IF - Guest Blog
George and I, LPM co-directors, are responsive to artistic ambition and interested in providing meaningful experiences through dance. Both George and I work in diverse settings and enjoy being responsive to new opportunities. We strive to bring people together and embrace finding connections within a diverse portfolio of project work. We feel this informs, enriches and furthers our own practice. Hopefully what we can offer to those we work with are positively influenced by this approach too!
So, how did IF evolve?
IF evolved from an ambition to celebrate the diversity of high-quality inclusive dance practice from perspectives of education, child development, dance & disability and dance & wellbeing. We’re also hoping it will spark conversations and identify connections which might lead to new collaborative projects evolving in the future.
The growing profile of dance research over recent years has positively led to new sectors acknowledging the benefits of dance. As a result, LPM has had the opportunity to develop and collaborate on exciting projects, some of which have sat within non-arts focused sectors such as health, education or social care and therefore have targeted audiences/participants who wouldn’t usually engage with dance. It’s been an enriching few years! As artists, we are constantly learning and evolving our practice in response to new collaborations and gaining a greater understanding of our work and that of others. Inevitably this sparks interest in previously uncharted areas, further ambitions and new ideas. We continually recognise the positive benefits and outcomes of dance practice, and yet, we are also mindful that the quality of the practice absolutely influences the quality of the result. Whilst we can acknowledge arts practice can be difficult to measure in the quantitative sense, it’s important to trust that the individual artist provides a unique and personalised response in order to realise the artistic outcome.
This is where finding space to share, experience and engage in different practices seems relevant and important. For people interested in dance and movement practice from various sectors, IF will provide a platform to experience a diverse range of quality arts practice in one-day. To understand more about what happens to our bodies when we dance, both practically in a movement session but also scientifically, hopefully immersing everyone in discovery.
Having the opportunity to programme an event like this has been overwhelmingly exciting. It was virtually impossible to fit everything in and we know there are many areas of practice which should be represented and yet we just couldn’t fit anymore into a one-day event. But I think that illustrates the potential for such an event.
It’s simple to invite your friends and those organisations and individuals who have existing connections to you and your work. IF has had its challenges because one of the aims is to engage a diverse range of people, many of whom might not have any dance experience or have any connection to dance practice within their field of expertise. How do we reach out to those we’re currently not talking to?! The act of raising the profile of the day has however enabled us to make new links to different sectors and in doing so we’ve discovered and been signposted to previously unknown places, organisations and individuals. This itself highlights such exciting potential! On the flip side, we are also aware that a practice-based day might be incredibly unnerving to some people. We want everyone to feel comfortable and to know that they are welcome to observe. There is no obligation at all to join in practically and we’re keen to get that message out to people. IF will be a safe, engaging, inspiring and hopefully enjoyably relevant day for everyone. And we do hope you will join us!!