This was the final workshop planned as part of the Grants for the Arts funded R&D project. We aimed to refine the choreographed sequences, experiment with projecting films in the studio, dancing in front of the projected footage both without and with a new web of elastic.

In preparation I had edited films of elastic with and without sound and saved some photographs of domestic interiors.

Projecting an interior suggested the idea of filming in an actual interior, using the choreographed sequences, which took the work in a new direction.

In reviewing the huge amount of work we’ve done over the last few months, we also decided to install the web with less tension to see how movement would be changed in a looser, less tightly restricting mesh. We also wanted to get more entangled, individually and together.


During July we discussed how we might share our research and devise opportunities for people to engage with the work. As a result of the workshops to date we have some work that is complete, other ideas have proliferated and there are a range of possible outcomes. It is important that we involve other artists, relevant arts professionals and potential audiences in our development process and get feedback about how effective the work is and how successfully it communicates our intentions.

We went to Peterborough to meet Mark Richards, Director at Metal, to talk about showcasing our research at Chauffeurs Cottage. Metal was founded in London in 2002 by Jude Kelly OBE as ‘an artistic laboratory championing the need for investment in artistic innovation in the U.K., and providing practical support to practicing artists’, for more information visit.

We went together to an exhibition about the work of dancer, filmmaker, choreographer and writer Yvonne Rainer at Raven Row in London. The exhibition included a 45-minute dance programme performed four times daily.

Talking Solo, dancers in training at Raven Row with Pat Catterson and Yvonne Rainer

We met Eddie Nixon, Director of Theatre and Artist Development at The Place, to discuss whether we might be able to run an event there. Following our meeting we went to look at the spaces at The Place with a view to devising screenings, a performance and audience discussion, which would be fantastic.

The Place unites dance training, creation and performance in a purpose-built centre at Euston which houses some of the best studios in the city. For forty years it has been a vibrant hub of dance activity, a centre of creative and technical excellence and a magnet for aspiring dancers, talented professionals and cutting-edge choreographers from all over the world.

The organisation includes a school for full-time vocational dance training, a dance theatre, an internationally acclaimed touring company, an extensive range of participatory programmes for adults and young people and ongoing support and professional development for artists.


We started this workshop by looking at Tea Break I (v.4) and Tea Break II (v.3) and thinking about any editing needed. We had exhibited a previous version of Tea Break I on a framed mini iPad which displays the film very small, drawing the viewer nearer and into the narrative. We discussed presenting the two related films on two iPads and as the films would be looped and different lengths there would be a constantly varied juxtaposition of the action.

We moved on to looking at developing choreographed material from the work that Hannah had done in the elastic over several workshops. We selected 5 sequences of filming with fantastic, varied movement and edited them into set of clips.

The following morning Darren and Hannah worked with the compilation on a laptop and developed two choreographed phrases based on specific sections of filmed movement.

I saved a range of films from earlier workshops onto an iPad and set up a projector to experiment with projecting a large backdrop onto the back wall of the studio. This included still elastic, moving elastic and early films of Hannah moving through the elastic. We discussed the possibility of wrapping the image or film, the potential for layering projected film, an elastic web and new movement. The projector lit areas of elastic and threw fine shadows, both of which are interesting possibilities. We also considered projecting images of interiors and planned to find material for this for the next workshop.


I’m interested in the concept of ‘recognition’ in the context of this developing work. Nancy Fraser’s work around the politics of justice – along with others – focuses on three principles of recognition, representation and redistribution. Recognition here refers to the demands for recognition of difference and the struggles of various groups or categories of people e.g. nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, to be legitimised.

Whilst this is relevant, the theories of Axel Honneth are more appropriate, focusing more on the individual in his emphasis on the importance of recognition in developing the confidence and self-esteem that enables social inter-action and empowerment:

Honneth situates his project within the tradition that emphasises not the struggle for self-preservation but rather the establishment of relations of mutual recognition as a precondition for self-realisation…..As Honneth understands it, self-respect has less to do with whether or not one has a good opinion of oneself than with one’s sense of possessing of the universal dignity of persons. There is a strong Kantian element here: what we owe to every person is the recognition of and respect for his or her status as an agent capable of acting on the basis of reasons, as the autonomous author of the political and moral laws to which he or she is subject……
see The Struggle for Recognition: Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts, Polity Press, Cambridge


This workshop involved Darren and me and started, as before, with a review of the work done and recorded in the previous workshop to decide on the ideas we would pursue over the two days. I have been reminded during our work of aspects of Jacques Tati films and we diverted enjoyably and with considerable relevance to watching clips from Traffic, Mon Oncle and Playtime.

The original poster for Playtime.

Not only does Tati bring to his work his experience as a mime artist, he has a fantastic sense of design and visual impact, with great attention to detail. In Playtime a modernist dream becomes a controlling environment where behaviour is determined by the structures and divisions of their home and working environments. Patterns of architecture form patterns of movement and interaction.

Similarly, in Mon Oncle the extreme design of the garden (with wonderful use of colour and texture) makes the owners of the house and visitors move from the gate to the building along predetermined routes. The aggressively modern furniture forces people to sit in particular ways that are not comfortable for the body.

During the workshop we filmed Tea Break (II) with the ladder in morning light with changes to Darren’s clothing, the lighting and framing, less sliding of the ladder, reframing in portrait. We also decided on finishing the sequence with me bringing in two cups of tea.

We filmed Tea Break (I) with the table and chairs with adjustments to the lighting, leaving out the hat and coat but bringing in a picture. I had bought new china and napkins and we decided on a cake rather than biscuits – all important stuff!