dance Centre in Marghera, Venice, where we worked with 15 male refugees, aged between 19 through to 56, from Afghanistan, Columbia, Eritrea, Gambia, Libya, Pakistan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Ukraine, from the Rossarol Centre.  It was a brilliant week exploring movement, vertical dance and moving in contact. There was so much mutual trust, curiosity, support and laughter alongside a desire to learn and the sheer joy and simplicity of dancing together.

“Even I, who have sadness in my heart, ended up laughing” – Participant

Kate Lawrence hosted week 2 in Llandudno Wales, at Ysgol y Gogarth where we worked with a group of children with multiple sensory and physical disabilities and their teachers at .

Week 3 was hosted by us in our home town of Brighton, working with professional D/deaf and disabled and non-disabled dance artists in South East Dance‘s gorgeous new building The Dance Space.