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Live Bites Artists

Here you can find out more about the artists performing their work at Live Bites on Friday 7 November 2014, and gain a bit of behind-the-scenes knowledge about their work…

 Nadia Iftkhar

1.    You are new to YD, so please can you tell me about your background and how you got to where you are now?
I’m a dance artist based in the North East and have been working in a variety of community and professional settings, including work with companies such as; Surface Area Dance Theatre,  ZENDEH, Talawa Young People’s Theatre  and Janice Parker Projects for the last 10 years. Last year I took some time to really think about where I was, what I had done and where I wanted to take my career next. I decided that I want to work more on my own work and run a company, something which had never really interested me before, so it came as a bit of a surprise. I think the past 10 years working as a freelancer has prepared me well though, and now feels like a right time for a new adventure.

2.     The sense of an ending – what inspired you to do this piece?
My Grandma. She has the most incredible stories and is a very wise woman, who has chosen to live her life with warmth, generosity and not an ounce of bitterness as a result of the blows that life has hurled at her. She is my moral compass and is constantly guiding me. This led me to thinking about all the other women in the north and all the ways in which they choose to survive, the wisdom that holds and how we can learn from them. I also wanted to create a space for women to be heard, and to know what they have to say is valued.

3.     You had a lot of stories from women, did you narrow them down and choose which ones to use?
No, they have all been used. There was never an option of excluding a story, they all carry equal value and weight in the work.

4.     Does it tell a story about your own life also?
There are certainly moments in the work that I can recognise, as I have similar experiences to that of some of the women, and of course it is my interpretation of their words, so I think it’s impossible to not let my life experiences influence the work. I haven’t submitted a story though.

5.    What is your favourite bit about the piece?
I’m not sure yet, I’ll let you know when it’s finished!

6.     YD is a new platform for you, what are you most looking forward too about coming?
I’m really looking forward to seeing the work of the other artists presenting on the night and the breakfast feedback session the next day.

7.     Anything else you would like to add?
Only that I have been overwhelmed by the stories that have been given to me with such honestly and openness, and for that I would like to thank the women of the north.

 

The full length work will be shown at:

Dance City

Saturday 15 November 2014
8:00pm (£ 5.00)

Running time: Approx 1 hour

Age: 14+

Photo credit: James Froment

 

Sophie Unwin

Sophie Unwin is an artist whose interest lies in the creation of live work which possesses a strong focus on the connection between autobiography, performance writing, and what it means to be a female on stage, exploring the complexities of the self in relation to her practice. Since graduating with a first class degree in 2011, Sophie has extensively toured works both regionally and nationally. She is co-director of company 70/30 Split and SLAPyork www.slapyork.co.uk

Currently in its second phase of development, The Chronicles of Joy was originally commissioned as part of a fellowship as part of Wendy Houtoun’s Juncture festival. The work is now being developed with support from the Sketch commission.

When asked what inspired her to create The Chronicles of Joy, Sophie answered saying ‘I was inspired by Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest Of Happiness, Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, and questions I was asking myself about my own pursuit of ‘happiness’.

Sophie was interested in creating a ‘character’ who could prod and poke at the subject matter which is rarely spoken about. A variety of religious, philosophical, and physiological approaches have all tried to identify the sources of happiness, but like many things in life we can’t know Joy without knowing pain.

This one women show presents Joy, a character whose straight-talking and candid character is delving into new territory.

Sophie states ‘I hope that Joy is a character who connects with people from all walks of life, and to their own idiosyncratic visions of happiness.’

Everyone has some concept of happiness – learn about the journey!

Photo Credit: Brian Slater

Hannah Buckley

A familiar face to Yorkshire Dance, Hannah is originally from Stockport and  trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance doing the foundation course and the degree, with a little spell at a dance school in Berlin in between. www.hannah-buckley.tumblr.com
Here is what she had to say about her piece ‘Women with Eggs

1.       What was your inspiration for the piece?

I decided I wanted to make a solo when I heard a song called ‘Old Molly Metcalfe’ by Jake Thackray about a shepherdess. I was also reading a book at the time called Women Who Run With The Wolves, which uses fairy tales to explore and support the female psyche. These were my main inspirations but it took me about 2 years to actually make it so lots of other things filtered in.

2.       What kind of style do you feel the dance has taken?

I don’t really think about the style. It is what it is.

4.       Is there a particular bit you enjoy the most

I enjoy it all, it’s like going on a journey each time. When the lights come up I think ‘this it, its begun….’

