Ways of Being Together. A two day workshop with Jo Fong. March 5th/ 6th

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‘Ways of Being Together is a series of workshops, discussions and performances facilitated by Jo Fong centred around the idea of of Belonging. A sense of belonging is intimate and powerful, connected, optimistic, unknown and curious making’

Members of Contact dance Company were joined by dancers from around the region to dance under the energising and inspiring guidance of dance artist  Jo Fong.

Jo Fong is a director, choreographer and performer working in dance, film, theatre, opera and the visual arts. Her eclectic career includes performances with DV8 Physical Theatre, Rosas (Belgium) and Rambert Dance Company. Recent collaborations include working with Wendy Houstoun, Sonia Hughes, Deborah Light, Unfinished Business, Skye Reynolds, National Theatre Wales, Welsh National Opera, Hull Dance and Quarantine

Jo really immersed us in movement; her own joy of moving (whole heartedly and energetically) was contagious. Jo built energy in our bodies and throughout the group and facilitated a climate of listening, physical playfulness and openness to change.

When Jo set us simple movement based tasks, for example  ‘listening to a partners spine’, ‘dancing in partners, hands placed simply on shoulders’, or following our gaze to initiate movement. The tasks were explored with appetite, verve and sensitivity.

We also listened to the whole group dancing and our place in it,  the ensemble as an animal, improvising, listening, accelerating, quieting and resting

It felt by the end of the two days as if the group had been really stretched, challenged, had worked hard physically and got a lot of joy from moving and being together.

 

Above are some images of the 2ndday of the workshop when Jo was working with Contact Dance Company. Photography is by Ewen Macintyre.

 

 

Growing Together – Open Workshops

Shropshire inclusive Dance invites you to ‘Growing Together’  

Spring Open Workshops

 A series of workshops led by highly skilled practicing professional dance
and performance makers, 

open to disabled and non-disabled dancers

The workshops will take place at The Gateway Centre in Shrewsbury.

 The aim of our workshop series is to support, inspire and stimulate dancers and practitioners in their ongoing development as performers, facilitators and dance makers. The Workshops will pay particular focus on movement exploration as a source for improvisation, dance making, performance and inclusion.

A limited number of places are available to dance practitioners, with at least 2 years dance experience and an interest in inclusive practice, to join Contact Dance company members in an explorative workshop setting.

Joanna Young
Ways of being in unknown places
Wednesday 21st February, 10am  – 4.30pm.

Working with improvisations and scores (creative movement tasks and instructions), open to individual and a group interpretation, the workshop explores how we can navigate, compose and find comfort within the unknown.  Co-creating an environment of care, sensitivity and intrigue, this workshop is a place to be tactile, playful and curious around the relationship between bodies, objects and environment.

Joanna has a passionate interest in collaborative and inter-disciplinary work as well as the facilitation of creative process in others.  Her approach to facilitating is inclusive, generous and responsive.  Exploring our full sensory range within a somatic and improvisational process the workshop aims to re-arrange our modes of perception and the borders we create around things, places and people.

Jo Fong
Ways of being together
Monday 5th March, 10am – 4.30pm

 ‘Ways of Being Together’ investigates the idea of Belonging by moving together – I’m interested in meeting people, encouraging awareness, listening and noticing. These workshops are part of a larger conversation about inclusivity and participation… thinking about what it is to thrive both individually and as a community.

I believe a sense of belonging is intimate and powerful, connected, optimistic, unknown and curious making. And at this time it seems essential to work on our Ways of Being Together. Please join me!

Jo Fong is a director, choreographer and performer working in dance, film, theatre, opera and the visual arts. Her eclectic career includes performances with DV8 Physical Theatre and Rambert Dance Company. Recent collaborations include working with Wendy Houstoun, Welsh National Opera, Hull Dance and Quarantine.

As an independent artist she has toured her choreographic work throughout the UK and international venues. Her work has been recognised and awarded by The Critic’s Circle National Dance Awards, Creative Wales Award and Wales Theatre Awards.

 Aya Kobayashi

The whole body in spontaneity and play
Wednesday 4th April, 10am – 4.30pm

Aya’s workshop will explore the embodiment using whole body with sense of spontaneity and playful characterisation.
We may use some materials to make wearable sculpture or object. Through improvisations and various games we will explore the effective choreographies with the particular materials.

Aya is an independent dance artist working in the field of performance and movement exploration. As a performer she has worked with choreographers/ companies  including Rosemary Lee, Charlie Morrissey, Lila Dance, Kerry Nicholls, and Pete Shenton (New Art Club) and Gecko Theatre.

Booking details

 Cost per workshop

£50 – Participants from funded dance organisations

£40  – Dance Professionals

£20 –  Concessionary rate for low waged dancers / participants.

