I am in the planning stages of my Wales Lab project called 'Moving Rocks'.
Dinorwig Slate Quarries
The rocky landscape is constantly in motion even if we can’t always see it. Geographer Doreen Massey remarks that rocks are ‘immigrants’ which are passing through on their way somewhere else (For Space, 2005). On their journey these rocks have been disrupted by human industrial endeavour and in the Slate Quarries, heaps of manmade spoil and quarried walls are shifting and falling daily. This project is about moving with these rocks to evoke and capture images of past movement in these environments, focusing particularly on the movement of the quarrymen who altered the landscape dramatically. The project is about action and interaction with the environment, about the labour of quarrying, the repetitive movement,and the communal energy created by moving in rhythm with others and with the landscape.
Detail from the only painting of the quarries I could find at Penrhyn Castle
It is also a vertical dance experiment in using back pick-up harnesses to suspend dancers off the ground on slabs in Snowdonia. Vertical dance is a hybrid of dance and rock climbing: we borrow the equipment from rock climbing and suspend ourselves by vertical surfaces of all sorts and use these as our new floor. See some examples on my website: http://www.verticaldancekatelawrence.com/
Usually we connect the rope to the front of our harnesses, so we face up towards the sky. This is great, but can be difficult to really connect with audiences. So the back pick-up - connected to the back of our harnesses, so face to the ground - will mean we can see people on the ground better.
I will work with 3 dancers, a rigger and a film maker for a week. We plan to do a little sharing performance at the end of the week to get feedback on how the technique works. I'm really looking forward to being outdoors for the week, in the mountain environment and sensing the history in the rocks around us.
The project will happen in May 2015 and I'm currently working on getting permissions from the various landowners to undertake the project. Fingers crossed!
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