I have been working a lot in dance this year, whether it be managing dance programmes at festivals, programming work, dancing for other people, managing dance outreach projects or even just attending dance classes.
It fair enough to say, I live and breathe it. I love dance. And I love all that I can believe dance can do.
As part of my current role at Citymoves I employ and manage freelance dance artists. I believe in creating opportunities for artists, in skill sharing and in supporting one another wherever possible.
It daunted on me that I needed to support myself and my own creative practice also. And to not let this slide, as relating to artists and understand the constraints that comes with making work is important to me. I do not want to separate myself from creative processes.
And so it began, Gordon and I began exploring a new work. We looked at human connection and how this has changed due to technology. Gordon and I are very good friends and I lucky enough to have a close and comfortable working relationship. We looked at human contact and how this has may have changed over time. We tried to see where the simplest touch could feel uneasy. Like many, I spend a lot of my working life now sat at a computer without human contact. I think it is important that we look at the impact this has on our lives and how it effects how we connect to one another.
We asked a lot of questions, while looking at human connection. Exploring common conceptions of romanticism as well as solidarity, we wish to explore how physical touch and body language has changed due to technology. What impact is technology having on our bodies, our connections to one another, and to the space around us? Focussing on how this impacts on our lives as well as relationships is important to us; have we become an indoor generation? How do we relate to the outdoors? How does this impact on our connections to one another?
We have just begun initial explorations, partially done in London where Gordon resides and partially done in Aberdeen where I do.
We shared this work at Mareel courtesy of Shetland Arts. Thank you for having us once again Shetland Arts – it was such a pleasure to be there! I love being able to present work at home – it really does mean so much to me!
‘Kathryn Spence and Gordon Raeburn danced a new piece they have been preparing. Sparse, abstract and angular music is interpreted in sparse, abstract and angular ways, with strong, deliberate, staccato movements. It recalls Samuel Beckett and Alberto Giacometti. There is a concentration, intensity and vulnerability in this work that is hard to comprehend. But it works. Bodies wrapped around each other, reaching out to each other, creative passion. This was dance at the cutting edge of contemporary practice. Meticulously conceived, magnificently executed. I just hope that the young people who worked with them actually tried to capture some of the magic that these two dancers exude. It is magical and precious.’ Jeff Merrifield review.
We are hoping to keep developing the work, and are always looking for places to present.
Part of the Summer spent in Shetland also meant I delivered the Dance Intensive – a week long programme working on technique and choreography for ages 10 and up. There were 10 participants this year, who worked hard from 10am-4pm with me every day, sweating, learning and creating. I love the work that they came up with.