woman of dance in times of Brexit

Fragen an Roseanna Anderson_

1______ Impermanence Dance

You manage and run a dance collective/compagnie in Bristol, UK.

How does your compagnie work? Please explain the concept of your collective.

Our company works as a non-hierarchical group of artists. That is the intention but it is hard to put into practice all of the time! We have developed creative methods where we have interchangeable leadership and a plethora of source material which can be selected individually or through group consensus.

Which connection to political issues do you have in your work?

It feels like our work is not overtly political, or specific to any alignment. It feels with the recent work, Da-Da-Darling, our on going cabaret shows, and our next work-in-progress, ‘Sex Box’, that we want to express freedom of expression, particularly in relation to gender, so exploring the post-binary idea of sexes. It feels that through showing a sense of interchange ability amongst people on stage in character/ roles this encourages others to access a true expression of them selves in the world.

What are your current projects?

We have received funding from Arts Council England to;

1. Develop a body of work over the year 2016 and perform for two weeks in Bristol, at a venue(s) of our choosing and a week in London.

2. For 11 artists involved with Impermanence to run their own ‘mini-project’ in Bristol working with a group of people in the community or developing choreographic methods for making work.

3. To continue to tour Da-Da-Darling nationally and hopefully internationally.

We are collaborating with the Invisible Circus in Bristol to develop a new show, called the House of the Illusions and to be performed in a network of old coal tunnels underneath Bristol temple Meads train station. We have also been funded to develop a new piece with director, Tyrell Jones, based on Bertolt Brecht’s early play ‘Baal’, this will happen in 2017.

Where do you perform?

We have mostly performed in the UK. We have performed at music festivals since 2014 and have performed at; Fusion, Glastonbury, Shambala, Bestival, Kelburn Garden Party, Kendal Calling. We have performed in theatres in the South West of England and London including; Northcott Theatre, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth. We also find ways to stage our work in unusual spaces with our own lighting and dance floor, such as Kings Weston House where we are based in Bristol.

Is it the first time for you being at the fusion festival?


You have been within the theatre program of the festival with your production “DaDaDarling”. How did this collaboration happen?

We knew the woman who programmes the cabaret performers in the Cabaret program. She contacted the people who run the Theatre with our promotional material and they said straight away that they would like to book our show, Da-Da-Darling.

When did you decide to perform within the festival?

As soon as we found out that we were booked, I think it was mid-March 2016.

What are your experiences with the festival team and the festival itself?

The festival team were incredible. The most supportive and organised we have ever experienced at a festival. The festival itself was a very positive experience, the site is not too large and has so many wooded little nooks and crannies. A little bit too much techno after three days but that’s for some people!

2______ artist path

What are your deep interests as an artist?

To create an entire world in our performances, that the audience are invited into. A world where something ‘other’ is occurring; something of glamour, or sadness, or connection, or passion. I feel very performance-focused; it feels they are the moments where a lot of truth and knowledge is gained for furthering the creative dialogue with the audience. I am interested in how the aesthetics; of costume, facial expressions can support the performance quality of the work. I am curious about how to continue to be transported as a performer during a show, where the ego truly drops away and your being becomes a vehicle for true expression, in the moment.

Which person/s did support you as an artist or as a person to express your interests and passion?

The other artists in Impermanence have been the main support since graduating from school in 2010. Through collaboration my ideas and thoughts have been stretched and bended, finding new pathways to explore. I feel very lucky to be with such an amazing group of people.

Is or was there a woman that was important for your development as human being with spiritual, mental and/or artistic growth?

I worked with a German choreographer, Maresa von Stockert, as an intern and her ways of working were very specific and this gave me a great insight into how one works into movement material and finds richness through detail. We’ve been working with Lea Anderson (British choreographer – amazing!) the last two years, for a week each year, to develop our working methods as a group. She has been a fantastic support and has helped to instil a confidence individually and as a group, that what we are exploring has merit and a place in the world so to keep focussed on it.

3______ work life balance

You are a mother of a wonderful son. What is his age?

He turns 5 on this Friday, 15th July.

How do you manage to live a life of a dancer with a touring compagnie and a loving and caring mother?

It is difficult. It’s often a juggle and sometimes trying to find childcare, sometimes last minute, can be very stressful. There are moments where I feel very torn with leaving him, especially when we have lots of shows and he has a different person with him each day. With festivals we often bring him which works well and we stay connected. Although there are times away they are still fairly minimal and we are working for ourselves so there are still lots of times where we are with Sol and are able to have a steady home life. I think the key to managing it, which we are doing at the end of the day, is about being organised. And as boring as it may be, looking ahead and planning well so that everyone can have their needs met.

What are the challenges that you face?

Often, money is a challenge. The company has managed to attract funding for projects but it is not yet year round. However, Josh and I run the company and do work year round on the administration, tour booking and fundraising so there are some periods of crisis where we are stretch financially and have to be very careful. It is a challenge also because we both feel that we are not able to take on other work as easily as the other company members. It would be great to find a way to do this as it is so important to ourselves and to the group that we are also bringing back new, rich artistic experiences which all feed into future work.

Time is always a challenge. I feel with being a parent that I’m not contributing as equally, artistically, into the company. The others have such a relative amount of freedom with their time that it is difficult to not compare the difference and see how much more artistic output they are having; making videos, finding music, writing, making new cabaret works in their spare time. It is important to remember that is because they can do that, they have the time. It is a yearning of more freedom with time.

A challenge to keep developing. Drawing on interests and giving them caring support so that I can keep growing as an artist.

Which one of them do you like, which one not?

I do not like the challenge of time, I haven’t managed to surpass it. I need to try to move beyond it, and be grateful for the time I do have and the increase in time to work I have now with Solomon going to school Monday – Friday!

The challenge to keep developing I like, essentially it is self-centred, but can bring so much wholeness and generosity into the world.

Money I do not like! But things are improving year by year so have to keep positive.

What are your worries concerning the Brexit if you think of your work and private life?

To be honest, I do not know what the impact will be on my life. It seems to be still so chaotic, the response to the referendum result, I’m not sure how to feel. I have considered getting a British passport so that I could work and live in Europe, and I would be dismayed if this was no longer a possibility for the future. For work, we have never received EU funds so not sure yet how that could impact.

Roseanna was born in Australia and moved to Germany for dance studies with the age of 15. Since 2007 she studied, lives and works in England and is married to an english husband with whom she collaborates within their co-founded dance theatre.

Thank you for giving an inside view of yours and the time you took to share it!


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