John Ross Dance

John Ross Dance reflect on their Creation Space R&D Residency

| Thu 18 Feb 2016

John Ross Dance recently joined us for their two week Creation Space R&D residency exploring the second phase of research & creation of new production BLINK, based on Mitch Alboms book The Five People you Meet in Heaven. We caught up with choreographer John Ross to find out how the work developed during their time here.

Which particular elements of the project did you focus on during your residency?

I focused on quite a few elements. One was the story and making sure that it all made sense. The piece is very specific to time and character so I had to make sure if we did one thing that may affect the other. The other was laying out a base structure for what each duet was/how long/what was needed. This then followed on to see specific timings for music which would help my composer know a length in which he has to edit.

Were there any surprises? Did you make any new discoveries about the project?

How quickly it all fell into place was quite a surprise. New discoveries were finding developments of motifs that brought the story together. Adding in extra layers such as props also made me question the piece and think about it from another viewpoint.

Did you bring in any collaborators?

Lighting Designer and a puppet maker.

Did this residency enable you to do anything that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do?

As a dance company it made us focus on the story telling rather than being fully physical with it which we would normally do in a dance studio. So finding the essence and truth of the show was something that this space allowed us to do and has set us in a very good direction for when we are then able to move properly in a dance studio but reminding ourselves to keep what we found in the intention.

What are your next steps for this project?

We rehearse for another 3 weeks then premiere the show on 4th May in Leeds at Northern Ballet's Studio Theatre. We will then hopefully secure dates for the future to allow us to tour in the Autumn 2016 / Spring 2017.

What else are you working on at the moment?

I am currently a movement director for a play called Jumpy which will premiere in Wales and about to be a performer in a children's Dance Theatre show call The Little ghost choreographed by Sophie Nuzel.
Twitter: @JohnRossDance

This residency is supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Read more about our Artist Residency Programme

Latest Posts


theatre (53) dance (27) behind the scenes (9) design (15) Creation Space (59) R&D (55) residency (13) acting (18) family theatre (27) choreographing (16) directing (27) backstage (59)