5.       Your piece features a few different texts. Why did you feel the need to use these?

I didn’t necessarily feel I needed to use text but through my creative process, the gathering and the editing, what remained became the solo. I obviously felt those texts were important (or expressed what I was trying to say) so that’s why they remained. But, I would say that I’m not sure that movement can convey everything I want to say, especially when trying to make work that has some kind of meaning (as opposed to purely entertainment). So in that sense subconsciously I may have felt the need to use text as well as movement.

6.       Who do you think will engage with your piece the most?

Adults, although I think kids would like it for different reasons!

7.       Anything else?

I think every birth is a miracle.

8.       Provide a quote to sum up your work…

An Inuit fairy tale, a Nana, a 7 year old girl, golden eggs and a wonderful cover of Babooshka.

a highly relatable piece, who wouldn’t want to see it?!

Photo Credit: Amy Buckley

 

Melanie Forbes-Broomes

Melanie Forbes-Broomes is originally from Southampton where she trained in artistic gymnastics.  She then moved to Brighton, and began her artistic life in acting and physical theatre at Northbrook College. Melanie then began her northern life by moving up to Scotland to study at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance (SSCD), and now resides in Glasgow.

When asked where Melanie got her inspiration for Buy This! Melanie explained that it actually came from work she did in her last year at SSCD. In her final year, Melanie had created a piece on the journey of fast food products. She was practically drawn to the origin of chicken nuggets from popular fast food chain McDonalds, and discovered some interesting facts about the behind-the-scenes world of selling fast food. When she moved to Glasgow, Melanie wanted to get her worked seen, so signed up for a scratch night at The Arches Glasgow and Conflux. With very little time to prepare, she developed a short solo work steamed from her worked created as student but with a focus on the glossy side of advertisement.

As her popularity in Glasgow grew and developed, so did her work. Buy This! has now been performed as a work in progress solo and duet at You Know the Score (Dancebase), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Dancebase), The Riley Theatre and at The Work Room with Barcelona based dance artist Eva Yufra and Scenographer Bex Anson supported by Scotland’s Dance Agencies.

I asked Melanie a few questions about her piece…

If you had to describe Buy This! in one sentence, what would you say?

(After some pause)  An energetic but awkward work with some possible comedic elements.

What is it you think will make people engage with the piece?

The work exposes those ridiculous consumer desires for that unnecessary item you ‘need’ or ‘want’ to have, whether that be clothes or food… which most people can identify with on some level.

What are you most looking forward too about working at Yorkshire Dance?

Being in a different environment will enable me to meet new artists outside Scotland. It is always great to network with other creative and performers.  Performing at Yorkshire Dance will give me the opportunity to get feedback from fresh eyes.

What type of audience are you trying to address?

I will learn more about my audience from this. New platforms always change things, so I am still trying to figure it out.

Melanie’s piece is about commodities, and how the world is so obsessed with them.

We cannot wait to welcome her to Yorkshire Dance and see it! For more information on Melanie check out here website www.variousdanceartists.co.uk

Photo credit: Kim Cessford

Carlos Pons Guerra

Carlos founded De Nada Dance Theatre in 2012, alongside dancers Sabrina Ribes Bonet and Victoria Da Silva. The group is heavily inspired by Spanish Culture.

www.denada-dance.com

‘Flashy, Spicy and Sensual’. These are the words Carols Pons Guerra used to sum up his work Passionaria. Not really what you would expect from a piece inspired by a book called ‘Goodbye to Berlin’. However, when you find out this book (written by Christopher Isherwood) was also the inspiration for hit musical Cabaret, and discover that the final word Carlos used in his description was ‘political’, it may start to make more sense.

Passionaria is a piece about fear. Fear by anyone who has ever had to fight to be who they are, such as drag queens during Civil War Barcelona, or in current times, gay people in Russia or India. Carlos feels his piece will take the audience on a psychosocial journey of vaudeville and contemporary dance, following a drag artiste after the murder of their fascist lover, until the arrival of the fascist police.

The journey follows a person with no gender; Carlos seems to have done this intentionally, allowing Passionaria to be accessible to everyone, with no one being restricted by the fact that they are male or female. With humorous and intense emotion, it seems this piece really is for everyone who has ever felt they don’t fit in – who hasn’t felt this way?!

A funny dance with a serious message – you don’t want to miss it!

Photo Credit: Josh Hawkins