THE BODY OF US / PUBLIC
A performed and facilitated audience engagement project for venues, events and festivals, simply put 'The Body Of Us / Public' it is a distributed and shared dance: a series of interactive movement scores for meeting, interacting, witnessing, creating and dancing together.
'The Body Of Us / Public' also supports audiences to engage more meaningfully with aspects of dance through their own body before and after viewing performances.
For audience and community 'The Body Of Us / Public' is a dance you stumble upon or deliberately choose to turn up for, a dance you are guided through and a dance you create. It is a facilitated way to move through, in and view a space as well as to meet and exchange with those who are present in it.
In designing a score for audience and public spaces, Bridget wanted to create something that communities, venues and festivals could use to engage people and highlight that there is dance everywhere and in all of us. Suitable for a variety of settings, e.g. arts and performance festivals and venues in foyer and public spaces, 'The Body Of Us / Public' has been presented to date at:
The Lowry Salford, UK (2017 & 2018) as part of Dance: Sampled, a programme of dance excerpts from a range of styles aimed at developing audiences for dance. 'The Body Of Us / Public' animated the expansive public spaces of The Lowry before and after the stage programme, featuring dance-facilitators from University of Salford as well as independent artists from a range of dance style and facilitation backgrounds. Dance: Sampled is part of The Movement, a dance producing partnership between Birmingham Hippodrome, The Lowry and Sadler’s Wells.
Supercell Festival of Contemporary Dance, Australia (2017). Filling the foyer space of the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts for the five nights of Supercell, 'The Body Of Us / Public' was delivered by a group of emerging and experienced artists from a range of dance and physical theatre backgrounds. 'The Body Of Us / Public' evolved across the week, to offer new experiences for a returning audience.
Dance With US (2018), a University Of Salford dance event. 'The Body Of Us' filled the foyer spaces of The New Adelphi pre-performance, activated by students of University of Salford BA Dance (Hons) degree.
You can choose to use the toolkit alone or you can engage Bridget Fiske & Co to support you to deliver, develop and adapt it to your space and event. Either way, you will need to build the following team to deliver it:
Project Artistic Lead: This could be an arts practitioner, a teacher or a community leader. The Project Artistic Lead guides and supports the Activators in the delivery of the project. They will need enthusiasm, leadership and facilitation experience as well as an awareness of safe dance/physical practice and inclusive practice is essential. This role also needs a directorial ‘eye’, to site the various ‘moments’ in physical space.
Activators: As well as experienced artists 'The Body Of Us / Public' Activators can be dance enthusiasts, students and emerging dance artists. Confidence moving with and speaking to the general public is a must as several scores and interactions require structured movement improvisation and some verbal interaction. These roles do not have to be exclusively delivered by able-bodied persons, but require a level of physical articulation suited to those accustomed to dance/movement.
Audience: In participating with us, our audience become co-creators and performers. This work appeals to, and is adaptable to, a range of audiences. Ideal for an audience new to dance, it is also interesting and challenging to those familiar with dance.
A founding principle of 'The Body Of Us / Public' is inclusivity; instructions and communications have been carefully designed to allow for participants with limited physical mobility to take part, as well as those who do not speak English or are unable to read. Interpretation allows for audiences to participate on their terms and in their own way.
Additional support resources required:
> Ability to print, laminate and bind signage and scores.
> A project manager to look after risk assessment, scheduling and other logistic related tasks.