This week DanceHouse returned to professional morning classes for the first time in six months. Next week’s tutor, Lucia Kickham, who was on Stage Door Live’s ‘Art in Isolation’ section a few months ago, shares with us how she’s found the return to teaching.
‘I had a workshop last Sunday organised by Junk Ensemble in their programme as Cork Dance Artists-in-Residence at Firkin Crane and I’m teaching in Dance Ireland for the Professional Morning Classes 14-18th September. I teach contemporary dance and currently concentrate on two techniques – Flying Low and Passing Through. Both were created by Venezuelan dance artist David Zambrano.
Flying Low is about the dancers relationship to the floor, spiral patterning in the body and efficiency of movement. Passing Through is harder to participate in at the moment as it requires touch, contact and travelling throughout all available space. It is an instant composition around use of space and group cohesion/awareness and is applicable to people in any movement discipline.
The workshop in Cork went very well. There were ten participants in total, divided into five pods. Each pair of dancers were assigned a pod to share. The pod space was marked on the floor with tape and they were required to move only within that space and not invade the adjacent pod. I expected this to impact the workshop more than it did. I thought I would have to reiterate the rules a few times, but these are dancers and professional movers, they’re used to working in set spaces, it’s well ingrained in their skill-sets, particularly now with the two-metre limit widely imposed. We acknowledged the new settings and moved on from it, happily.
The atmosphere from beginning to end of the three-hour workshop was one of joy, appreciation, enthusiasm and excitement. This was partly as a result of the energetic music and movement material I was sharing, but primarily the result of a more primal pleasure of sharing space and dancing together in a studio. The sense of liveness and togetherness was wonderful. We are a moving community and we need each other’s presence.
In DanceHouse the numbers are currently capped at five dancers and one teacher per class. I love being in a studio full of dancers and buzzing off the collective drive. I miss it. I miss the contact and physical communication through touch. The play of proximity. Two-metre space regulations can make things a little sterile and bland. It’s a challenge, but we can work with it, for now.’
Lucia works as a dance performer, maker and teacher and is available for work and collaborations. Find her on Instagram @luciakickham