Updated: Jan 2
There is much I have been fortunate to do professionally and creatively this year. There have been challenges that are a part of imagining, creating, responding openly and effectively as well as producing projects/works/activities, but also so many rewards (in the moment of doing and in the bigger picture). Here is a summary of my 2019 activities, all of which were/are an honour to work on in their own ways. Most importantly I have: made new personal and professional relationships that I value immensely, grown, clarified aims and engaged with many audience and participants who have been as present with the work as the artists who are sharing it (thank you!).
In 2020 I look forward to growing further the breadth of international collaborations I work on across creative and producing projects. I look forward to continuing to share story and experiences as well as contribute to practice, dialogue and action. I look forward to continually utilising and growing the breadth of my practices and thinking.
The year started working as Choreographic & Rehearsal Director on 'Counting Sheep: Staging A Revolution' that ran for eight weeks as part of VAULT Festival, London. This immersive work is 'based on Mark and Marichka Marczyks' first hand experiences during the 2014 Kiev Uprising,' (http://countingsheeprevolution.com/theplay).
Here are links for you to see and read about reactions, responses and reviews.
Full production credits and information here: http://countingsheeprevolution.com/theplay
★★★★ The Times and The Sunday Times ★★★★ Time Out London ★★★★ WhatsOnStage ★★★★ Culture Whisper ★★★★★ The Arts Desk ★★★★★ The Reviews Hub ★★★★★ Theatre Weekly ★★★★★ A Younger Theatre ★★★★★ BroadwayWorld
After more than 18 months of development it was time to start to create 'They Gather' for presentation at Supercell Festival Of Contemporary Dance. 'They Gather' is a project that draws together many observations, processes, philosophies and priorities. ‘They Gather' is an international multimodal and interdisciplinary project creating ‘gatherings’ of people, action, dance, sound and music. These interrelated performances explore the boundaries between audience, participant and performer in public, festival and cultural spaces subsequently creating dialogue with environments, societies, politics, histories and creating speculative futurologies. 'They Gather' aims to empower and create dialogue around the complexities and polarities of contemporary living.
'They Gather' has grown to be an independent tri-national project (Australia, the Netherlands and the UK). Drawing on a broad set of skills on this projectI I am a Co-Lead Producer and Co-creator/Choreographer/ Director.
For Supercell Festival Of Contemporary Dance 2019 we were able to develop and present three modules across the festival: ‘Everyday Freedoms’ a three hour durational performed, interactive and facilitated work inhabiting empty spaces at The Valley Metro, ‘Corpus Alimentation’ a performed work (part documentary, part science fiction, part ritual) and ‘Lost In Feeling’ a scored performance work developed with community. We also loved opening professional classes during our research and rehearsal process, as well as a a delivering a public workshop and coffee & conversation during the festival.
There are so many thank you’s on this project that have supported its scale and aspirations including: Joseph Lau (Co-creator/Choreographer/Director), Stephanie Pan & Stelios Manousakis (Co-creators/Composers/Sound Artists), Charles Ball, Chloe Lanham Kristin Santic and Sammie Williams (Collaborating Performers), En Rui Foo (Australian Producer), Ian Dearden (Contemporary Social Issues Advisor), Robert Lachowicz (Community Lawyer), Kate Fiske (Gateway Health), ‘Lost In Feeling' community participants, peers who have provided ongoing critical dialogue and all the team at Supercell Festival Of Contemporary Dance. For previous phases of development thank you to: Storm Helmore, Stephanie Pokoj and Courtney Scheu. Thank you also to the following funders and partners...
Off shoot activity for 'They Gather' included: sharing processes and material from with ‘They Gather’ with Year 11 students at Queensland Academy Creative Industries for utilisation in the creation of new performance work and delivering a masterclass as part of La Boite’s HWY Festival.
Read and see more about this project here: https://www.theygatherproject.com
I was invited to work as Associate Artist on Contact Youth Company’s new project ‘Baby Fever’. Produced by Contact. Commissioned by Contact and SICK! Festival (2019). Created by Contact Young Company and Theater Degasten. Directed by Theater Degasten. Assistant Artist – Miray Sidhom. In this role I worked with the ensemble on developing physical, devising and performance skills.
