A video review of Walking Stories

As some of you know, as part of my free-lance work outside of Charlotte Spencer Projects, I am leading Next Choreography – a year long course in Choreography and contemporary arts with Siobhan Davies Dance for young people.

We have 15 wonderful people on the programme this year, and as part of the project we also run a blog. Some of the group are working towards the Silver Arts Award qualification and Maddy Schofield, has created this lovely short film about her experience of doing Walking Stories in one of our first sessions last September. I thought it would be nice to share it here as well. If you’re interested to read more about what we get up to, then have a look at our blog: http://blog.siobhandavies.com/

Dates for your Diary

The land series…
Sunday 1st July 7.30pm
Becoming Land (performed by Charlotte Spencer, Jennifer-Lynn Crawford, sound – Tristan Shorr)
Hebden Bridge Arts Festival
Saturday 7th July times TBC (Free)
LAND (Siobhan Davies Big Dance Commission, choreographed by Charlotte Spencer, Janine Harrington and Vanessa Cook. Performed by Young People from South London)
Morden Hall Park, London (closest tube – Morden, overground – South Merton)
Saturday 14th July 6, 6.30, 7pm (Free but ticketed)
Land into Light
Big Dance Commission for Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
performed by Charlotte Spencer, Jennifer-Lynn Crawford, sound – Tristan Shorr
limited availability please book: 01424 425809
As part of Stade Saturdays, Hastings Borough Council
Jerwood Gallery, Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3DW. 


It seems that this is a year about LAND. In February I made a new short work for Turner Contemporary Gallery ‘Becoming Land’. It was part of their late night ‘Elemental’ series and fittingly the performance took place in the surroundings of walking artist, Hamish Fulton’s retrospective. I have recently started work on a Big Dance commission from Siobhan Davies Dance creative projects Together with Janine Harrington and Vanessa Cook, we are making large scale new promenade work, LAND. LAND will be performed by 40 young people from 7 South London Boroughs on 7th July, on a beautiful National Trust site, Morden Hall Park. I feel that I have spent much of this Spring in the LAND spanning from North Yorkshire, to the Spanish Pyrenees, the Cotswolds and closer to home, my regular meanderings across the South Downs.

‘Becoming Land’ started its life last July whilst I was on residency at the K3 Choreographic Centre, Hamburg, Germany and Le Pacifique CDC, Grenoble, France. During that time I became increasingly interested in these ideas landing, becoming the land, composting. What is it to land? How is that different from falling, crumbling, collapsing? What tone does it hold in the body? If we allow the body to truly surrender to the ground on which we lie, how much can we become the land? How much is this about dying and being born – about the cycles of living and dying. At that point, I didn’t know exactly where this investigation was taking me, and so at the end of the residency times, we kind of left it hanging. Left it to settle, to find it’s form. And it seems that 7 months later, readily it found it’s place easily for Turner Contemporary.


I feel that it will find it’s place also among new works over the coming months. Certainly LAND for the Big Dance commission from Siobhan Davies will incorporate aspects of these ideas. Indeed, LAND as whole looks to highlight the land that we find at Morden Hall Park. The performance seeks to enable a new experience of the park for both the audience and the participants by drawing on the sculpture, rhythm, form of the landscape that is already there. In accordance with this, it seems appropriate and necessary to spend as much time in the ‘land’ as possible. To notice small details and sweeping sensations. To see where the movement lies. To see where the body can sit in that land and add something exciting and new.