Author: gcoldicott

(Re)settled

Returned and back. Straight back into work and study. Bearly time to catch my breath before continuing, but that’s the way I like it. There was of course the 12 hour ‘rest’ on the flight, complete with champagne. A celebratory drink that Kumi promised me at the start of our project, and of course delivered. And then of course time to reflect on the experience (hiccup). As a volunteer this experience was particularly special as numerous gifts were exchanged, physical and metaphorically. There were times when the ‘omiyage’ became over bearing (http://www.besudesuabroad.com/2014/03/omiyage-culture-japan/ will fill you in) but the gifts and kindness in return made the pressure disappear. The second lingering memory is that of presentation and precision. I will carry this forward in my MA research and work. It runs through the culture in Japan and dominates daily life, simultaneously creating beauty and anxiety. There have been many great outcomes from this trip. Translating my practice was great, reconnecting with Japan, spending time with Kyoko and gaining inspiration for the research project. The trip has …

Found in kinaesthetic translation

It has been a wonderful trip, made special of course by the people we have met. Having the chance to share my knowledge at a university, elementary school, special school and in the community has been given me such a wide range of experiences. Dance at Fukushima University with students and special needs support school students The translation of my practice has gone so well, of course with language translation from Kumi. But once the task or game was set up it invariably ran without a hitch. Taisei Elementary School So many parallels to the work in the UK, such as uninhibited 10 yr olds compared to shy early teens, the post lunch/break slump and that journey from the beginning of the workshop to the end when the air is charged with familiarity and warmth. Whatever the reason for each person being in the room, such as disability, curiosity, family connection or support worker, everyone got involved. It was quite beautiful. Tokuyama Community Hall Mihota Hureai Community Centre And of course differences. The community spaces …

Global participation

So I travel 6000 miles and I visit the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi. I find a retrospective of the work by Lee Ming Wei, an installation artist from Taiwan, with a passion for participation. I even find boxes, many boxes, reminding me of my own ‘work book’. Fabric of Memory 2006 As I kneel beside the box I attempt to tie the bow as beautifully as I found it. In my struggles I strike up a conversation with a Chinese tourist. She says to me, ‘he made it difficult so we would talk to each other’. The work is translucent but beautiful nonetheless. I move on to writing an apology to my parents in a cubicle and then on to The Moving Garden 2004, one of my favourites. I take a flower as asked to, with the direction to give it to a stranger after leaving the gallery. Lee is strongly attracted to the philosophy of gifts. Mine was received well, I gave it to a mother and daughter as I left the 53 …

Pause for a Shibuya flashback

I just love Japan. I arrived at my moderately priced (tiny yet perfectly formed) hotel room in Shibuya to this… A perfectly folded yukata and origami paper crane. Beautiful. And I love that I reconnected with people I literally haven’t seen for 11 years. Skyping my nearest and dearest in the middle of Shibuya. That was pretty beautiful too!

Mind the gap!

Maybe it’s because I am an inclusive practitioner, working in the moment improvising, but attending a day of dance training in Japan didn’t phase me. I was actually very comfortable seeing what I could understand, despite only having a basic grasp of the language. Of course the instructions from Cecilia MacFarlane (one of two UK Dance Artists leading, the other was Diane Amans) came in English, but in the afternoon participants took over, leading short choreographic tasks. And how much do we have to say anyway? Well that depends how physical you want to be in your demonstrations, and of course the learning styles of your students. The afternoon contained the full spectrum, from a high energy, follow me style to word intensive, 2 minute explanations. I’ve been mulling this theme over for a few weeks now. In August I popped in to see Marina Abramovics’ 512 hours, very few instructions were given, that was the point. But over the course of the 64 days the space began to embody the instructions. Of course duration …

Exploring with Kyoko

Kyoko and my ‘Workbook’ So I brought my work book to Japan with me. It took up most of my suitcase and represented my explorations and critical thinking as a Dance Artist and an MA student. The struggle it took to bring it 6000 miles is representational of the depths of my enquiries and commitment. I brought it to Kyoko, a friend from way back (both time and distance) to be the catalyst for our collaboration. Together we worked through the tasks and instructions as a facilitated, participatory ‘workshop’. And then we moved on, creating an ‘opening ceremony’. For when I leave Kyoko with the now empty ‘work book’, I will join the other participants with our twin ‘work book’, this time in Croydon. The open ceremony and the ‘work books’ will unite our two settings as we explore collaboration across distance. To work with Kyoko in her home town wasn’t imperative to the collaboration. But to have shared time together was a luxury, bringing a unique foundation to the project. I have though no …