A ResCen double DVD exploring the interconnected themes and processes behind the making of Common Dance
Includes full length recording of the performance, rehearsal footage and interviews
Common Dance was a large-scale work created as part of Dance Umbrella 2009 specifically for Greenwich Dance's historic Borough Hall by Rosemary Lee, with a commissioned score by Terry Mann. Using the space as a symbolic 'common ground', Rosemary brought together a cast of four professional, four apprentices and over 40 non-professional dancers aged 8 – 83, with a choir of 50 young people from Finchley Children's Music Group.
We sensed their uniqueness and multiplicity, as well as their common humanity. It was revelatory – like being shown both a wood and its trees…
Sanjoy Roy, The Guardian****
On Taking Care attempts to prize open the making of this acclaimed work, revealing the underlying concerns that permeate not only Common Dance but also Lee's broader body of work. It offers a rare opportunity to see her at work with her cast in their first rehearsal along with insightful conversations with a selection of four artists and academics around the themes of, Attentiveness, Abiding, Touch, Community, Sources, Imagery, Practice and Engagement. Illustrated with video footage of rehearsals during the creation process, hitherto unseen clips from the performance, and material from Lee's notebooks and her earlier works, each interview uncovers different layers and themes and highlights fascinating interconnections between them.
As well as providing a unique document of the creative process of a leading artist, the DVD is an excellent tool for teaching and research. By combining original rehearsal footage with navigable links to reflections by Lee, as well as archive materials and further footage, the DVD reveals the pathways, breakthroughs and serendipities by which ideas and experiments lead to performance. By allowing the viewer to move from performance, to rehearsal, to description and analysis, it offers a timely example to students and researchers alike, of how the interconnecting layers and themes which underpin production can be teased out to form a dialogue with wider ideas and practices.
Dr Martin Welton, Queen Mary, University of London
… a really insightful and accessible resource… a series of illuminating conversations that chart Rosemary Lee's history and signature practice as choreographer, pedagogue and community artist. The DVDs bear witness to a succession of dance events that reveal the social and cultural value of dance and the many ways in which dance can have a profound impact on people's lives.
Sarah Whatley BA PhD Professor of Dance and Director:C-DaRE, Coventry