It’s coming home... | Home Practice

It’s coming home – dance practice is coming home, and it might just stay there too |  Artistic Director Lucy Bennett introduces home practice...

Over the past few months, Stopgap has been evolving their online practice in collaboration with the dancers that engage with it. What started as ‘reaching out’ to our performers and friends, who could no longer practice their passion in the studio, has developed into a weekly,  home practice session for dancers wanting to support their inclusive contemporary dance practice.

It isn’t surprising that due to the current situation, many artists and companies are developing their online creative outreach. Dance artists all over the world are beginning to find their own ways to practice dance at home. When speaking to diverse dancers, dancers who are parents, and non-city dancers, they say a practice that you can access at home will be relevant and useful to them even when we do return to group studio practice.

We’ve also been surprised at how the technology has supported us to become more inclusive…

  • Pre-recorded videos for people to do when their energy is ready, alongside the opportunity to pause and practice and repeat your favourites
  • Subtitles and Audio Description (fingers crossed for this one – availability and access to technology can be hit or miss)
  • Moving images as stimuli on your personal screen (no more huddling around a laptop with a standing dancer in the way)

But what has really worked for our diverse community of dancers is that Home Practice comes to them at home! No more battling the inoperative transport systems and inaccessible dance studios – artists can practice in their lounge/bedroom/kitchen or patio, they can practice at the time that suits them and they can give themselves permission to follow their curiosity over everybody else’s.

Home Practice will not imitate or be a replacement for what happens in the dance studio. It is a session that is designed for a small space and a solo dancer that is learning from a screen. We are hoping that Home Practice will also provide support for those that need the complexities of contemporary dance practice unravelling (that’s me too). Alongside encouraging diverse dancers to harness their own dance practice (that’s our apprentices Sg2). We are aiming for Home Practice be a resource for dancers who may not be able to access a studio full of dancers for a while (that’s quite a few of us).

Stopgap’s Home Practice will be launched in September on YouTube. It is made up of three parts. Part One is the ‘Groundwork‘. This is a series of videos that will guide the viewer how best to approach and access the weekly home practice uploads. In Groundwork we will share how to get along with tools such as ‘Translation’ ‘Visualisation’ ‘Mapping material and memory’ and ‘Improvisation’.

After Groundwork part two is what we call ‘The Seeds’ a collection of videos that introduce and research further into the fundamentals of Inclusive Contemporary Dance for instance; surface work, touch, being seen, dancing with texture and finding mobility.

Part three is our consistent weekly upload of ‘Home Practice’. This is a short session for a small space that will encourage a simple but satisfying dance practice at the convenience of the dancer. On writing that sentence I cannot help but smile to myself - I am not sure the convenience of the dancer has ever been a consideration, what do you think?

Created by Lily Norton

Stopgap Dance Company is committing to provide weekly home practice sessions for a full year. As a home practice dancer, you can join Sg2 and Stopgap throughout the year practicing the weekly sessions or you can tune into your curiosity and needs and choose your own journey through our online video offer.

So – join us for the journey, for your journey when we launch in September. We look forward to your company and comments.

Check out our curated playlists coming out weekly in the lead up to home practice on our Facebook Community here

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