This evenings rehearsal was excellent for a whole bunch of reasons. The most obvious was that it was the group’s first time in Tramway as a collective, and we got a chance to see the space we would be performing in. Not only that, but some of the houses were being set up,meaning that we could begin to get a feel for the landscape.
After finding our dressing room (I’m in a large spacious one with a sofa – luxury!) and meeting the tramway staff we started working through movement pieces in our costumes. It was wonderful to dance with a full group for the first time, especially with all the colours of the costumes coming together to create a very striking image.
During the rehearsal I got a chance to talk to some of the dancers who had offered to help me with my dissertation. I have been bowled over with people’s generosity, as I have had lots of people email me to meet up. It’s reminded me how common invisible disabilities are, something I didn’t realise when I began my research.
I had a very interesting discussion about the placing of invisably-disabled performance. It isn’t ‘mainstream’ classical or contemporary dance, but it doesn’t fit into what is seen as ‘disability dance’ either. There is a gap here where non able-bodied, non visibly disabled dancers fit into neither group. The more I investigate for my dissertation the more I see potential to use my research as a springboard for practice research and performance work. I would love to create work with an ensemble of invisably disabled performers.
I have arrived home hungry for more movement, more dance, more conversations. Glory has provided a safe space and community for me to rediscover my connection to dance on a personal and professional level, and taking this journey into the final few weeks is daunting but exciting. Ultimately I know the questions I am asking now will be with me long after Glory is over, but it is such a rich space to explore the I am nervous of letting it go!
For now I am determined to enjoy each moment and be present for the process. By savouring the rest of the process I hope to learn as much from the experience as possible.