Meeting Douglas

by antonydunn on August 4, 2014

Douglas in Leeds (c) Yorkshire Dance

respond_ is suddenly taking very human form… in the shape of a man called Douglas…

respond_ is a new responsive online programme, based on Liz Lerman’s renowned Critical Response Process, being built by Yorkshire Dance, Breakfast Creatives, The University of Leeds & Liz Lerman, and funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.

We’re building it to test how a digital platform might advance audience engagement, artistic development, co-production, individual and group critical enquiry, and artistic learning.

Hagit Yakira and Robbie Synge have each been commissioned to make a new piece of work as part of this project, and we had a chance to catch up with Robbie Synge in Leeds in July whilst he was in residence at Yorkshire Dance to develop Douglas.

Most of the emphasis was on reading, thinking and having discussions; for example with Wieke Eringa, with Breakfast Creatives and during a valuable chance to meet with artist-academic Gillian Dyson whose research on the relationship between performer and object relates to Robbie’s research. Many questions emerged about Douglas; for example about narrative, about context, about Douglas’ presence in a live space as opposed to the short films so far created, about character and about the physical relationship to objects (which objects?). Robbie will be taking some of these forward in a mentoring session with dramaturg Peggie Olislaegers later on in August supported by respond_ . He’ll also be considering how best to use the Critical Response process in September when Douglas will get his next ‘outing’ for us all to see and respond to!

Hagit Yakira continues to develop her piece Air Hunger elsewhere. She’s already inviting you to be involved in her creative process – she’s hoping you’ll send her stories, links, images, thoughts, memories, songs, poems, or anything else which relates FOR YOU to the notion of breathing and breath. Find our more here.




respond_ will be live from Friday 19 September 2014.


Yorkshire Dance is recruiting research participants
(deadline for applications Fri 29 Aug)

We are looking for around 40 people – including people who never, or seldom, see contemporary dance – to join a ‘Closed Research Group’, sharing their experience of respond_ with researchers from the University of Leeds.

During the weeks of 19-26 Sep and 14-21 Nov 2014 you will interact directly with the artists and share your feedback as they show you works-in-progress, explore your reactions to artistic ideas and exchange your ideas with others in the Closed Research Group.

You will receive a payment of £20.00 and a free ticket to the world premiere performance at Yorkshire Dance on Friday 5th December 2014.

You can find all the details you need here (and please note, you need to live in Leeds, or within an easily commutable distance!)

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