Round table discussion
with 'Funmi Adewole, Emilyn Claid, Fergus Early, Jamila Johnson-Small, Jacky Lansley and Mary Prestidge
01.03.2020 — 27.09.2021
Sunday 1st March, 4.30pm
This event is free but booking is required here
'Dance like any other art form does not exist within a social or intellectual vacuum. It is subject to the same societal pressures and stimuli that impose on all areas of our lives. We can never exclude thought from our practice....writing is necessary, as a creative extension of our work, in order to project outwards, receive feedback, and communicate in depth to others' Jacky Lansley in New Dance magazine, 1977, Issue 1, p.3
'There is nothing new to be discovered in dance movement. A provocative and controversial statement. What is new is now, and what is happening now. How the social, financial and political conditionals affect each other at any give time, and where the dance artist stand in relation to them is what affects the work, and its 'newness'.' Emilyn Claid in New Dance magazine, 1977, Issue 3, p.2
This roundtable discussion brings together academic 'Funmi Adewole, artist Jamila Johnson-Small and X6 founding members- Emilyn Claid, Fergus Early, Jacky Lansley and Mary Prestidge. Taking New Dance magazine as a starting point the conversation will explore collectivity, writing and politics in dance today.
In 1976, the concept of ‘liberation' brought the X6 together - liberation from fixed form and structure, liberation of the body, liberation from the mainstream dance institutions and liberating new politics. This unifying principle manifested itself in interdisciplinary practices, diverse discourses, new aesthetics and new ways of writing about dance.
Considering the political and social parallels between the late 1970s and the present day, the conversation will reflect upon how artists are able to respond to their social, cultural, environmental and economic context. What is liberation today and how is it possible? What role does collectivity play? What is the responsibility of the institution and the independent artist?
'Funmi Adewole is a dance practitioner, writer and lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester. Her touring credits include Horse and Bamboo Mask and Puppetry Company, Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble and the Chomondeleys dance company and her recent performances include “The Sleepwalker”, Tangente, Montreal; “Restfulness”, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester. Recent publications include: 'Caribbean dance: British Perspectives and the choreography of Beverley Glean’ (2016); 'The construction of the Black dance/African Peoples' dance section in Britain: Issues arising for the conceptualisation of related choreographic and dance practices' (2016); 'Curating performance from Africa for international stages: Thoughts on Artistic Categories and Critical Discourse' (2018). Adewole was chair of Association of Dance of the African Diaspora in Britain (ADAD) from 2005 to 2007. She is the One Dance UK 2019 recipient for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Dance of the African Diaspora.
Emilyn Claid is a choreographer, writer, teacher, academic and psychotherapist based in London, UK. She was a co-founder of the X6 Collective, London and a co-editor of New Dance magazine (1976-80). Claid was Artistic Director of Extemporary Dance Theatre, London (1981-1989) and has choreographed for companies including Candoco Dance Company and Phoenix Dance Company. Claid was Director of BA & MA Choreography at Dartington College of Arts (2003-2013). Publications include ‘Yes? No! Maybe… Seductive Ambiguity in Dance Theatre Performance’ (Routledge, 2006). Claid is currently Professor of Choreographic Practices at Roehampton University and has a private practice as a psychotherapist in London.
Fergus Early is dancer, choreographer and director based in London, UK. He is a co-founder of the X6 Collective, London (1976-80); its successor Chisenhale Dance Space, London (1980-) and a co-editor of New Dance magazine (1977-88). Early founded Green Candle Dance Company, London (1984), and continues to serve as Artistic Director. Green Candle Company has been awarded three Digital Dance awards. In 2010 Early was awarded an OBE for services to dance and is an Honorary Doctor of Arts at De Montfort University, Leicester. Publications include ‘The Wise Body’ (Intellect Books, 2011), co-authored with Jacky Lansley.
Last Yearz Interesting Negro is the working name of London based artist/dancer/choreographer Jamila Johnson-Small. Jamila makes performances, (de)compositions between what is held in their own body, the space and the bodies of the spectators. Always relational and thinking cumulatively, moving across spaces, contexts, roles and collaborations, the work gathers and transmits information through inviting others in, creating various constellations to build spaces for dancing, performance, listening and conversation. Regular collaborators include Phoebe Collings-James, Alexandrina Hemsley and Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome.
Jacky Lansley is a choreographer, writer and performance artist based in London, UK. She is a co-founder of the X6 Collective, London (1976-80); its successor Chisenhale Dance Space, London (1980-), a co-editor of New Dance magazine (1977-88) and founder of Dance Research Studio, London (2002 –). Recent performance work includes ‘About Us’, at Modern Art, Oxford (2019), Bluecoat, Liverpool (2018) and Oxford House Theatre, London (2018). Publications include ‘The Wise Body’ (Intellect Books, 2011), co-authored with Fergus Early and ‘Choreographies: Tracing the Materials of an Ephemeral Art Form’ (Intellect Books, 2017). Lansley has been awarded One Dance UK’s Jane Attenborough Award (2018).
Mary Prestidge is an independent dancer based in Liverpool, UK. She was a co-founder of X6 Collective (1976-80); its successor Chisenhale Dance Space (1980-89) and a co-editor of New Dance magazine (1977-1980). Prestidge supported the creation and delivery of the dance programme at the Liverpool Institute for Peforming Arts (LIPA). She was co-organiser of Liverpool International Festival of Dance Improvisation (LIFDI) (1999-2007) and subsequently co-founded LIC studio at Bluecoat, Liverpool, with Liverpool Improvisation Collective (2008-). Prestidge is a former Olympic Gymnast (1968).
For details about access needs please follow the link here or send your inquiries to rachael[at]cellprojects.org
Developed with the generous support of ArtFund, Cockayne & London Community Foundation, Arts Council England and Chisenhale Dance Space.