Our Percolate residency at Siobhan Davies Studios was a week-long period where dance art journal explored new ways to write about/on/with/to/for dance. Across five days we researched, reflected and embodied dance and writing, focusing on five key intentions which underpin our ongoing research:

  1. What are the different sources where writing can emerge from?
  2. What are the different ways of experiencing/seeing/responding to dance? 
  3. What are the implications of these different modes of sourcing and writing words about dance?
  4. How can writing and creative practice inform one another?
  5. How can other creative practices such as visual art and poetry inform dance and writing?
  6. What is the purpose of dance writing?
  7. What is gained and what is lost when writing about dance?
  8. Can we play with traditional forms of dance writing? And in which ways?

The first three days of the residency were task days. Adam led Day 1, focusing on colour and the links between movement and memory. Stella and Katie led Day 2, which revolved around score-making and what is lost or gained when writing about dance. On Day 3 Angel and Sophie led the group; beginning with a rave which was documented and subsequently used as material to see how various creative practices inform dance writing. This is a just a tip of the days’ icebergs, so to find out more, click through to learn more about each day’s research below.

The residency was a continuation of DAJ’s principle interest into the various ways dance can be understood and documented. We have made this webpage to remember and preserve all our intentions, questions and discoveries, and are glad to be able to share them with you.

Day 1

On the first day, Adam led a task that looked at colour, memory and what is lost or gained when writing about dance…

Day 2

On day 2, Stella and Katie led a task which looked at new ways to document dance and how dance and writing can inform each other…

day 3

On the final task day, Angel and Sophie led a rave, which we all documented via a camera. This film was then used to create poems and a collage – asking the question of how creative practices inform dance and writing…

What were the discoveries?

  • Deepened engagement writing with, from, to receive, and to recover dance.
  • Researched the edges of writing dance and its intersections with creative transdisciplinary practice
  • Discovered new methods for producing dance and writing, and explored new forms and styles of writing dance and reflecting on the relationship between writing and dancing
  • Developed knowledge of artists and writers making work in expanded fields of dance performance and experimental writing.
  • Understanding now, how words can be concrete and synthetic, what else might there be for artists at the intersections of dance, writing, and creative practice?

Our research culminated in an event run by Siobhan Davies, called ‘Dance writing: new modes, musings, understandings.