In 2023, Dance Base partnered with Taiwanese dance company B.DANCE to support their choreographers to work with Dance Base’s dance company for the over 60’s, PRIME, on The Infinite Life Journey, the second stage of B.LOSSOM, a cross-generational international exchange project between Taiwan and Scotland.
The first stage of the project took place in Taiwan in 2022 where Morag Deyes travelled to work with the B.DANCE choreographers and a group of older dancers to create a short performance and workshop session that toured across the country. In May 2023, the project moved to Scotland and welcomed B.DANCE to work with PRIME to develop a new performance of The Infinite Life Journey, and develop this exchange even further.
For this second stage, two choreographers from B.DANCE and the 13 PRIME members joined together at Dance Base for a two week residency to work to create a new 15 minute performance based on the choreography from B.DANCE’s highly acclaimed performance work Floating Flowers, a contemporary dance work inspired by the traditional ceremony of releasing water lanterns in Taiwan.
This new 15-minute performance reimagined the choreographic work of Floating Flowers for a group of older dancers, and translated the narrative explorations of water, incarnation and life stories, from Taiwan to Scotland.
To share this process of cross-generational collaboration and international exchange, B.DANCE & PRIME hosted 13, 1 hour sessions where they performed The Infinite Life Journey and held a short workshop to open up their learning and process. These were open to the public and to community groups to attend and aimed to share the practice of international, cross-generational exchange. During the six days we presented community workshops in Aberdeen, Dundee, Dumbarton and Edinburgh.
Choreographer, B. DANCE – Ming-Hsuan Liu
Operation Director, B.DANCE – Yen-Ling Yi
Producer, Step Out Arts – Jih-Wen Yeh
Support Choreographer, PRIME – Morag Deyes
Artistic Director, PRIME – Steinvor Palsson
Head of Professional Programme & Company Manager for PRIME – Kirsty Somerville
PRIME Company Members – Annie Yong, Christine Thynne, Diane Mitchell, Eleanor Morrison, Judy Adams, Karen Duignan, Moira Berry, Norma Turvill, Paul Burrows, Rosie Orr, Sara McBean & Tom Daniel
The B.LOSSOM platform emerged in response to an initial project plan created between B/DANCE and Sadler’s Wells Theatre which aimed to bring senior dancers from Taiwan and London together on stage. This performance work was planned for 2020 and therefore cancelled due to the global pandemic, but the exploration of working with older dancers motivated the B.DANCE team to create a new cross-border exchange programme, devoted to listening to the voices from different generations.
B.DANCE presented Floating Flowers as part of the Dance Base Festival programme in 2019 to critical acclaim, and in August 2020, Morag Deyes, Dance Base’s Artistic Director at the time, took part in the Taiwan Season online forum to share information on PRIME – Dance Base’s over 60’s dance company – and our wider senior community dance work.
Thanks to an introduction made by Jih-Wen Yeh, the Director of Step Out Arts, a collaboration was formed between B.DANCE and Dance Base to bring their two areas of work together. By the end of 2020, the teams at B.DANCE, Step Out Arts and Dance Base, with the support from the NCFA and the British Council, developed a two-year transnational exchange project focusing on contemporary dance as a tool for social inclusion, allowing older dancers from Taiwan and the UK to reinterpret the classic dance piece Floating Flowers – the work that B.DANCE brought to Edinburgh in 2019!
Photography by Amy Sinead