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danceWEB offered a slot in the danceWEB Scholarship Programme 2010 to the co-organizer Southbank Centre. This slot comprised a fixed nomination in danceWEB 2010, the covering of 1/3 of the total scholarship expenses, which in general the selected danceWEB candidates need to secure through a funding institution in their home country and the covering of the travel costs. After a national wide, public call, Southbank Centre chose Daisy Thompson for this slot.

During the five weeks of the danceWEB Scholarship Programme 2010, Daisy Thompson completed nine technique classes and Research Projects and attended 23 performances, offered by ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival.

report by Daisy Thompson

Intense, overwhelming, petrifying, exhilarating, isolating, unifying, not for the faint hearted, stripping of ones ideas, building upon one’s foundations, Hollywood of dance, sickening, inspiring, encouraging, exchanging...

Intense questioning
Intense dancing
Intense analysing
Intense excavation
Intense cross-examination
Intense judgement

Millions of opportunities!!!

5 weeks of absolute trauma, and I wouldn’t exchange that experience for anything. Talk about being stopped in your track and reassessing your situation!! I was spun round, flipped upside down and turned inside out…and it is on reflection of this experience, that I realise the greatness of how it has/will contribute to my chosen career path.
Although after graduating I had already taken the step of moving to another country, 2 years on I was still somewhat institutionalised from my training. Decision-making was difficult by the many possibilities available now in the art form, and from the many opinions swimming around me both personal and theoretical.
These opinions didn’t stop circulating in DanceWEB, no!! they became stronger… an intense bubble of what people had read, heard and experienced…arrgghh the substance of my security was being infiltrated by my fellow emerging thinkers and doers, I was either going to sink or swim.
Sink I did for a large duration of the festival, but only from the weight of my own thoughts and judgements. When one is immersed so deeply in such a pool, it’s hard to rise to the surface for breath, but then what does one do? ….well, find a way to get rid of those heavy weights, how?...by facing them, asking them why they are there, and then asking them to leave..simple right?

Wrong! It is not simple to face yourself and what you do, to justify why it is important in the grand scheme of things. It is not simple to be honest in what motivates you, what drives you and to say what you really mean. It is not simple to be amongst flavours of the month, cults, anarchy and your own self-pitying.
So before this sounds like a complete dis to the festival, scholarship and my fellow danceWEBBERS, I’ll be less vague and more to the point.

Within the framework of DanceWEB, I was made to face my self, my insecurities, what I liked, what I didn’t. I could follow the rules and break them, I could be sociable and be introverted. I was challenged about my choices, which made me want to make no choices so as not to be challenged, which made me question why I didn’t want to be challenged, which made me question the culture I am in, and then made me angry, happy, confused etc etc. It put me on the spot in terms of my beliefs and my interests, and I became speechless. I couldn’t say what I thought because I had nothing to say; I couldn’t talk about my work, as I had no conviction in it.
For goodness sake Daisy wake up and get some balls, stop being so politically correct (beginning with the latter comment) and worried about what people might think, say, criticise, take the good with the bad and just follow your interests.
Being part of danceWEB, woke me up! Stopped me waiting for something to happen, stopped me stopping myself, and reminded me about the art form itself. It reminded me of how I like to move and how I want to move. I was truly inspired by teachers such as Peter Jasko, Malcolm Manning, DD Dorvillier and Meg Stuart, because of their enthusiasm, genuine investigations, openness and their ability to work with a group. Being part of their workshops, really made me consider how and what I would like to teach, as well as feeding me as an artist.

The set up of the festival was just incredible, a real community vibe, with the bike shed being in the centre of it all pumping out great music. Hanna and Dennis (our parents) always available if you needed any help, and not to forget the team in the workshop, being patient with all our changes.

I am still filtering all the experience from this massive opportunity, but one thing I am certain of, is that I have had a huge kick up my backside and feel somewhat freshly catapulted back to why I love this artform!

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