Dancers circle each other, Image credit: Infinite Blue Designs, 2024

Dance Base and PASS at the Traverse

Katie Cunningham

This winter, we were delighted to support the Performing Arts Studio Scotland (PASS) at Edinburgh College to work with two independent choreographers to create a new work with their BA Dance and Drama students!

 

Taking place from the 8-12 of January, the Choreographers, Jack Webb and Kayla Collymore, worked with Edinburgh College degree students on a physical performance project. This was performed at the Traverse Theatre at the end of the week.  

As the second year in which Dance Base and Pass have collaborated to deliver this programme, its ongoing success is an encouraging statement on its future.  

Ahead of the week, Eleanor Morrison from PASS said: “We feel incredibly lucky and excited for our BA Dance and Drama students to be collaborating with Kayla and Jack to make two new ensemble performance works.  The opportunity to rehearse at Dance Base and perform at The Traverse is second to none, providing real industry experience for PASS’s emerging artists.” 

Hosting placements such as the PASS Choreographer Placement is a wonderful opportunity for Dance Base to encourage dance in Scotland, and to provide a home for innovation and artistic development. Kirsty Somerville, Head of the Professional Programme at Dance Base said “It has been a real pleasure to welcome the PASS staff and students in to Dance Base and to support them to work with two fantastic independent choreographers, Jack and Kayla. We really hope that the week has helped give the students an insight into the creation process, and how they could build a career as an independent artist after their graduation”. Jack worked with the PASS students to create a new work inspired by his solo piece, Sense of Centre. Working with dance, object manipulation and technology, they explored themes around home, nature, loneliness and belonging in the 21st century, creating a work that is bold and yet full of softness and introspection. 

Prior to starting the placement, Jack stated, “I’m looking forward to immersing myself in creativity, risk taking, invention and discovery with the PASS students. I’m hoping that we can, through our collaboration, expand our sense of possibility, skill and ambition. By placing dance and movement at the forefront of this exploration to discover new languages to speak to an audience, I’m hoping that this exploration will be a rich, challenging, rewarding and stimulating creative and learning experience for all.” After the placement’s conclusion, he remarked, “to work with emerging talents was a real pleasure. It was wonderful to find a meeting point between us and to work from there” and praised the opportunity to work at the Traverse.  

Kayla used her time with the students to analyse the strange and enigmatic phenomenon of meaningful coincidence, known as synchronicity. Inspired by the insights of psychologist Carl Jung, she led the dancers in diving into the archetypes of the collective unconscious.  

When looking ahead to the project Kayla said, “I am excited to rally the diverse talents of the BA Dance and Drama students at Edinburgh College to present a narrative that captures some of the most daring Jungian concepts. “ 

Following the placement and performance, Kayla stated that she loved the collaborative elements, and seeing the students embrace the performance over the week, and that, “This opportunity made me feel valued as an independent artist and gave me to confidence to continue pursuing my creative endeavours.” 

 

Image credit: Time Language from Kayla Collymore and Edinburgh College students, copyright Infinite Blue Designs, 2024

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Image credit: Stuart Armitt, 2023