Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones
Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones currently exists as an enquiry and process of choreographic research, that is centred upon an experiential understanding and knowledge of British Sign Language, Mindfulness and Connectivity. The opening or gateway of creative influence has been supported by the introduction of Ma (間), which can be translated from Japanese to mean a gap/pause/interval.
The artists involved have approached Ma (間) by responding with a series of gestures, postures and settlements of physical contact. Instigated by the proposition of using the entire body as a listening instrument, capable of feeling, touching and seeing the colours, and textures of sound, sound in space and silence.
‘Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones’, will be performed at, The Wellcome Trust, Dance City, Berwick Visual Arts, The Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, Athens, Archaeological Museum of Patras, the Hepworth Wakefield, Durham Cathedral and the Whitworth Gallery.
With thanks to Arts Council England, Dance City, the Latsis Foundation, the Greggs Foundation, Spin Arts and all participating partners.
Photography by Paul Miller, featuring dance artist, Alex Rowland at Dance City 2020.
British Council: Ise City Residency Programme 2019 – 20
Following more than 600 submissions, the British Council invited six UK-based artists all specialising in different art-forms to take part in a unique artistic research residency in Ise City in Japan. Company Director, Nicole Vivien Watson was one of the six artists selected. The residency provided a unique look into the beauty of Japanese culture and its traditions including exclusive access to one of the most prestigious Shinto shrines in Japan, which is not normally open to the public. This residency was part of our UK in Japan 2019-20 programme and is a joint initiative between the British Council and the British Embassy Tokyo. In collaboration with the Department of Industry and Tourism Ise City.
2020 begins with an expression of thanks to The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation agreeing to support Surface Area Dance Theatre’s 2020 programme of engagement in Athens. At a time when borders and gates are becoming ever-more restricted, it is an honour to receive funding from Greece. We are committed to reaching out and making friends across the borderlines. Thank you to the Foundation for acknowledging the intentions of our work and commitment forward.
With thanks to The Greggs Foundation, Local Communities Fund we can purchase the necessary technology and equipment that will enable members of the D/deaf community to access a range of events and opportunities that place dance and creative movement at the heart of engagement. We look forward to launching new activities in 2020, to coincide with a national and international tour of performance repertoire and community outreach activities.
“The Greggs Foundation is based in Newcastle Upon Tyne and is closely associated with Greggs plc. The Greggs Foundation is a grant-making charity which improves the quality of life in local communities, distributing around £3 million per year to charitable organisations throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
“We would like to extend a massive thanks to Director Nicole Vivien Watson and our friend and choreographer Chris Fonseca who continue to utilise and experiment with our technology. Collectives like Surface Area Dance Theatre enable us to connect people from all walks of life with music and sound while also raising important issues and educating about the D/deaf and Hoh communities”.
Link to full blog-postSUBPAC. We are very excited to continue this journey, with the reassurance of knowing that working with SubPack technology is effective in supporting our efforts – to remain a fully accessible and inclusive organisation.
‘What is Translation?’ seeks to explore communication and how the processes of interpretation and translation are negotiated. Within the D/deaf world many communication channels are instrumental in how, for example, British Sign Language is fully understood. The parameters of this understanding rest upon an agreed use of sign language structures and vocabulary, that involves a complex system of signed and expressed physical movements. ‘What is Translation?’ seeks to explore the complexities of language and our necessity to find a shared understanding of the world around us.
Commissioned by Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC with support from Dance City’s Creative Summer programme.
Photography by Paul Miller, Dance City, 2019.
Surface Area Dance Theatre completes a Creative Summer residency at Dance City, to further explore “Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones”, that will premiere at Dance City on the 6 of June 2020. One significant area of research set out to explore the use and range of ‘Subpack’ (as pictured). A wearable technology that translates sound into vibration, that is then felt when in contact with the body.
Company members included in the research and presentation of Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones”, Director Nicole Vivien Watson, Performing Artists; Charlie Dearnley, Christopher Fonseca and Alex Rowland, Visual Arts by Graham Patterson and Composition and Sound by Tom White.
Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones currently exists as an enquiry and process of choreographic research, that is centred upon an experiential understanding and knowledge of British Sign Language, D/deaf culture, Japanese culture and Butoh. Language, sensation, communication and physical expression through movement, are four of the principle interests that will be researched and thought-over throughout studio rehearsals and events taking place in 2019-2020.
In December 2018, the first of four periods of studio research took place in Leeds, (UK) during which, the named collective began the first chapter of their shared journey. The opening or gateway, to the collective’s coming together, was supported by the introduction of the Japanese concept of Ma (間), which can be translated as a gap/pause/interval. Together the collective began to physically interpret the possibilities of Ma, responding with an assertive series of gestures, postures and settlements of physical contact — Instigated by the proposition of using the entire body as a listening instrument, capable of feeling, touching and seeing the colours and textures of sound, sound in space and in silence.
With thanks to support from; Arts Council England, The British Council and The Tokyo Embassy.
Company Director, Nicole Vivien Watson is in residence at Earthfall, France. Nicole is taking the opportunity to visit Earthfall’s studio, dedicating a week of studio research to a study directed by Hiroyuki Ikema’s ‘Folk Dance of Japan’ in cooperation with the National Folk Dance of Japan (1981), published by National Recreation Association of Japan with assistance from the Commemorative Association for the Japan World Exposition.
Senior Collaborator, Chisato Minamimura embarks on a UK tour of “Scored in Silence” taking place in London at Oval House and Edinburgh at The British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2019.
“Scored in Silence”, is Chisato’s solo digital artwork that unpacks the untold events of Deaf Hibakusha – survivors of the A-Bombs that fell in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Here is a short video by Chisato, offering further and detailed information on how “Scored in Silence”, was created. The short video also includes primary, conversational interviews with Deaf Hibakusha. The video alone offers unparalleled access into one of the most critical events in modern, world history, expressed by survivors who continue to recover from the disaster.