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Dream Time Dance Residency

October 2012: Dream Time Dance Residency at Studio on the Green, Selkirk, in partnership with Dance Base

The Dream Time Residency was a pilot partnership between national dance centre Dance Base and CABN. The partnership was initiated by Claire Pençak, CABN’s Performing Arts Advocate for the Scottish Borders, and Jenna Agate, choreographer and Artistic Director of The Studio On The Green, Selkirk, to reignite the notion of choreographic residencies outside of the city.

A week-long ‘Dream Time Residency’ was offered at Jenna’s Studio. The residency was aimed at dance makers and other dancers/musicians/artists based in Scotland.  The selected artist in residence would be asked to teach one class during the week, which was to be free and open to local dancers in Selkirk and surrounding areas.  Additionally, the artist would be encouraged to offer an informal showing or talk at the end of the residency, since part of the aim of the project was to develop an audience for dance in the Scottish Borders and to encourage an interest in contemporary performance practice.

Ian Spink was selected as artist in residency, with a proposal entitled ‘The Idea of Australia’ where he planned to work with two professional dancers (Jo Jeffries and Hannah Venet) and video maker Alan Paterson. His particular interest was to explore how a combination of movement, materials, text and images can convey a sense of another place, in this case an imagined journey through Central and North Western Australia.

As a starting point, he had identified and created a minimal text for various stages of this ‘journey’ (passing through sacred Aboriginal sites, vast open cut mines and eventually the remains of a devastating cyclone). His ambition was to create and film a series of these movement impressions in the Studio on The Green as a mixed-media ‘diary’ of things remembered and things imagined – dance, images and words.

During the residency Ian led an open workshop for over 16s, assisted by dancers Joanna Jeffries and Hannah Venet and a sharing event where sections of the residency research were presented and discussed.

Reflections on the Residency: Ian Spink
‘The Studio on the Green (created by Jenna Agate and Trevor Timms in the early 1980’s) has been a centre for dance and movement workshops since 1990 and the single studio space has a warm and friendly atmosphere.  Jenna Agate was available as a sensitive and valuable ‘outside eye’ and also host to our work during our five days there. She had also generously offered up her cottage as accommodation for the four of us. Mary Morrison from CABN provided administrative support and extra equipment during the week.

Our aims during the residency were to create and develop material, to film and to create a live showing of some of this work. We also offered an open workshop for the local dance community and an open sharing/feedback session on the last day of the residency. Our work ranged from establishing and recording filmed sequences based on structured improvisations, recording spoken word, and developing live dance and performance sections as part of our five themes.  …As an easily accessible studio space in which to create work, uninterrupted, this place was ideal. The rural location created a calming effect on us all and the proximity of the Alchemy festival down at Hawick was a fortunate coincidence, though we were not able to take full advantage of it due to our workload.  Although clashing with Alchemy events, we had a good turnout (mostly non-dance) for the showing on the final day and the audience provided some useful feedback and comments.

We all felt very welcomed during our short stay and I would be very happy to return with a project in development, perhaps for a longer period.’

The Dream Time residency is now established as an annual opportunity, and applications are open for the 2017 residency with a deadline for applications 1st May 2017.  To find out more view our Opportunities section.