For a while now I've been considering working with a dancer, just someone who knows how to move their body. Lucy Whittaker has a background in dance, as I collabated with her work last Tuesday she agreed to take part in my work. We did this clothed as I respect that not everyone is comfortable getting naked, but I don't think the work really suffered because of this in fact I quite like the way the black merges with the dark cones. I found that Lucy took a few tries to get into the movements of the animal, but with each take we had better results. I had her move around hallways and clamber down stairs, I think the piece worked much better when we took it around the studios, rather than simply being a still piece in an empty space. Lucy was able to move her body in ways that I wouldn't have thought of, she made the work look graceful, beautiful even it was very different seeing it in this way. I especially liked the movements close to the floor, crawling/sprawling motions were the most effective in my mind. I was able to direct her and advise what movements I liked, although I did prefer to keep it fairly open allowing her to move instinctively and interpret the piece as she felt.
Then Lucy's sister Jenny came down to visit her, she has a degree in dance! and so we had her try on the cones. Her moments were more dynamic and almost gymnastic at points, but I loved the speed of her movements slow and steady, sleepy. Her way of thinking was different to mine and talking to her allowed me to understand how to move my own body better. She suggested putting one of the cones on her foot, explaining that she would have to move her body in an entirely different way. And I'm so glad she did suggest it because it looked great! Unable to stand on her foot her movements became much lower and ground based, rolling and unfurling on the floor. It was a really successful activity and has given me ideas about working with groups in the future.