What a group gathered for Rosemary Lee’s workshop in September!
We had people come from as far afield as Denmark and Portugal to be a part of Responding to Place as well as those from West Wales, South Wales, Bristol and London. As soon as we all sat down together to do introductions you could feel the wealth of experience and potential in the room, people had found an interest in site specific working from a myriad of angles and it was about to be a weekend filled with open explorations, talking, moving, responding and being together.
Questions that were aired and arose: –
What are the landscapes of your life, of your past and of your present? How have/do they inform you now?

Whose space is it, who feels they own it, open mind, closed mind, performance persona in public space, engagement of audience or not, dressing rooms, loos, weather, site lines.

Exits and entrances, the right aesthetic for the site, what is that?  Right for whom?
Experience versus outside eye, the experience of composing, lightness of the game, expanding borders, closing borders, reaching people, trusting the form, experiencing nature or non nature as a stimulus for indoor work or outdoor work.
The choreographic glasses we put on, can we share them with an audience? How we see the environment anew because of the animation of it…
There was indoor and outdoor play in Y Lloft studio, Thompson’s park, and in Chapter Arts Centre’s garden. The role of urban space and rural space within site specific work was discussed. We paid homage to the controlled environment of a studio in that it allows us to focus inwardly before placing ourselves in a more complex space…and bringing the outdoors in through movement explorations was a delight to witness and be a part of.
Each site brings its own character, it’s history and is integral to the work, as humans we are never separate to the landscape or devoid of place. Places contain the history of their experience, and at times this is visible like seeing a worn step from centuries of people’s walking and in others it’s more in the way it feels when you are there. Where we are informs us, even on a subtle and undetectable level, if we take time to draw our awareness to where we are and how we are affected by our surroundings we can begin a conversation and there exists the potential for something wonderful.
Rosemary shares some of her memories from the weekend: –
“My memories are full of ferrets, singing women approaching, fir trees carried, birds singing, dogs wondering, beautiful plant solos in the studio full of fizzing life, the duet at the bike shed, the people under cars, slalom running with bollards, Kip in the window, red wine, technology failing me, my mind failing me, joyous sharing, seeing peoples imagination manifest briefly, space animated, fig tree, secret places, girl and boy bands, spiders, courgette flowers, poplar trees, lying bodies, standing bodies, warm terracotta on my tummy, care, thinking of home, breathing with grass trees and birds, sharing the air, and much much more…”
The weekend has awoken a desire to know more, explore more and keep turning over the rich soil of working in site responsive ways. I have a feeling that there have been connections made over the weekend that will live on.
Keep an eye on our Groundhub page and join us for more of these wonderful provocations.