This month, nine movement curious people from Tracks Dance Company’s Choreolab program share their findings in a special two-performance showcase. Developed in 2009, the program gives participants the annual opportunity to explore their own physical movement in a supportive environment.
By Tierney Seccull
Aimed at people with some level of dance or movement experience, or with some kind of artistic practice, the showcase is the culmination of 10 weeks of exploration.
The program is facilitated by Tracks Dance Animateurs Steph Spillett and Kelly Beneforti, also both former Choreolab participants. Spillett facilitated for the first time last year, and says it’s given them valuable perspective.
“I think that, being a former participant, it gave me a raw point of view on what the participant’s experience would be like. It’s been an exploration for me, as a facilitator, to consider how we can run the course to suit participants best this year. It’s always on a year-by-year basis.”
This year’s entourage includes Jennie Attrill, Marilynne N Kirshbaum, Flynn, Jeremy Garnett, Karen Hawkes, Anita Lakatos, Severine Meunier, Serina Pech and Terra Suppiah.
“The group we have this year have come from a range of artistic practices, even movement practices like yoga, and there aren’t many dancers. So they bring a different discussion into the room in terms of being in your body,” Spillett says.
“That’s the best thing about it, the exploration and the playing is different no matter what practice you’re in. For the participants, it’s good to know that we’re not going for an end product or what’s presented on stage, we’re about finding the progress and how to play with tasks to the full extent.”
The participants have taken part in a range of tasks over the 10 weeks, each week exploring a new theme, including choreography framework the Locus cube by Trisha Brown.
“It’s like you’re sitting inside a cube, and you’ve got letters all around you … and you’ve got to spell things out over three different plains. We decided to spell our favourite season from the four seasons, which is beautiful because everyone’s pathway is going to be different for each letter, and it’s a good way to think about working in different plains.”
If you’re interested to see the physical manifestation of what the participants have experienced over the past couple of months, head along to the showcase to find out.
“Kelly and I, as facilitators, have tried to create a space to reassure the participants that it’s a showing, not a polished performance. It’s about showing what it means to create movement and to create work … it lets audience members get some insight on things that they don’t otherwise get to see.”
Photos: Duane Preston