Along with 6 other professional dance artists, I performed a 90 minute structured contact improvisation amongst the trees at Rosliston Forestry Centre. We were commissioned by South Derbyshire District Council to celebrate the opening of their ‘Dance in the Forest’ youth dance platform.
I brought to the group my comfort with dancing and devising in a challenging dance space; choreographing movement with the trees as some-what stationary participants in the piece, and encouraging others to fully participate in the space – engaging with the floor of the forest, the strength and structure of the trees and the objects to be found around us.
We had a very limited amount of time in which to devise and prepare the performance, so I provided quick suggestions, solutions & feedback within the group, occasionally challenging the choices or assumptions being made, yet ultimately took direction from the group leader.
During the performance itself the challenge was to stay open to engaging in the moment with the space and my response to it, the other dancers & other performers in the forest (such as some amazing drumming), whilst remaining aware of the audience’s viewpoint and being undistracted by photographers entering the space with us!
I love trees, and dancing amongst them was a genuine pleasure, especially given the lovely weather we had on the day. I’m so pleased we had the freedom to explore the opportunities around us and would love to produce more work in such an interesting and beautiful landscape.