Friday, 26 October 2012

New discoveries...

This week has been fast-paced to say the least (hence the late night blog now!) but a week full of revealing old habits and finding new beginnings.  As I share my knowledge and experiences with my students on a daily basis, through release-based practice in the studio, choreographic improvisations, essay tutoring, I am able check-in and remind myself of my values in life, in dance, and where those values have come from.  Listening to and observing my students evolving practice in dance I recognise traits in my own learning, ones which I've been able to move through and beyond with experience in practice as an artist and an educator, but which still hold a firm place and value in my journey.  
Today I led a research and development workshop with my company, working also with final year dance undergrads at Middlesex.  It was a great afternoon of learning, watching, talking, moving, understanding past practice in order to define our next journey.   Learning through sharing, an open dialogue, making new discoveries, not only in movement, but in relation to how we learn, how we know what we know, and how we find what we don't know and begin to understand why and what we need to know at this present moment.
Looking at your Areas of Learning, try to identify where, how and why that learning took place, what has it fed into for you, what do you value about it, what did you value then, what do you value now?  Time and reflection on time past is such an insightful thing, allowing us to contextualise our experiences and attribute value to them.  Enjoy this process, learn from it, learn from sharing with other (other MAPPers, Adesola and myself), and let the whole process (self reflection and sharing) feed your next journey...


Monday, 22 October 2012

If you are able to make any, we have a series of CPD workshops at Middlesex this term..first one is this Friday, free to MAPP DTP's, you are welcome to participate or observe, and very much invited to join in the discussions of each session.

Professional Practice Fridays

"A series of workshops offering the
opportunity for Post Graduate and
Final Year Undergraduate dancers
to engage in Practice As Research
within a professional environment."

Studio To Stage
Helen Kindred/KindredDance
An examination of Release-based
technique from a pedagogical
perspective, encouraging discussion of
the relationship between internal processes
and performance within a choreographic
context. Session includes a release-based class
workshop and discussion based around
KindredDance's current choreographic work.
Friday October 26th
2pm -6pm
College Studio, Hendon

Unpacking Process from Product
Shaded Voice
Analysis of the choreographic process
through observation and participation.
(open class and rehearsal session)
Friday November 2nd
College Studio, Hendon

Other sessions will include Contact Improvisation with Susanne Martin and Ballet (Cecchetti) with Denzil Bailey, plus repeated sessions with KindredDance and Shaded Voice.

all best for the week

Friday, 19 October 2012


So, I am wondering how your 2nd week has been?  My week seems to have flown by, a little too fast..I have noticed how the time spent in the studio seems to be on a different clock than the time I spend at my desk, at home, with my family.  The studio is, for me, a place where I can find time and space and the energy I need to play, investigate and learn through moving with my students, I feel as though time stops for us for those moments, and allows us to share knowledge and new discoveries, whilst out of the studio I feel as though I play catch-up constantly, with my energy split in so many different directions, I need to keep working on this balance!  I know some of you have been really busy this week too, and that TIME has come up as an issue in your blogs.  It is important to find those spaces in your day/week/month/life where you don't feel so governed or pressured by having to fit so much into your time, and I hope rather than being an additional burden on your time, your engagement with the MAPP DTP is offering a little of that space, encouraging you to press PAUSE, look, think, learn, before pressing PLAY again.

You have been delving into your CVs this week and looking back on what you've done in your careers, don't forget to seek to understand the 'how' of your learning here also, this is really important for you to value and to use in your RoLs.  Remember that your CVs are exciting, diverse, creative, reflective of you as professionals, keep them quite open as you progress through this module, and refer back to them as you begin now to think about unpicking your current Job Description and identifying your Areas of Learning.  Be sure to be honest with your Job Description; what is the job you actually do? Not the Job Description that is supposed to represent that role.  I think in dance we all know that a formal JD often takes flexibility to the extremes! So look at what you actually prepare, deliver, share on a day to day basis in your current role(s).  This again will feed into your Areas of Learning, which you need to start identifying also.

I will post information this weekend on some CPD opportunities coming up on campus this autumn/winter, it would be great to see some of you at these events if you can make them.

all good wishes for now

Friday, 12 October 2012

Week One done. Week two...

Looking back...
I wonder how you've all been doing this past week?  If you've managed to wade through the Introduction to Module One handbook, found any time to start your Reflective Journals?  I wonder what thoughts and questions have come up for you as you've started your journey into this MA?  Try to record these in some way for yourselves, and to share on your blog with the rest of the MAPP DTP community online.

I'm really pleased that you've nearly all tackled your first blogs this week too!  Great start!  Do feel free to blog your thoughts, reflections, questions on a particularly interesting or difficult day, whether you feel this is directly related to the MA or not, it will help get you in the practice of reflective writing, and you may well find similar experiences amongst you as a community of practitioners, let's see...

Looking forward...
This week you could start to take a look at your CV.  What do you see?  How does it present your career?  Look to see if you have included all relevant areas that have contributed to your current practice, including any voluntary work, in-house training, short courses? Remember that (particularly in dance!) it is not just the paid work which builds your practice and so your reflections on your areas of learning need to recognise ALL learning which has informed your practice.  As you progress through Module One your CV should be a workable model, a document which develops with you as you identify and unpack your Areas of Learning.

Adesola has posted an excellent example of ways to see your own areas of learning on her MAPP blog today..please do take a look at it, and begin to start relating to areas in your own learning.

Find time to rest, read and reflect this week and I look forward to more on your blogs soon

Monday, 8 October 2012

How did I get here?

So.. I wasn't going to post a MAPP DTP blog until later in the week, but decided I should act as these moments occur, rather than planning to have something to share on a particular day! (as never seems to work anyway!)
I delivered the first lecture of the academic year at mdx today;  a Year 3 dance undergrad module I lead called Professional Studies.  The module runs over 11 weeks and unpacks the dance profession in its broadest sense, offering an opening of the eyes for some students as to the range of career routes out there in dance, and raising awareness of the role that they need to play as individuals in shaping the continuing development of the art form.  Anyway, today's lecture looked at 'Portfolio Careers' and in order to illustrate by example in part, I shared with the group my career in dance, certainly not on one linear route, but drawing experience from many different pathways, and continuing to do so.  I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment in having this opportunity to share my learning and achievement to date, but more than that I really enjoyed opening discussions with the group as to our life journeys, how dance is intrinsic to them and visa versa.
Having fresh in my mind past experiences, jobs, study, changes in my life, I spent the journey home engrossed in notion of how we get to where we are going, if we ever reach that destination, and what forces shape our pathways..(apologies to anyone else on the A1 this evening for my lack of concentration on the road!)  I wonder what are your thoughts on this..How have you reached your current professional status/context/time?  What have been the driving forces shaping that journey?...

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Induction Sept 2012

Welcome to all MAPP DTP folks!
Welcome to my blog, a place where I look forward to sharing thoughts, experiences, observations with you and guiding on your journey through the MAPP Dance programme this year.
With term starting on Monday (Oct 8th), I hope you can all get your blogs started this weekend/early next week so that we can start a community of thinking, sharing artists right away..
More soon..including video introductions from Charlotte, Alison and Hopal : )