Booking is on a first come first serve basis. Booking can be made through

Email : directorsidance@gmail.com

Telephone : Rachel Liggitt 07855931214 or Ray Jacobs 07817194644

Venue Details: The Gateway Centre, Chester Street, Shrewsbury SY1 1NA

The venue is fully accessible. The venue is close by to Shrewsbury train Station.

Car Parking can be found nearby at

Raven Meadows, Shrewsbury SY1 1PL or Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ

A suggested accommodation list can be provided if overnight accommodation is required.

‘Growing Together’ is Launched !

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Co Directors Rachel Liggitt and Ray Jacobs alongside Contact Dance company members Kevin Shepherd, Michael Wall, Mervyn Bradley, and Chloe Shepherd, cut the ‘Growing Together’ Cake ! – Image by Ewen Macintyre.

 Friends, family, dancers, artists, managers, organisations, board members and many more gathered for the launch of our two-year dance program ‘Growing Together’ funded by Arts Council England at the Hive, Shrewsbury.

What a heart felt, friendly and joyous event it was – community spirit felt very much alive and kicking as we celebrated our recent funding success.

Ray and Rachel warmly welcomed attendees followed by a sharing of SiD’s story so far, highlighting key events and achievements. The co-directors then outlined plans for the two-year program ‘Growing Together’.

One of the main highlights was the premier of SiD’s film ‘A Bridge Between Us’, an outcome of SiD’s duet project Two To Tango. The film produced by JTV Production received excellent feedback and needs to be shared wide and far.

The evening ended with the revealing of a massive cake shared and enjoyed and lots of chatting with old friends and new.

An event to remember.

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An exciting new chapter in the development of SiD

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Contact dance company celebrate the good news – photo by Ewen Macintyre

 

SiD is delighted to announce a new 2 year programme of Inclusive dance in Shropshire
entitled ‘Growing Together’

Over the next two years the company will be

Developing its organisation in our brand new base at the Hive in Shrewsbury.

Inviting guest dance and performance makers to share their practise and facilitate inclusive guest workshops open to Company members and dance practioners in the region.

Creating two new works with inclusive Dance Company Contact.

Encouraging and fostering diversity throughout our organisation

Researching, developing and founding a new inclusive youth dance company.

This exciting programme has been funded by Arts Council England and made possible through the support given by company members, our board, friends of SiD and all our partner organisations.

A big big thank you to you all.

 

 

Contact Dance perform at the Lowry Saturday May 3rd 2013

It was quite a day for Contact Dance, performing our first piece away from Shropshire, in the beautiful Quay Theatre at The Lowry, Salford.
Our new piece ‘Reach for the Sky’ involves twelve dancers, and we had all been invited by So Many Words Theatre Company to perform the piece as part of a showcase called ‘The Clouds Show Riches’.

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Ten of us set off from Shropshire on Wednesday morning, on the Mencap Minibus (many thanks to Mencap), while dancers Rachel and Anna were still busy teaching at the Birmingham Dance Exchange.

We arrived and were impressed by all the beautiful architecture and water at Salford Quay; an exploratory stroll around the building eventually led us to the Quay Theatre.
After a fair bit of banging on random stage doors trying to get in, we eventually arrived on stage for our technical run through. But still no Rachel and Anna, who were driving as fast as they legally could, up the M6.
We marked through the piece, trying out lighting with the skilful and friendly technical crew.  Everyone was excited to be on stage; it was challenging performing the piece, which involved much legging it through a dark tunnel back stage to find our proper entrance points in the wings, and getting used to unexpected clouds of smoke as we tried out different lighting effects.

Another problem was that the stage was much larger then we were used to, so the whole piece was taking much longer and we were running out of music. But no panic….

The dancers dealt with these challenges brilliantly. Rachel and Anna arrived, hooray! One group was late so we had another chance to run the piece with the whole company, hooray again! And in the meantime we had re-edited the music to take into account the wider stage. In the way that things do, everything turned out fine.

After the technical rehearsal, we had an hour to mess about in Salford quay, most certainly not mess around on the escalators and find something to eat and get back to the venue.

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Contact dancers  watched the first half of the show, which included a brilliant performance by Dance Syndrome. There was much frantic changing during the interval, nervous warming up, the occasional emotional crisis and Rachel’s impromptu and comical Bollywood dances to put everyone at ease….

Eventually we took to the stage, everyone seemed to really enjoy performing. The dance went really well and the dancers found their focus, presence and energy. The crowd gave us huge applause, we bowed and left the stage.

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After much chatter and hugs and no beer (sad face), we headed home back down the M6 or we would of it it hadn’t of been closed for repairs. I think it was about 2am before the last of us arrived back home. A long, exciting and truly worthwhile adventure. Many thanks to So Many Words Theatre Company, Mencap, and Disability Arts Shropshire for providing the funding that made it all possible.