aep skills exchange: the role of the artist

news from the aep...

holding the space

To begin the Skills' Exchange, I delivered a workshop which illuminated some of the concepts and thoughts that have led to this week. Most importantly, to highlight the different roles that are held by the artist in a creative situation, and how and why these roles are important.

By taking away the leadership figure, I set up a workshop environment in which boundaryless play could evolve, and the dancers were free to interpret their environment as they choose. The resources, the space, the music, the text based instructions and the other bodys in the space were available as markers to hold the space and provide inspiration but fundamentally the creative interpretation of the dancers was unstructured and unguided...

what is happening here?

I've finally handed in my Masters degree dissertation! After many months of research and 20,000 words under my belt, I'm excited to keep writing.

So with the start of many possible essays brewing in the back of my mind and the potential for a PhD given the scale of this investigation (!) I thought it would be a good opportunity to start again at the beginning...

My dissertation, titled In Search of the Meeting Point, began with an inquiry in Autumn 2015 into the role of the artist in community dance entitled What is happening here?

The coggle diagram above shows the sprawling and rambling map of my thinking about the role of the artist which took me on a journey from relationality to children's literature... Some of it helpful, some of it making no sense at all but all useful as a starting point for my dissertation research into the relationship between artist and dancer in community practice.

Some thoughts on this from Simon Ellis who started this journey with me:

'Who am I'

Fascination with one’s students leads to an awareness of the various kinds of soul and their various capacities for truth and error as well as learning. Such experience is a condition of investigating the question, ‘What is man?,’ in relation to this highest aspirations as opposed to his low and common needs.

A liberal education means precisely helping students to pose this question to themselves, to become aware that the answer is neither obvious nor simply unavailable, and that there is no serious life in which this question is not a continuous concern. Despite all the efforts to pervert it … the question that every young person ask, ‘Who am I?,’ the powerful urge to follow the Delphic command, ‘Know thyself,’ which is born in each of us, means in the first place, ‘What is man?’ And in our chronic lack of certainty, this comes down to knowing the alternative answers and thinking about them. Liberal education provides access to these alternatives, many of which go against the grain of our nature or our times. The liberally educated person is one who is able to resist the easy and preferred answers, not because he is obstinate but because he knows others worthy of consideration.
— Bloom cited in Ellis, S (2001) [online] [21/11/2015]

More soon..!