theatre can happen anywhere
Jo Shapland has been developing her Major Creative Wales Award research project Being In Place here at the Nightingale. We asked her how the work has developed during her time here.
How has working in the space at the Nightingale influenced Being In Place?
My work is site-sensitive, so it can’t not…
I find it magical and remarkable that the Nightingale holds its own, even though it’s right bang in the middle of the city hubbub. There have been moments where a very present sense of stillness has seemed to enter in, and I find that beautiful in such an urban environment.
How do you involve other artists?
This is a process of discovery and I am refining my role when working with other artists. This is revealing itself as a facilitator/mentor. Performers invest and refine their own ideas through the ‘device’ I have developed. Choices might then be made to utilize these in their own work or to entrust them to my artistic direction in which I am a selector who crafts and combines structures that frame diverse responses… I like that this opens up possibilities of working with all sorts of people from varied backgrounds, experiences and disciplines.
Who have you been working with?
So far I’ve consciously chosen to work with mature dancers/musicians – their experience comes through in their presence and application to the tasks I give them, and their questions and responses are very helpful. I’m inspired by Asian cultures such as Japan where maturity is seen as a virtue. In Noh theatre an actor and/or dancer is seen as coming in to ‘flower’ in his 40s.
How has this work evolved out of your previous projects?
In many of my projects I’ve transposed existing site specific/site sensitive work into new spaces in a site-sensitive/site specific way. I am creatively transposing layered memories from one place to another and seeing how they can still exist somewhere else or whether they are changed by the new place. My residency provides a great opportunity, and a great space, to experiment in depth with this process.
What support has been valuable to you during your residency?
Simply being given the space and trust to dream, experiment, flow with the ups and downs of creation in the Nightingale nest – to hatch ideas and see where they go – or not. Liz Aggiss really challenges me to get to the point, to be thorough and to really find where this thing is leading me.
You can read a more detailed response to these questions on Jo’s blog.