Luke Brown Dance company

Luke Brown Dance begin their R&D Residency

| Tue 14 Feb 2017

This week Luke Brown Dance begin their Creation Space R&D residency, focusing on dance, hypnotherapy and exploring what happens when you let the subconscious take the lead. We caught up with Luke Brown to find out a bit more about what the company will be working on during their time with us.

Can you tell us about yourself?

I am a choreographer, performance artist and teacher based in South West London. Since graduating from London Studio Centre, I have had performance experience in contemporary dance, commercial work, opera, film and theatre. I have toured a wide variety of works nationally and internationally with artists and companies such as Frantic Assembly, Ben Wright, English National Opera, Glass House Dance and Junk Ensemble amongst others.

Luke Brown Dance was founded in 2014 with the support of South Hill Park Arts Centre, where I became an Associate Artist in the same year. During 2015 I also became an Associate Artist at Swindon Dance and The Point Eastleigh, Luke Brown Dance was awarded Arts Council England funding to embark on the initial research of For You I Long the Longest in 2015. During 2016 I was awarded further Arts Council England funding to create the work alongside a pilot tour of the double bill.

Joining me on this residency for Little Red Balloon will be hypnotherapist Zack Polanski, dance artists Paul Davies and Ripp Greatbatch, and musician & composer Nicholas James Orlando Hewitt. I am also pleased to welcome our apprentice dancer, Simone O’Toole who will be joining us from Ireland, and Oxfordshire based artist Felicity Cormack who will be drawing, sketching and painting as the week unfolds.
How would you describe the work you create?

As a choreographer I like to work with the delicate interaction of bodies, with the majority of my work sprouting from the core function and feelings surrounding an embrace. I am fascinated by how we can hold someone in our arms, how we greet another body and how we leave another body. To hold another person within the cavity of your chest can create a sense of ease, a fundamental quality which is needed for my artistic ideas.

My artistic practice encourages people to effortlessly slip through a space with a real sense of care for themselves and for one another. This quality is enhanced by the fascination with the tenderness of touch and the small gestures our bodies can make sometimes consciously or unconsciously. Contact work is a core foundation to my choreographic language. Investigating how bodies can intertwine, contort, morph, react and settle as one entity. This movement language is based around the idea of sensitivity and how you hold, embrace, linger and let go of another person. The thinking ideas supporting my contact work revolves around the stacking of limbs over the centre of gravity and how it can generate a physical language that can float, glide, slip and tumble.

The work I create is fuelled from real life scenarios, shared experiences and honest feelings from myself and my collaborators. My artistic ideas allow me to draw upon my dancers' characteristics and individual movement qualities in relation to a creative idea. I work towards generating a safe creative environment that encourages personal interpretation of movement, in turn making way for people to move independently while maintaining a sense of togetherness.  

What will you be working on during your residency at artsdepot?

This week will be the first stage of working on my new work Little Red Balloon a collaboration between dance and hypnotherapy. The concept I wish to investigate comes from research I am currently undertaking regarding mind control, the power of suggestion. I have become fascinated by the results of a subtle implication and manipulation of another person through carefully structured vocal commands. This research has led me to explore the phenomenon of hypnosis, the play between conscious and subconscious suggestion. I am curious to discover what will happen when dance and hypnosis are placed hand in hand.

Which elements of the project will you be developing while you’re here?

The main element that I will be researching this week is what possibilities hypnotherapy has to lend to movement-based exploration both constructively and destructively. There are a few ways I would like to approach this and one idea is to be hypnotised myself and record the sensations, bodily changes, vocal implications and feelings whilst in a hypnotic sate. Could I be in a hypnotic state and direct a room of people? What would happen?

Another way is to play a series of high performance state games with hypnotherapist Zack Polanski who will be joining me on this project to see how far subconscious suggestion can lend a hand to the generation of movement material. The final way I would like to explore this collaboration is to hypnotise my dancers and direct them through a series of physical tasks. What I find interesting about this approach is the instructions will be delivered vocally, second hand through the hypnotist which raises the questions of who is the choreographer? I cannot wait to get started.
What the most useful thing to have with you in the rehearsal room?

The most crucial thing to have with me in the rehearsal room is a sense of anything is possible. An environment that is collective charged by all participants, a place that feels safe to reach further into the darkness. I am a firm believer in charging the space with creativity which is why I have invited artist Felicity to join me this week. Having an artist in the room allows for a different view point, another interesting route in, another way of looking at the work. Hearing Felicity turn the pages in her books, rubbing her chalks and absorbing what’s happening is truly fascinating. We may even get to the point where Felicity could be hypnotised and encourage to draw, who knows the possibilities are ripe.

Twitter: @lukebrowndance
Facebook: /lukebrowndance

Read more about our Artist Residency Programme


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