Borders, Boundaries, Choreography

I am exploring what boundaries and borders are to varying people, for a new work, which will be premiered in Edinburgh in June (more information to follow soon).
We all have such varying boundaries. Are they imposed up on us or have put them upon ourselves?  We worked together in January. There was a lot of thinking time going on exploring what these words meant to us. I really want this to be a personal piece, taking opinions and ideas from not only myself and the dancers but also those who may be in the audience. This is something so relative to us all and I want to create work that can show this, connecting with not only the theme but with the audience also.


I have previously developed work surrounding the theme of borders and boundaries creating in a piece ‘What we choose to see’. Video here. This looked at physical boundaries. I now wish to develop this, with support from Dance Base (I’ve got a residency there in February which I am absolutely delighted about!) to create work with emphasis on emotive boundaries. 


I often work organically and believe that I can push this further and nurture and develop this into something better, stronger and ideally into an emotive piece, looking at the aspects of borders and boundaries that inspire me and my work so much. I truly believe that they effect all of our aspects from life, whether it be boundaries that society has put on us, or ones that we have created ourselves. Looking at individual’s personal boundaries should open up new exploration. I also wish to look at land borders and boundaries, and how these hinder or benefit us. I believe that this is incredibly relevant with Britain’s majority decision to leave the European Union, and because of this feel like I need to explore this further now at such a time of political unrest.


We used ordinance survey maps as movement score, looking at where is restricted areas, where has a boundary, and the borders between different provinces. For me the sea acts a massive boundary between me and my home, Shetland. The sea there connects us, whereas from here it creates a very vast boundary. 



We took a week in the Shed, Evanton (thank you very much plan B creative!!!!). We had space and time to explore some movement and what the theme meant to us, personally. A whole variety of ideas popped up between myself and dancers Gordon Raeburn, Julia McGhee and Katie Armstrong. We looked at taking away a sense and how this impinged our movements; does it relate to everyday life and the boundaries that are constantly surrounding us? We also looked at physically imposing boundaries on another.

See some videos of what we worked on  here and here. Obviously these are just some experiments but they give you a bit of an idea of what we have been up to. borders-9borders-12

I would really love to hear from you and what your boundaries or borders are. If you have any input or ideas (however big or small) please comment here, or email me at

It is very much so a work in progress however there are some performances coming up (keep your eyes peeled for more information). I would really like to thank plan B creative for very kindly letting us use their fantastic space, and also Donald’s parents for very kindly letting us stay at the farm. Dancing and Highland farm time make for 4 very happy dancers!! We threw a few hill walks in there too. It’s been amazing to work with such creative, talented dancers and I cannot wait for the rest of the process!!! See us soon at Dance Base (13th -17th Feb). There will be open class there Thursday 16th at 10am and come and see our work-in-progress sharing on the Friday at 5pm.


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