A week with Roberta Jean

The final week of second year. A week where my body was heavy with fatigue, a niggly knee and the screaming desire to just run around outside and soak up some vitamin D- to be in the studio was the last thing I wanted to do. However, one week with Roberta Jean renewed my sense of place in contemporary dance. I felt inspired, creatively questioning movement, and most importantly looking forward to dancing. Which is nice. More than nice in fact, because in the week before I was even questioning whether I wanted to dance after graduating, that I instead wanted to travel the world and build a home…

Roberta spent the week introducing us to loads of new artists- both dance artists and visual artists, and allowing us to explore simple movement tasks in an environment where it was more about your individual process of finding out than aesthetics. After spending so much of the year concerned with how I was looking in technique, how I was looking in other people’s choreography and how my development project looked it was entirely refreshing not to worry about how I looked.

And I think this is why I enjoyed this week so much. I reached this interesting place of acceptance and curiosity- if I push this, what will happen? How do I feel? Does it feel natural to do this or am I forcing it? And then seeing how things had developed- sure, they may have looked very much the same, but to me the process of playing and discovering meant much more. Being attentive to the movement rather than the reflection staring back at me.

Recently, the crossover between everyday movement and ‘contemporary’ dance has really begun to interest me, and this week has really sent my spinning into tons of questioning. Beautiful, wondrous questioning that will leave me plenty of material to chew over during the summer holidays. It was an entirely pleasant way to finish second year, feeling renewed and positive about dance again. So, thank you Roberta for giving me that boost, may we cross paths again!

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