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Wed 27 September 2017, 17:00 – 19:00 BST
The vertical axis of mountain environments has inspired artists, writers and dancers to create new and rich vocabularies of expression.
In what ways do mountain environments inspire compositional strategies? How can the technical and phenomenological experience of climbing be useful to creative practice and composition? How do the natural processes of rock formation and erosion of mountainous landscapes function as a means to consider compositional practice (in relation to time, space, materials of creative process/work)? What do line, layer, tension, feeling mean in the space between climbing and art practice? What does the practice of naming or authoring tell us about the artistry of climbing and about climbing inspired art? To what extent does the vertical offer alternative perspectives on dance and physical performance?
Kate trained in dance at Thamesdown and Laban (1984 – 1989) and ran feminist dance company Nomads in the 1990s. She is currently a part-time lecturer in performance at Bangor University and was previously she dance lecturer at University of Surrey where she pioneered a vertical dance undergraduate module (2003 – 2010), fusing her dance background with her long-standing passion for rock climbing. She writes about site-specific performance and in 2010 published the first scholarly article on vertical dance: ‘Hanging from knowledge: ‘fieldwork’ on the National Library of Wales’ in Performance Research, ‘Fieldworks’: On Performance, Landscape and Environment. She is currently working on a new book entitled ‘Site-specific dance: moving people’
University staff page: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/creative_industries/kate_lawrence.php.en
Nathan Walker is a performance artist and poet from Workington in West Cumbria. His work explores and constructs relationships between performance and writing. His book ‘Condensations’ was published in 2017 by Uniformbooks. ‘Condensations’ ranges language and is a collection of slow-collage-word-terrains following a residency at the Armitt Museum & Library in Ambleside, Cumbria.
Nathan has presented language-centred performances at festivals and events including: Spill Festival of Performance, the National Review of Live Art, Experimentica Festival, Grace Exhibition Space NYC and Baltic 39.
Based in York, he is co-founder of performance art organisation Oui Performance with Victoria Gray, and teaches performance at York St John University.
What shared languages are there between climbing and performing and what gets in the way of a good conversation? How are terms such as, risk, composition, line, narrative, movement and training understood in the two domains? How far is it true to say that climbing is a form of performance and can learn from the languages of theatre and performance studies? And what are the key ideas in hiking and climbing that resonate with the live art of performance?
As part of the AHRC funded fellowship: Performing Landscapes:Mountains, we are delighted to announce a series of public conversations between prominent mountaineers, climbers and hikers and academics of theatre, performance and cultural studies. Each event will be introduced by a concise ‘micro-lecture’ on the theme, followed by contributions from each speaker. The majority of the time will be given over to animated conversation, robust debate and productive interjections from the floor.
[Main Image Ray Wood - Kate Lawrence]
* With thanks to Dr Claire Hind for inspiration