This article was first published in the March 2006 Scene issue “We focus on dance, movement and music”.
My thoughts on this article in 2018:
What strikes me about the current landscape of the arts is that the boundaries between the art forms are even more blurred than they have been at any other time: the work of Dv8 Physical Theatre, Frantic Assembly, the choreography of Sidi Larbi Charkaoui, Akram Khan and a host of other choreographers are exploring and borrowing ideas from other art forms. Collaboration with other artists is a consistent feature in the quest to find the right language to communicate our ideas, thoughts and imagination – choreographers turn to words and song, theatre practitioners use movement, dance and gesture. Now more than ever, it is important that our drama students feel comfortable within the world of movement and equally that dance students find their “voice”.
Getting drama students to dance can often be problematic. The thought of “dancing” to some people, students and teachers alike, often makes them physically shrink away as if confronted by a dancing demon. So let’s replace “dance” with “movement”. Feel better? Good.
It’s a shame that society has become so reliant on the spoken word when everyone knows that a simple movement or gesture can communicate what we think and feel with such immediacy and truth. Moreover, movement has the potential to communicate our deeply personal inner-self where words are simply not enough. Transcending the boundaries of the spoken word through movement makes theatre more meaningful and infinitely more powerful.
Contemporary dance has been through a number of changes since its emergence in Britain in the 1960s.