Today I was inspired to write about this image after looking back through our Instagram page, and to talk about the magic that happens when we get into the room.
We talk about it a lot, me and Lucy. That thing that happens.
And this is not just any room, this is the Dance Space at the Island - back to our roots in the room where everything started, where the creation and development of our first two shows took place, where we held our first workshops. The hours, the sweat that we have poured into this room. One time we covered the floor in flour (sorry Dance Space - we did put a tarp down and we cleaned it up after we promise!) We have spent many an afternoon, eyes closed, exploring this space with hands, toes, breathing or shouting or singing into the walls.
And this was not just any day, this was taken as part of a residency there. The first time we ever began to explore our process, to try to understand and draw out a system, words, a template for what we do. To distill the magic formula, so that we could share it with others.
You see, many people step into the room with us and it just clicks. For some it is not their thing. For others it takes a little time. Some can find themselves even after years of experience with us, sat on the outside looking in. So we wanted to really delve into what we do and how we do it, so that we could ensure that everyone is invited along as part of the journey, and no one was left aside.
I've studied the essentials of creative conflict as part of the research for my masters. I've learned that there are so many other companies out there that make work collaboratively. But it does seem that what we do is special. Our structure balances openness and discipline, hard work and play, pushing and pulling - and always with the upmost commitment to the thing we create which is greater than ourselves. We aim to bring in every voice, explore every avenue that seems to light up for us, to incorporate people's backgrounds and influences, to meld and mesh and create and destroy - we knead the dough of the piece until it's ready to rise. And every single time, it's magical.
Myself and Lucy have a particularly privileged perspective on this rehearsal room, having spent hundreds of hours sat at the side capturing notes and photographs, forming opinions, laughing, imagining, and getting dead legs. We have seen it happen time and again, with multiple people. It's us, it's our process. We have our own culture...