Hugarian artist Bernadett Jobbàgy was chosen by Workshop Foundation for this five day intensive residency with Luke Pell. The workshop was for artists interested in developing their practice with a particular focus on access and disability arts. There was also an opportunity to attend performances at Southbank Centre during the residency.

Bernadette Jobbàgy received some very interesting and helpful information for her further artistic practice during the workshop.

reportby Bernadette Jobbagy

Notes on my residence in Southbank Center, London,

with Luke Pell, 2013. 06. 10 - 16.


It was a five days of intensive work and exchange with Luke Pell, and other artists invited by him.

Before my arrival, we already discussed via e-mail about what he is doing now, and what I am doing recently, so what can be the most interesting and useful for me within the subject of ‘access and disability’, and out of it.

I had interest to show my work in progress solo, Atlas inside (which is about to access inside intuition, and which I started in Poznan, Poland, with the support of the International Visegrad Fund) and get feedbacks to carry it on; as also I wished to get help and inspiration for the dance piece I’m currently working on, and which is the extension of my solo in a way, together with disabled and non disabled artist.

Surely I was also interested in the experiences and practice of Luke Pell’s work, and the way, how he starts and carries things on into performing art.

First of all we had a discussions on the work in practice, the terminology and the legal background in the UK and in Hungary. It’s interesting to be more conscious about the models of disability[1] in society and its context; and how the changing of these models effected the work of art, or the way of thinking in general. Through this discussion, we established our common language and understanding on the subject, and shared our practice in theory, forming a basement for the following of the week.  

My solo, Atlas inside, is finally a solo with live music, so here I could only share a fragment of it alone, with the recorded sound of the last sharing. It turned out how difficult it is to perform something, which is designed for an on stage communication between dancer and musician on a recorded version of sound. But even this way, Luke had very useful comments, and questions about my work. Through thinking about the questions he proposed, I can go further with the solo (which is a duo already), and even with the extended version in mixed ability group, through inclusive practice.

During the week, Luke leaded several exercises from his practice. I was asking for a way of work, where I can experience as many things in practice as possible, and then speak about the theory behind them. So I’ve got it. After we did the exercises - felt and experienced in the body - we discussed why to use it (what it is building), when, in which group, etc., so things got structured, and so it’s very useful in my group leading and choreographic practice.

We’ve been also working on the subject ‘Invitation’, what Luke’s working on right now. And I really appreciated to see his point of departure and way of working from a very practical side.

In the context of invitation, it had another layer to invite different artist (with different abilities) whom he’d already worked with, into our week, and who are also working or teaching in inclusive practice. Kitty Fedorec was there as a permanent guest, and she also leaded dance training for us from her teaching practice in Candoco Youth Dance Company. Beside her, I’ve met with Kimberley Harvey, Tom Pritchard, Catherine Long, Dan Watson, Wendy Houstoun, Liz Atkin, Deirdre McLaughlin and Sarah Blanc during the week.

In my free time I could choose from the program offers of Southbank Center, so I could see Circa: Beyond (new circus performance), and Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band concert in Royal Festival Hall. As an ongoing program of the Neighborhood Festival in Southbank Center during my residence, there was the activism week-end, inspired by Yoko Ono, so all the building was full of her installation works. This layer of my being there was also very exciting.

As a closing up of this week’s process, we had a discussion with Luke Pell about how I’ll continue my work from now on. He gave me further contacts and websites I might visit for cooperation and inspiration.

Things I brought home:

I’ve got tools to dig in my creative mine, tools to apply in group leading and choreographic practice, theory and context of things I’m already doing, new professional and personal contacts, and footprints of concrete actions we did in the space together. All these information, memories and meetings produced a busy and full week, and I still need time to digest… to let things sink into my mind and heart, and see what will vent up on the surface of conscious thinking, or what comes up as intuition later on.

I’m really glad to be there, to work and exchange with people with similar interest and practice. It was good to feel, I’m not alone… we are never alone.  There’re people around the world with surprisingly similar access to dance and performing arts (besides of all the differences of course), which gives fuel into my engine.

[1] Medical model, social model, affirmative model


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