Theo Clinkard: The Days Thurs and Fri 21st 22nd April Lakeside + Dance4 Community Workshop 15th March Thanks to Ruthba, Jess, Theo and everyone who Danced

Going to Dance4 Tuesday 15th March Theo Clinkard Workshop 

I normally work on an employed/self employed basis and am always looking to develop community/business opportunities and links.

When I was furloughed from my job as Achievement Coach with engineering apprentices at Nottingham College, in July 2020, I rose to the challenge of multiple temping: working across the Covid landscape in Nottm, Derby, Leicester, with self isolating students at Nottingham University, in vaccination support at the QMC, in diabetic retinopathy screening, with The Student Housing Company, (now YUGO) checking in students and managing their settling in welfare and wellbeing, in lateral flow testing, as a receptionist at Nottingham Law Centre (where it really made me realise how Covid and the type of work, housing and opportunity networks people have because of that needs to be addressed) and in PPE distribution for Bespoke Health and Social Care who provide one to one care for people with brain, spinal injury, learning difficulties. 

Although the location and environment that Bespoke Health and Social Care head office work in is unbeatable in Nottingham, up from Nottingham Contemporary, centre of the city in The Galleries of Justice: big, bright, light, open rooms), the job was a fill in, precariously temporary in a time of great activity and a fervent desire in the company for process improvement. So although I thought I’d be there for a bit longer until my new contracts started, after a period of fierce 8am-5.30pm activity over a few weeks, the contract ended unexpectedly: they could send PPE to their clients direct from the supplier. 

Losing the temp job made me realise how exhausted I was, so when I found an open workshop at Dance4 on Tuesday 15th March with Theo Clinkard I felt very excited, rang and spoke to Ruthba Choudhary Communications Manager. He booked me a place and I received a confirmation from Jess Ashley, Producer. So I felt as if I was doing something really formal, yet informal with demands but also requests for a personal contribution. 

I always think about the arts as that: we need artists but they also need us: respect. 

Theo Clinkard is acclaimed for his work across genres, disciplines and the range of artists he’s worked with. We were doing a workshop based on his work The Days with Finnish dancers Maria Nurmela and Ville Oinonen which will be at Lakeside Arts, Nottingham University on Thursday and Friday 21st and 22nd Aprilhttps://www.lakesidearts.org.uk/theatre/event/5593/the-days.html

Arriving at Dance4 made my heart sing. 

Dance4 Dakeyne St Nottingham

It was the first time I’d been in to the building on Dakeyne Street next to King Edward park in the heart of Sneinton.

I’ve always slid into dance as a part of our shared culture that touches and stimulates personal journey, narrative. It’s like the consciousness of the culture sends dancers out into the different forms, histories, languages of what we think dance is and then the wider culture, the audience says….no, it’s not that, it’s this.

The room we were in was bright, big windows, light, light, light. The rhythm in the background and light. Evocative music, blues. We were a group of mature people, men and women and we were introduced into the thinking and movement in Theo’s work The Days, how to liberate the energy of possibilities through managing and moving towards our impulse to stand back from a stranger and a strange situation, how to experience that moment as something new. We learnt about group movement, how to bond with a partner, a group and a crowd and we learnt how to move with one other person alone and with a human boundary. 

During and afterwards I felt engaged, alert, curious.

Afterwards I felt connected to a real, shared creativity. I went on to the Dance 4 website and looked at their archive of Dance since 1994 and realised how much this work of Theo’s and the workshop work I’d been involved in was part of a living archive, a living development of lives in and through and between dance(s). Interesting quotes I found that described the experience for me: 

1997 Lito Walkley ‘choreography of unselfing’

2006 DejaDonne : There, where everything is already there, we were….but we searched elsewhere….

2000 The Last Performance: ‘tension and experience clinging to you’

2001 Weak Dance, Strong Questions Jonathan Burrows/Jan Ritsema

2002 Felix Ruckert Love University ‘body, self awareness, alienation’

I had a look at Theo’s website to understand more about his experience and work. When I looked at the work I realised how allusive each title is. My gift to everyone who attended the workshop and to Theo and his new work The Days is this poem:

The Days

The feeling of going to see the world while the light lasts

about around the lessening of difference 

passing,

strange and wonderful thought latching onto thought and pulling

this moment is your life 

a short lived alteration of an existing situation between silence and stillness

small acts between the shingle and the dune

the wayside…..at any moment something else 

hold everything dear ….a quarter….plus green 

the land of yes and 

the land of no

may shuffle: this is now:

pavlova’s dogs: ahotsak, mena, boom, she she boom

une reverie romantique

man and woman

across

and then across 

duet badlands 

the happiness project

(because we care), vanity fowl , helm, recovery mode, hot mess….

ACT

Teaming

now map this warm air, the days somewhat still, when seen from above the listening room.

52 Portraits: 

I’ll see it when I believe it 

the feels you, mum, best friends, internet.

future lover dance: alert to the voices of others,

the world to us ode, gentle men moving parts 

my dance your touch, made by hand: public action notice 

wo/manmade grammar kit we become panoramic 

tide waits for no man: murrisant ripening: ‘scuse me, while I kiss the sky 

common: awaken bow & arrow: untitled work: half a dozen concealed nows (anag)