For the last couple of weeks I’ve been traveling up to Durham on a Wednesday to work with The Flex Dance Company. Run by TIN Arts, The Flex is a company of 9 artists with learning disabilities who come together to create, devise and perform new contemporary dance work. TIN Arts is quite an inspirational organisation who deliver arts programmes for people of all ages and abilities over the North east so for me it’s a brilliant opportunity to work other experienced artists who are experts in this field. I was immediately made to feel very welcome and quickly got to know everyone.
The aim of the project is to create a performance piece with the group for the official launch of our new building in Leeds. So I get to choreograph a dance piece and the group get to perform it at our new venue.
The days start with a technique class – and quite a challenging one at that! We then move on to creative work in the afternoon. When I first met the group I was amazed at their positive attitude, focus, enthusiasm and improvisation skills. So I thought maybe improvisation could play a part in the performance ... we’ll see how things develop. For my first session leading the group I took in some photographs of things from nature that had been magnified many times so you couldn’t see what they actually were: the inside of bones, frog spawn, an inner ear, a leaf skeleton, spider web. After finding words to describe these we used them to improvise and create short sequences.
I think they are definitely the group I have laughed with the most and feel like I’ve known them for much longer than 2 days. I can’t wait to go back again in December!
Have a look at their website for more information about The Flex Dance Company and video clips of their work.
Sophie Alder (Dance Education Officer)