I have been working on the Ukrainian film project ‘Iron Butterflies’ about the downing on the MH17 in Ukraine. The project is best understood by following these links.
As ‘They Gather’ continues to be developed, via the support of various partners and funders since August this year we have been able to:
- develop new works in various contexts using scores and processes from with ‘They Gather’ (including Joseph Lau creating work as part of ATOM Choreographic Series 3 in Bulgaria and ’Snow’ commissioned by University of Salford for 2nd and 3rd year students performance project).
- develop masterclasses for artists delivered as part of a project at HOME Centro Creazione Coreografica in Perugia, Italy and independently in Manchester, UK.
- undertake research and development into a new module ‘Entertaining A Small Place’ performed at University Of Salford's 'Dance with US' and researched during a residency in Italy supported by HOME Centro Creazione Coreografica.
- research and develop a new lecturer performance ‘Yesterday I Didn’t Want To Be A Giraffe. Now I Do’ reflecting on Fiske's practice and recent works, including methodologies relating to participation, audience engagement and co-creation.. Increasingly Fiske’s work blurs the lines between these acts - seeking actively for them to co-exist. This lecture performance was presented at The Great Northern Expo at UCLan.
- continue producing, profile raising and partnership building work.
Thank you to: Deb Ashby (Independent Producer), Lenka Flory and Valentina Romito (HOME Centro Creazione Coreografica), Stefaniya Georgieva and Deedee Angelova (ATOM Choreographic Series), Joseph Lau, Stephanie Pan and Stelios Manousakis (collaborators), Lisa Cullen and staff and students at University of Salford, Lucy Nicholson and staff and students at UCLan and the staff and students at The Lowry Centre for Advanced Training,
'They Gather' development is support by the following funders and partners:
I was gifted with a residency at Dancenorth Australia at part Dancenorth’s A.R.T. Program. During this time I shared in practice, shared practice, shared in meaningful conversation and was able to undertake research on the ongoing project 'Sufi In The City'. Here is a reflection from my time there:
"This residency time has offered space to be with solo research as part of the larger research project in development ‘Sufi In The City’: a collaborative project with artist Sarah Sayeed. ’Sufi In The City’ is a project about a history of longing for union, which creates space to being with questions about modernity, spirituality, lineages, freedom and gender.
In particular, being by the water here in Townsville has guided me to spending much time in the studio with what is known and unknown about a great great grandfather who died in a shipwreck. In being with expanses of nature, the fragility of the body and consequently a returning to and remembering of being nature, I am humbled to then be with philosophical and spiritual questions of existence and truth.
I feel that place has focused my research, given it an attention that I otherwise would not have had.I have also valued being in a space where other artists are also in process. The energy in the whole building, to be listening to the work that is being made and to valuing process, enriches and affirms what I am doing."
It was also fantastic to have a short video work 'The Soul of the Prayer' from 'Sufi In the City' exhibited at New Art Exchange Open: http://www.nae.org.uk/exhibition/nae-open/150
Read more about 'Sufi In the City' here: https://www.sufiinthecity.com
I continue much teaching and facilitation practice in community, education (including universities) and artistic contexts. I always value the opportunity to share what I have learnt and am learning as well as longstanding and emergent practices. I also continue to work on strategic artist led initiatives.
I have been able to further work on my project 'The Body Of Us', defining three areas:
'The Body Of Us / Public'
- A series of performed and facilitated interactions that places the audience at the heart of the dance as the performer and choreographer.
- Designed to animate public spaces, including theatre and festival spaces.
- Designed as something that can be handed over to artists and communities.
'The Body Of Us / Guided'
- Workshops by Bridget Fiske & Co using a range of creative tools to prioritise co-creation and empowerment in process.
- Workshops are suitable for all ages and experience levels including in-education, learning, artistic and community contexts.
- Workshops informed by Fiske’s 20 years of facilitation and co-creation in education and community contexts.
'The Body Of Us / Independent'
The gradual releasing of resources as part of 'The Body Of Us'. These resources will be in various formats and modes including articles, case studies, blogs, videos, example exercises and tool-kits.
Read more and full credits here: https://www.bridgetfiske.com/thebodyofus
I have become a board member of Vanhulle Dance Theatre, supporting the work of artist Laura Vanhulle. http://www.vanhulledancetheatre.com/index.html