Monday musings with AD - Creating via Whatsapp

Lucy writes about the new exciting creative process for Stopgap's collaboration with 2 East African companies

When I first started leading choreographic process’ mobiles were switched off, Chris always made sure of this – we all agreed it was the height of rudeness if someone’s phone starting beeping ‘Ode to Nokia’ during our morning meditation! Now it seems my mobile is permanently involved in the research, always close to hand so I can snap the perfect image for instagram and if I don’t  - well, the Stopgap board are on to me!

It seems we are constantly googling for our investigations, instagramming understated photos, tweeting our dance crashes and facebooking our #cakefriday – whilst sharing our discoveries and revealing the tea breaks and peculiarities that define us.

So what’s next – well this week it is Whatsapp!

Stopgap is lucky enough to be part of collaboration with two East African Companies, supported by the British Council and with a sharing at Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (GDIF). We will be working with the wondrous Pamoja Dance Company (Kenya) and defiant Mambya Dance Company (Uganda) and we are starting the creation conversation over whatsapp.


  • One because we only have 5 days to make a piece!
  • Two because we need to get to know each other if we are to authentically collaborate, something that Stopgap usually puts a year aside to do with its artists.
  • And Three because we love to create a collective imagination when making a new work, something all the artists can contribute to.

So far it’s been really exciting  - when someone so far away is simultaneously exploring, it really spurs us on. We’ve all been in different studios in different countries yet connecting through one choreographic task. We’ve then been outside (it’s an outdoor work) exploring the terrain alongside sharing soundscapes, images and even our meal times.

I guess it's a little like a long distance love affair. Already I excitedly anticipate the ping of a message and I am certain that we’ll all be a little more comfortable in the same studio in June after having chatted, shared and revealed over Whatsapp. And by bonding before we've even been in the same studio together we are laying the foundations for a rich process, so even though it is too short by Stopgap standards, we’ll certainly be ready for an adventure together.


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