Image credit - Ian Georgeson. Featuring work by Thomas Goetz with dancers Zinnia Oberski, Kristin Weichen Wong and Andrada Dragoescu.
Dance Base Scotland and Jupiter Artland are thrilled to announce the five artists selected for the Space, Nature, Nurture | Winter Residency Series – a new collaborative residency programme which offers dance and movement artists a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in and work with the natural and sculpted outdoor surroundings of Jupiter Artland.
Scotland is a hugely diverse and varied landscape that is not only an incredible source of inspiration, but which can also act as a creative collaborator and be a central element of performance work for artists. Jupiter Artland encapsulates the richness of the Scottish landscape, incorporating wild woodland alongside sculpted spaces, and is a hugely inspiring and creative environment for artists to engage with. Space, Nature, Nurture is the first collaboration between Dance Base and Jupiter Artland and both partners are thrilled to be able to provide an opportunity for artists working in dance and movement to bring their practice in to this unique environment.
The five artists selected were chosen based on their genuine interest in developing material in, with and in response to the unique natural environment and in collaborating with ecologies as a central part of their work. They are Thomas Goetz, Hamshya Rajkumar, Kate E Deeming, Jennifer Paterson (All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre) and Simone Kenyon.
Each of the Space, Nature, Nurture artists will receive a fully funded 1-2 weeklong residency at Jupiter Artland over November and December when the Park is closed, providing them with full and unlimited access to the Sculpture Park. As part of their residency, they will each present an element of audience engagement, reconnecting or establishing a link with their audience. These will be delivered in person and online.
This Residency programme has been made possible thanks to funding from the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund and is part of a wide programme of artist support that Dance Base are delivering to support Scotland-based dance artists to return to their practice after this very difficult 18 months.
Tony Mills, Artistic Director at Dance Base said:
“Jupiter Artland is an incredibly innovative arts space with a team that is forward thinking. We feel it is the perfect place where artists can be supported to explore new connections between dance and the environment within an artistic context. As we come back to working together creatively, the desire for collaboration and making things happen is so much stronger. This has resulted in this exciting cross-city partnership that will challenge the notions of what dance is and where it happens, and open up new avenues for dance artists and their work. We look forward to creating more opportunities with Jupiter Artland in the future.”
Thomas is an Edinburgh-based choreographer, performer; movement facilitator who draws inspiration from themes related to nature, philosophy and science. His recent work is concerned with emergence, behaviour, and (eco-)systems in nature and the role we play as part of these systems.
Thomas discovered dance through an improvisation class 20 years ago and has since explored a range of different approaches (contemporary, ballet, improvisation techniques). After graduating with a degree in biology and geography he moved from Germany to Scotland where he completed a PhD in behavioural ecology at the University of St Andrews. Following a desire for more formal dance training he studied at the Scottish School of Contemporary and began his choreographic practice by working with student groups in St Andrews. This led to two larger-scale productions (e.g. ‘Noumena’) which were performed at the Byre Theatre. A consecutive move to Edinburgh piqued an interest in movement direction for theatre and environmental themes. The Covid pandemic re-ignited his life-long interest in working outdoors with a focus on discovering movement languages that are intrinsic to natural sites. Thomas is currently doing a part-time MA in choreography at Codarts with the aim of diving deeper into artistic research questions.
Residency Focus: 1 - 6 November
All living organisms occupy specific ecological niches which describe the role they play in an ecosystem. Animals & plants evolve unique adaptations to survive, live and thrive in a specific habitat under certain environmental conditions.
In this residency Thomas will be exploring how we can evolve into creatures which occupy the natural and artistic habitats of Jupiter Art Land. These evolving imaginary creatures will differ in the way the move, are able to perceive the environment, communicate (with sound/voice or movement) & interact with one another. What happens if environmental conditions change? Will the creature be able to adapt or go extinct?
Hamshya Rajkumar is an inter-disciplinary artist who navigates through embodied movement, intention and ritual.
By situating the body outside the constraints of binary structures, she explores our human place in a world where ‘nature’ is separate, dominated and objectified.
As a spectral being, she attempts to bond intimately with various Ecologies of Land+ Seascapes through states of dwelling and நிர்வாணம் (neervannam). Exercising her human body as an intuitive visceral vessel of enquiry; she pursues an intra-species alliance searching for fluidity and empathy across species. Her performance work strives to reveal the spectrality of multiple scales of coexisting lifeforms as a social body.
Residency Focus: 8th - 21st November
Through movement Hamshya will be exploring various human interventions within the Jupiter Artland estate in the form of Gardens, Woodlands and Land artworks that reflect the human need for beauty versus the understanding of the ecological community. An element of her practice involves embedding within Land +| Sea:scapes who are devoid of her ancestors. She is curious about forming an intra-species alliance with the much-debated invasive Beech Tree and introduced ornamental exotic Plants. An extended focus will include the relationship between manicured foot and manicured grass. As Heavy Rain is likely during November, she will be experimenting with using second-hand clothing as an extension of the bodily self as well as skin that absorbs and moves with Weather.
