Here, There, and Everywhere

by Ruth Barnes

MO

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I have spent a significant amount of time in Scotland, beginning in 1974 when a Fulbright Fellowship paired me with The Scottish Ballet Moveable Workshop, a contemporary dance company based in Glasgow while Peter Darrell was Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet. Then, from 1985, France and Switzerland were home, while I worked in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Tunisia. Since returning to the US in 2000, I have continued to choreograph and perform in Scotland, especially at Dance Base, Edinburgh. Over time, I have become curious about how dancers who are scattered throughout Scotland communicate with each other, and about the advantages, challenges and specificities in different localities. My questions address how place impacts choreographic work and dancing: Does living in a city affect the creative process differently from residing in a rural setting? Does the kind of community in which one lives and works influence the focus of one’s choreographic work? How might the work of a dance artist impact the community? And, finally, how might isolation come into play as a challenge or as a partner in the creative process?

Here, There, and Everywhere comprises both ethnographic research and original choreography. I will travel to several locations in Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Highlands) to interview and participate in a collaborative choreographic process with several dance artists prominent in that country. Videotape and a written record will document all collaborative rehearsals, observations and interviews, and assist me in analyzing the dialogs and creative processes. In addition to the collaborative work, I will choreograph a solo for each location and artist, a sort of “postcard” or “journal entry” to reflect my experience here, there and everywhere.

The artists involved in this project have all lived in large urban centers. However, all have also relocated – to other cities or countries, or to the countryside. As a native New Yorker now living in Southwest Missouri, I find that dance and dancing are regarded very differently in my current home from the way they were perceived and practiced in the environment in which I came of age as a dance artist. Thus, my questions are pertinent to my own choreography, and to the process that informs all aspects of my work as a choreographer.

My aim with Here, There, and Everywhere is to distill a representation of the notion of community, no matter how far-flung the individuals and connections might be. The extended solo will also embody the notion of isolation: the singular dancer performing dance steps from a collection of choreographers, and her responses to that work and those dance artists, via her own movement commentary – or postcard/journal – of the period of the project.

Performances of the solo will take place at Dance Base (Edinburgh), at The Shed (Ross-shire), at Springfield Contemporary Theatre (Missouri) and at a performance space, as yet to be decided, in New York City

Funding necessary for Here, There and Everywhere to be realized comes to approximately $7,735. This will cover my travel expenses between Springfield, MO, and Edinburgh, UK, as well as travel within Scotland; collaborators' stipends; accommodation in Scotland; and commissions of music and costume. In the event the project is overfunded, any unspent moneys will used to cover expenses of touring the solo. Additionally, all dontations are tax-deductible.

Thank you very much for your time!

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    • February 17, 2013 Ruth Barnes Artist

      All donations are tax-deductible!