Posted: 29 April 2015
Nicole Beutler is a choreographer whose work is situated on the threshold of dance, performance, and visual arts. In her recent projects, she has been using geometric shapes to investigate how people live together and communicate collectively. This year, her work is inspired by the square.
Beutler said: ‘I have a love/hate relationship with the square. It is a man-made shape that rarely occurs in nature. It frames our point of view, defines borders and therefore suggests exclusions. At the same time, I like the English word square to mean a public space. This residency workshop is the first chance I have had to shine a light into this particular concept, and it is great to be at Roehampton to start this investigation.’
The 21 dance artists participating in the intensive workshop were selected from an open call for applications. Ten of them have a Roehampton connection: six are current MA or PhD students, three are alumni, and one is a visiting scholar. The workshop, organised and funded by Roehampton Dance, runs from 27 April to 1 May.
On 28 April, the group went to Trafalgar Square to watch passers-by. Their task was to pick out one person and imagine this person’s life. They then used their imaginings in the movement and text-sessions in the next day’s workshop.
Beutler said: ‘I was eager to work with the voice and invited dramaturge Felix Ritter to collaborate. The public square has political connotations – it is where people raise their voices. Does using your voice lead to movement? This is the first time we have done a workshop like this, where Felix and I take turns guiding the participants through tasks.’
Beutler and Ritter regularly work together on projects that address patterns of the collective body. Ritter teaches at the School for New Dance Development and for Dance Unlimited, at AHK Amsterdam. His research looks at states of bodies in social, cultural and spiritual rituals.
As part of the residency, Beutler will give a seminar entitled ‘This Is How I Work’, presented by Roehampton’s Centre for Dance Research. She will give an insight into the development of her works through time and talk about her current concerns. This evening presentation on 30 April is open to the public and will include a sharing of materials from the workshop.
More information: roehampton.ac.uk/Research-Centres/Centre-for-Dance-Research/Events
Dramaturge Felix Ritter (centre) talks to workshop participants.
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