With decades of outdoor dance experience, Kate E. Deeming describes herself as an ‘artist who uses dance to make good stuff happen’. Kate E. creates public facing work largely in urban environments and outside of traditional arts hierarchies.
Kate said: ‘I am interested in creating moments and reminders that build empathy and connect us to our individual and collective power, to reinforce and manifest a joyous and loving world.’
With the aim of creating ‘communities of dance’, her projects span months or even years involving in many and creative ways hundreds and thousands of people. Her Christmas Tree Dance (2020) saw her dancing 60km across her community of Pollokshields Glasgow which resulted in a global viral video featured in American daytime television.
Trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (2000), Kate E. also studied kahlbelia, odissi, bharanatym, flamenco and tango in their origin countries, exploring how these traditional dances are rooted in their physical and social environments. This anthropological curiosity has led her to seek how community and mastery meet to knit communities together.
Kate E. is originally from Philadelphia, PA, USA and has been based in Scotland for over 20 years.
Residency Focus: 10th - 17th November
For the Space Nature Nurture Residency Kate E. is to create a week long durational dance piece inspired by the Jupiter Artland Landscape. Utilising costume and wearable speakers, she will create giphys of wee dance moments which will feed into her wider community practice
Jennifer Paterson is an aerial and dance director and Artistic Director of All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre, Scotland’s leading aerial dance company. She trained at London School of Contemporary Dance before discovering aerial and that she could overcome her fear of heights, going on to perform worldwide with several companies and directors.
Jennifer now directs the majority of All or Nothing’s work ranging from small scale theatre to large scale outdoor spectacle with both professional and community casts, as well as creating greater opportunities to experience aerial dance including teaching and mentoring.
Through 2020 she collaborated with Cagoule Productions on a screen dance Scotland commission, resulting in Floor Falls, an aerial dance short film which has been screened at 25 film festivals. Her latest work, The Swings, part performance / part installation on a larger-than-life swing set, has just finished an extensive tour of Scotland.
Residency Focus: 22nd - 27th November
When you go down to the woods today.
Space Nature Nurture presents an opportunity to explore and really look and be influenced by the environment we are surrounded by within the natural landscape of Jupiter Artland, working with other dance and aerial artists: Chrissie Ardill, Beverley Grant, Marie Williamson and Freya Jeffs.
Starting within the woodland at Jupiter Artland, taking movement from the ground, and moving it up into the air and around the trees, the woodland and back into the landscape, utilising our aerial dance harness skills and how we can play and create together in this environment.
Our audience engagement will be through 2 workshops within the environment, allowing participants to play and explore – both in and out of harness, just as we are doing. One for adults and one for children. Being so close to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena at Jupiter Artland we will look to connect with climbers there, as well as recreational aerialists from the Scottish aerial dance community.
Simone Kenyon is a Scotland-based artist, performer, Feldenkrais practitioner and academic. For the past 20 years she has worked across performance and dance that embraces the complex interrelationships of movement, people and place. Her approach and practice works with ideas of expanded choreographies; encompassing dance, ecology, cultural geographies and walking arts to create events for both urban and rural contexts. Working with modes of attention, embodied knowledge and somatic sensitivity to frame audience experiences is a key aspect within her multi lensed approach to performance making.
Her recent project ‘Into the Mountain’ explored over 6 years the physical, cultural, social and more-than-human entanglements to mountainous environments, with a year-long programme of curated events and workshops, culminating in a site-related performance experience within the Cairngorms Mountains in Scotland.
She is currently an Associate Artist and Artist in Moray (AIM) with Dance North working on a new place-relational project. She is also developing a new body of work that centres around the haptic experience of drystone dyke construction and conversation building which forms part of this Dance Base and Jupiter Artland residency.
Residency Focus: 1st - 5th December
The residency will focus on new research exploring the practices of dry-stone dyke building; including the choreographic, material agency, conservational, ecological, cultural and social aspects of wall building.
Working for the first time, in-person with Master Waller, George Gunn, Simone will work with an existing wall in need of repair within the grounds to explore building techniques, place relational performance, creative conversations and take time to develop this new collaboration. Filmmaker Emma Dove also joins to make a collaborative trio to further explore and develop ways of working with film in the process.
On the last day of their residency, they will share their findings and explorations though conversation in-situ with a small group. Post residency they will share a film for a wider audience online.
Beyond the physical residency, Simone will begin new critical-peer conversations with artist Robbie Synge, to stimulate questions and ideas as a way of continuing the development of the work