Stage 1: Candidate's selection process and announcement
After launching PRECIPITATE on June 18 via our social media platforms, many candidates from both Lebanon and the UK showed great interest in our program, and consequently submitted their applications. Since places were limited, the number of candidates was narrowed down to 6 final participants: 3 from Lebanon and 3 from Scotland.
The selection process was carried out by a committee of panellists including Tony Mills (Dance Base – Scotland), Romy Assouad & Jadd Tank (Yaraqa – Lebanon), and independent artist Emma Jayne Park (Scotland). This was challenging for us as we reviewed incredible talent from diverse backgrounds and skills while taking into account:
- The nature of the information provided in the application form; how they responded to every question in the application form and how that conveys their interest and need to participate in the program.
- The perceived impact this opportunity will have on the artist at this particular stage of their career.
- The range of interests and backgrounds that will create a diverse group of artists.
- The diversity of voices represented through Dance Base’s opportunities for professional artists.
Stage 2: Introduction meeting
Shortly after selecting our final participants, a remote introduction meeting was hosted via Zoom on July 18. This meeting included the participants, team members of Yaraqa, Dance Base, and British Council, and our selected facilitator Emma Jayne Park.
In this first encounter, we introduced participants to the flow of the program and allowed everyone to get familiar with one another. Participants shared the reasons why they applied, what their access riders and interests are, what they’re thinking of working on throughout the Lab, and what they’re expecting out of this program.
Stage 3: The 1:1 & pairing
One-on-one consultations took place between July 19 and 25 and allowed us to further develop the overall program and the mentorship program based on the artists’ needs. These consultations also helped us pair up the artists: each pair would consist of one participant from Lebanon and one from Scotland. These meetings helped us better understand the duo’s needs, desires, hopes for and from PRECIPITATE and so we paired them up based on their interests, approaches or end-goals. Their mission: to support each other, hold each other accountable and create impactful work together.
Stage 4: Studio work, research and mentorship
This stage was set so that pairs could continue with their research linked to their theme, and begin to implement any movement/dance/ideas into practice. The participants were provided with studio spaces both in Lebanon and Scotland to complete their self-directed creation/experimentation/research in pairs. This phase was complemented with mentorship sessions, featuring:
Lou Platt, mentor of Sarah Fadel and Liz Strange
Farah Saleh, mentor of Bassam and Kathryn
Lucy Suggate, mentor of Natasha and Jian Yi
Lou is the founder and director of The Artist Wellbeing Company. In 2012, she began supporting the mental health of those working in creative industries when a local theatre company asked her for support. Since then she has slowly but steadily built innovative practices that support those working in creative industries, paying particular attention to where the performative and personal meet. Lou believes in helping all those working in the creative industries develop practices that are exciting, risk taking but are most importantly supported, self-aware and care-taking of those involved.
For Lou, being an Artist Wellbeing Practitioner is a unique synthesis of being a Dramatherapist, Clinical supervisor, Internal Family Systems Practitioner, and independent theatre maker/performer. Through use of compassionate therapeutic techniques, open dialogue and psycho-education, Lou strives to enable artists, production teams, venues and organisations to not only take radical care of their mental health and wellbeing, but to also reach and maintain their fullest creative potential.
Lou has worked as an Artist Wellbeing Practitioner within theatre, film, TV, dance, visual arts, writing and the music industries. She has worked with independent theatre productions with the likes of Caroline Horton & Ursula Martinez, through to supporting main house productions at Regents Park Open Air Theatre. She has worked for TV series and films such as I May Destroy You (BBC/HBO), Dangerous Liaisons (Starz), Floodlights (BBC), and is currently working with her team supporting over 20 productions or individuals in theatre, TV and Film.
Farah Saleh is a Palestinian dancer and choreographer based in Scotland. She has studied linguistic and cultural mediation in Italy and in parallel continued her studies in contemporary dance. Since 2010 she took part in local and international projects with Sareyyet Ramallah Dance Company (Palestine), the Royal Flemish Theatre and Les Ballets C de la B (Belgium), Mancopy Dance Company (Denmark/Lebanon), Siljehom/Christophersen (Norway) and Candoco Dance Company (UK).
Also since 2010, Saleh has been teaching dance, coordinating and curating artistic projects. In 2014 she won the third prize of the Young Artist of the Year Award (YAYA) organized by A.M. Qattan Foundation in Palestine for her installation A Fidayee Son in Moscow and in 2016 she won the dance prize of Palest’In and Out Festival in Paris for the duet La Même. She was an Associate Artist at Dance Base in Edinburgh 2017-2021 and is currently finishing her practice-based PhD at Edinburgh College of Art and touring her latest works.
Lucy Suggate is a dance artist and choreographer based in the UK. Making working since 2003 she is recognised for her articulate and engaging solo performances as well as choreographic installations and public scores inspired by aspects of synchronicity and cooperation. Her movement practice is an ongoing inquiry into the perceptual and physical expansion that occurs when engaged in long term moving and thinking. A lot of her current focus is around occupying spaces to practice in, investigating sustainability and revisioning future dance spaces as dynamic and flexible operations.
Stage 5: Online workshops or Laps
Throughout September, all 6 participants had weekly workshops with industry experts coming from various backgrounds, around subjects pertaining to their interests, and tools for sustainable practice.