Touring around

We’ve been dashing around the country(ies) this past month. I’ve got very good at untangling headphones and charging mp3 players, checking weather forecasts and examining google maps. Two of our destinations were in Brittany, France. We were invited first to Brest and then to Sarzeau on the Rhys Peninsula and I felt extremely privileged to be there. Laure Bachelot was a wonderful and quite frankly essential translation and artistic support, given that my French is embarrassingly terrible (MUST do something about that!) The equally wonderful Petra Soor also joined us in Sarzeau where we presented Embodied Drawing as well as Walking Stories. The sun shone, the walks were received with delight, the French appeared to make sense (well done Anne-Gaelle Thiriot!) and we adventured Walking Stories onto a white sand beach, the grounds of a Castle and a lost garden. Thank you to Dansce Dialogues 2 for supporting the tour and making the initial connections.

Here are a little collection of photos from the trip to the Rhys Peninsula care of Petra Soor.

In the meantime, if you are Yorkshire/Northern based, then we are in Roundhay Park, Leeds this coming weekend 14/15th June. If you haven’t already experienced Walking Stories, then now’s your chance! Roundhay Park is huge and beautiful – come and join us for a  walk in the park. Booking HERE!

Great review

Thank you to Rachel Blackman from Fringe Review for writing such a beautiful piece about Walking Stories in Brighton Festival. She gave it the ‘Outstanding Show’ stamp and her brief ‘low down’ looked like this:

“Contemplative and profound, Charlotte Spencer Project’s audio walk through woods in Stanmer Park draws you effortlessly into an experience of natural choreography. It is a choreography of groups and solitude; of the natural world and the rhythms and patterns that emerge from everyday living. It is one of the most calming, quietly beautiful and evocative outdoor pieces I have ever experienced.”

This together with unbelievably beautiful weather, and a collection of delightful audiences, meant we couldn’t have hoped for much more at Brighton Festival! To read the full review click me! Weekends like that make me feel so privileged to have the job I have…

And so the tour continues – we are back in Brittany, on the Rhys Penninsula next week and then Walpole Park in Ealing on 1st June before heading north to Leeds.

The walks in Ealing are FREE! 1pm and 3.30pm To reserve your place, please email Alys Hughes: HughesA@ealing.gov.uk

7th and 8th June, Leeds: If you’re looking for an opportunity to get a bit more deeply involved with Walking Stories, how we made it, and how you can become involved in some of the performances, we’re running a performance project workshop in Roundhay Park, Leeds. More information and Sign up here

Walking Stories will be in the same park on 14th and 15th June, with four shows per day. To find out more and to book your place click me!

Ok I think that’s enough plugging for now! Enjoy the bank holiday weekend…

Walking Stories.5

 

Video from The Point

A little video edit made by the team at The Point, Eastleigh – quick glance at the project so far – what’s been happening… Cycle Stories and Walking Stories in process! Take a peak

 

Thoughts after the Greenwich residency 20th-24th May 2013 – Rohanna

I’ve been reflecting during and after the week on how this model of a creative process is very different from many others that I have experienced. Rather then a traditional hierarchical working relationship between director (Charlotte) and the collaborators (Tristan, Tom, Jennifer, Rohanna and Bruno and more) there is a sense that although Charlotte is ‘holding’ the project with an overall vision and direction, each person is valued for different skills which contribute to the creative process.  My sense is that Charlotte does a good job of steering what could be a tricky situation: when you bring a group of people together, ask them for their ideas and input you could potentially be left with ‘too many cooks’ where someone dominates or controls what’s happening.  Perhaps because the team is comprised of people from different backgrounds, dance, music and writing, each person comes to the project with a different lens for looking at the work.  I personally have found this interesting as it gives you some distance from your own skills, by looking from someone else’s viewpoint I realise what I take for granted in my own position.  In a way this relates to Walking Stories in general in that it makes you step outside of your everyday way of being and asks you to look at the world slightly differently.  I like how this project inherently plays with the relationships between director, collaborators, performers and audience, one becoming interchangeable with another.

