by sarahb last modified Sep 20, 2017 02:33 PM

Some thoughts from Jo Fong

by sarahb last modified Sep 20, 2017 02:33 PM
Some thoughts from Jo Fong

Jo Fong's An Invitation

What a pleasure it was to meet and work with the new elders group in Bristol. Our work together comprised of sensory exercises, partner work and an exploration to our own relationships to dance. I think you would have to ask the participants how it was for them, but from what I saw there was something like a real curiosity about sensation and presence, inhabited bodies, thinking bodies, a hyper awareness and yet a directness, an honesty of approach and a committed attention. When they move it’s like the moment is now, capturing a moment, an appreciation of time allocated to dancing. All of this together creates such a nuanced beauty, not a young dancer hiding behind layers of doubt or various facades but a presence that knows its own power of self.

I was invited by Trinity to lead this session, you never know how this is going to go with a new group, different expectations, different abilities and experiences. I work with all kind of people and of course each group is different. In these last years working with 3 different elders groups both in Wales and Manchester. I love it. These groups have much to give and express. Of late, I have seen a fair few performance projects with older performers and often I’m afraid to say, the choreographers are getting it wrong. For me, the works are rife with misrepresentation and misinterpretation, it actually makes me really angry to see performers compromised. At some point I would like to embark on a choreography that is for older performers. Having more experiences with different groups contributes towards ideas and its true to say I’m inspired - but I would like get it right, pitch the right kind of work that says the right thing.

I am 45 years old - I like to think I could find ways to access a truth to a new work, even though the performers have several years more life experience. Find the right essence, the subject matter or frame of a work that allows performers to be free within that frame. I will think more on it.

Jo Fong is a director, choreographer and performer working in dance, film, theatre, opera and the visual arts. She performed her show An Invitation as part of IGNiTE Autumn Season 2016

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