In my working life, 2016 has thrown up a good few anniversaries and so, whilst facing new challenges in the present, there has been an undercurrent of reminiscing and discovering what came before also.
First up, both of the schools in which I trained celebrated – Stella Mann having reached 70 years and NSCD 30 years of delivering. I hope they continue to inspire as a springboard into the dancing profession for many years to come.
Relatively youthful in comparison, Ffin Dance hit the 10 year milestone – this is a company I have danced with for half of its lifetime. Over the past 5 years I have grown with the company and been on many adventures including performing in the wonderful setting of Burg Namedy, experiences that I will treasure. It seemed fitting that this should be the year to part ways with Ffin and I performed for the last time with the company in Oxford in July.
Still very much in its infancy, MÓTUS turned 3 with a return of jam-packed weekend festival full of dancing in Milton Keynes. This year I had the pleasure of choreographing for a group of graduate dancers alongside Leandro Menezes, a capoeira specialist.
There were also a couple of firsts for me this year…
I worked for the first time with nocturn dance creating dance specifically for film – to be experienced via an app triggered by items on display in West Berkshire museum. The installation will tour in 2017/18 so watch out for it!
I also had the pleasure of working with Stopgap Dance Company on the heritage flame lighting ceremony for the Paralympics at Stoke Mandeville Stadium – a wonderfully enriching experience.
2016 also marked my first whole year working as an animateur with Rambert, who in turn are celebrating an impressive 90th anniversary. It has been a real privilege to work with so many different groups in varied settings in this role… with plenty of fresh challenges, repertoire and projects to get my teeth into. A particularly exhilarating highlight being at Wilderness Festival leading some workshops to get the A Linha Curva party started! I’ve also begun some fascinating work on ‘Rambert at 90’ projects which will continue into the New Year – so if you spot me traversing the country with a 1940s suitcase you’ll know why.
Looking ahead to 2017, there’s another big birthday on the horizon as Milton Keynes turns 50. I’ve begun working with a collective of artists known as Grid Arts – we’ll be launching a website very soon for you to get involved with our slice of the MK50 cake!
So there you have it – a year of looking back to keep moving forward. A massive thank you to everyone I’ve worked with this year…let’s build a bright, buoyant 2017 with plenty more opportunities to move those dancing feet!