Zoom windows – 1 year reflections

Last Tuesday was a year since 50+ Contemporary Dance Sheffield classes went online. A whole year of dancing and connecting through our little windows. 

I remember when one 50+CDS dancer, the lovely Rozzie, messaged me at the start of April 2020 to say she’d paid up for classes until the end of May, and me thinking oh my goodness, will we still be dancing like this by the end of may??!… 

I’ve worked on different projects and collaborations over the past year online but for me the 50+CDS community has been a constant throughout and I’m so grateful for the connection, joy and creativity that every session brings. 

And now we have our wonderful Third Bite Dance performance company working towards a dance film. Coming in May / June…

Warming up using the whole body as an ear score to respond to the music ‘Indian Sky’ by John Butler in last Tuesday’s Third Bite Dance project session (inspired by movement scores from artists Anne-Gaelle Thiriot and Petra Soor)

This square has been my dancing home for 12 months. I am well acquainted with this patch of carpet and this wall that has marks and scrapes where my body has connected with it. I’ve investigated the light fitting, the door handle, the corner of the side table. The other day I was upside down in an improvisation with my feet on the wall and brushed one foot over the light switch accidentally turning it off. 

My laptop sits on top of 3 boxes on my bed. My jewelry, hair and cosmetic boxes are permanently placed down the dressing table so to be out of view of the camera. Before the start of every session I move the dressing gowns hanging on the door (a dressing gown just feels very personal no?) to the bed behind the boxes so they’re out of shot. Once a session is finished, I put everything back. It’s a little time consuming but a ritual I’m happy to do so that I have some distinction between studio and bedroom. 

This is the best space I have in the flat and it’s a great space but it’s still bizarre how I’m able to find both my working energy and my resting energy in the same space. I recently took part in a workshop with Lou Platt ‘Working From Home / Living At Work’ with In Good Company, Derby Theatre. The title caught my eye, I thought yeah, I’m literally sleeping under where I’m connecting with everyone else through their little windows

How are everyone else’s working from home spaces?

Improvisation feeling the body connecting to the ground (seated option for those uncomfortable with being on the floor), June 2020

Actually 2 times last year I wasn’t in my square, but led the sessions from a studio. Ultimate freedom?! To be honest I didn’t know what to do with the extra space. Plus everyone else was still dancing in their living rooms / dining rooms / kitchens so it would have hardly been fair to start leaping and running about (don’t rub it in…)

Playing with the dimensions and restrictions of the space this past year has directed the choreography and class content in new and fun ways. My aim has been to facilitate an experience to move and shift through space with expansive, released and freeing movements without travelling too far off the spot.

Creating big dances for small spaces.

I think the Bruce Springsteen routine does this quite well. There were a lot of compliments for the Springsteen music choice. I enjoy limiting myself to a theme for music as it makes me select music that wouldn’t be my go-to. This theme was october / darker nights / halloween.

I’m forever grateful to my wonderful dancing community who keep showing up for classes.

For more 50+CDS reflections on zoom read here

Warming up using imagery of oiling the joints to ‘Now That I Know’ by Devendra Banhart, July 2020 (inspired by movement scores from Yael Flexer)