PRIME, Dance Base’s elders dance company, continue their creative exploration by working in partnership with Curious Seed on a new film work.
Over recent months the lockdown and subsequent restrictions have hugely altered the creative landscape, changing not only how we engage with live work but also how we create it. In September 2020, Dance Base’s elders company PRIME were due to embark on a new performance work in partnership with Curious Seed, led by Artistic Director Christine Devaney and supported by a kind anonymous donor. Having been long-time supporters of Curious Seed and Christine’s work, we were delighted to be able to welcome her unique perspective and movement style to the company and to see what would emerge.
However, as September drew closer it became apparent that the likelihood of bringing all 15 dancers together in a room to practice was getting slimmer by the day. Not to be deterred, Christine and the PRIME members took it in their stride as they moved their weekly sessions online to connect digitally. While this new artistic approach brought its challenges, it has also opened up a unique form of connection, giving space and freedom to the dancers to improvise and respond in a way that may not have happened in person.
As the sessions have progressed each week, a form of the piece has started to emerge – a film work that captures the themes of reflection, connection, togetherness, and the cycle of seasons and of life, all of which have felt more prominent and poignant this year.
To capture the filmic nature of the sessions, Christine has brought together a creative team including filmmaker Lorna Simpson and composer Luke Sutherland, and the team will work with the company to develop a filmed work due for completion in January 2021.
Christine Devaney, Artistic Director at Curious Seed, said:
It’s a delight meeting with PRIME online each week.
They’re such a wonderful creative group of people with much rich life experience to bring to the work we’re developing together. Of course, I’m disappointed that we can’t all meet in person but somehow we’re finding creative, fun and meaningful ways to connect.
So far, we’ve been exploring the unfamiliar in the familiar spaces we find ourselves dancing in. Working inside in solo, yet together, as well as outside in pairs: dancing, writing and filming. Everyone has risen to - and seems to relish - the challenges that the changing circumstances have brought!
I’m really pleased that film maker Lorna Simpson, will work with us to weave these creative adventures into the format of a film to share. I’m also very happy that one of Curious Seed’s longest-standing collaborators, Luke Sutherland, will create an original sound score for the film.
Morag Deyes, Artistic Director at Dance Base said:
PRIME have risen to the challenge and blossomed as co-creators of this beautiful work, finding a new voice to their dancing, writing and improvisational skills. This cloud of COVID has offered a silver lining, as the wonderful dance artist Christine Devaney was able to give her time, creative energy and unique guidance to the company. We are very blessed with such a collaboration and can’t wait to see the result.