My sense of this week was that it was longer than a week.  I enjoy how your sense of time stretches when you’re absorbed in something.  Time both speeds up in the moment, but when you look back to the beginning of the week it seems further away then normal.  Monday and tuesday I was trying to wrap my head around coming back to the project following the autumn’s research period and catch up with where things had moved on to.  On wednesday we went out into the park to do the walk with a group of 18/19 which was near on the maximum for each performance.

Following the feedback session afterwards it reminded me that something I really enjoyed from the research in the autumn was that you could transform things, for example the group make a pile of found objects then you’re asked to stand and look at it, hearing the sound of fire transforming the pile into something which is burning.  Elemental sounds, can transform the landscape.

While we were doing the walk, which we did twice starting from different locations in the park, I used my phone to track our route using an app.  When we’d finished you can look at a map of the route you’ve taken.  I was surprised at how straight it was as in a line on a map, when my sensation of doing the walk was really multi-directional.  I suppose this disparity could be because direction and orientation are different things.  I might move in one direction, but along the way I can change where I’m looking and my facing or orientation giving me a sense that things aren’t linear.  We’ve talked about maps, routes, pathways, lines on the ground: I’d love it if you could record each person in the group’s route and overlay them creating a map of the walking stories route, different each time with a new group and location.

On thursday we had a session in the afternoon where each person wrote down some thoughts for what could happen next.  Here were some of mine:

Run as far away from the group as you dare, then hear something to do with imagining where everyone has gone? Look from above at the configuration.  Perimeters, gates changing?  Trespassing?  Can you identify an area that’s no go?

You could also have some sort of task where you select someone from the group, memorise what they’re wearing, some details about them.  You close your eyes when you open them they’ve gone and you have to find them?  You could do this in conjunction with the first one, half of the group having each instruction.

Get people to copy each other, create unison.  Could also have plants?

Take something to an extreme.  Get on the edges.  Do something impossible.

Rohanna Eade

Cycle Stories – full steam ahead!

Arts Council Success!

We are extremely excited and happy to announce that the substantial funding application to Arts Council England for Cycle Stories has been successful. Together with a wide range of co-commissioners and partners, Cycle Stories 2013 is full steam ahead. We are busy getting prepared and geared up, and we start cycling on Saturday 11th May. The core group will be cycling the first leg from Brighton to Portsmouth on our way to our first residency at CCN Caen, France. It would be wonderful to have a good send-off so why not come and join us for a saturday cycle on along the south coast? More details to follow.

After this initial dip into France, we will be back in England on 18th May and off to London, Kent, through Sussex to Hampshire, and up to Bristol. The tour will return to France in July with the cycling team legging it down to Le Pacifique|CDC, Grenoble to complete the creation period. Performances of the completed work, Walking Stories will be touring from mid-August in the UK. Keep watch for dates and details.

Cycle Stories – R&D – Arts Council Success!

I discovered last week that my application to the Arts Council for the research and development phase of my new major project, Cycle Stories was successful!

Cycle Stories promises to be a hugely exciting project that marks out new choreographic territory for me. In 2013, Cycle Stories will become an hour long fully participatory audio walk. During the research phase this autumn I will be working with a fantastic collection of artists to devise core material and create a short draft version of the piece.

I am interested to dissolve boundaries between performer and audience, between stage and life. In Cycle Stories the audience are themselves the performers and the ‘stage’ is their local park/green space. It is about people, journeys, mapping, creating and sharing histories. 

The thrust of Cycle Stories is to engage with the public, in the public sphere. Engaging with the public in an experimental framework, to receive their feedback, hear about their experiences, highlight any technical/logistical hurdles, clarity of instructions and effectiveness (patterning) of the choreography will be really important. If you are interested to be part of one of the ‘testing’ groups then please do get in touch!

If you are interested in playing with the draft version and the choreographic ideas related to Cycle Stories, outdoor performances and audio artwork, then we are running two open workshops: 
13th October 12 – 2pm Dartington Space, Devon £7 (£5 concs)
27th Ocotober 10.30am – 12.30pm Greenwich Park, London £7 (£5 concs)
Advance booking is essential
 
During our residency at Greenwich Dance 1 – 5th October we will be leading morning professional class 10.30 am – 12 noon.