I was not able to define what this is. I have come to the conclusion that it is:
An Installation of People, A Gathering, A Show, A Happening and somehow A Listening.
The admin on this is vast, 40 odd performers – experts and non experts, all giving their time and attention to think about how we are together. At times it feels like we’re simply practicing being with people.
We’re trying to address some needs: the need to move, the need to have face to face encounters, the need to consider everyone’s needs.
I wanted to create an action and gathering people seemed essential. It’s taken on a life of its own. What’s the process? We’re working on our trust of each other, our curiosity in the unknown and trying our very best to hang in there.
The interaction is live: simple instructions, games that play out, people adapt and make room. They save, lead, follow, get out-of-the-way, care, grow an energy, grow an awareness. Shared awareness could be spatial, a joke or knowledge of what each human carries with them. Alongside this there has been a larger conversation about community, participation, inclusivity and what it is to thrive as an individual and as a collective. Running through all of this is the idea of Belonging.
I notice there is a lot of falling in this or is it failing? Failing, falling and saving. Adjusting, helping, adapting and reorganising, it’s beautiful and compelling. If we let it, the body will make excellent choices, that is as long as we, us, ourselves don’t get in the way of our instinctive and inherent excellence. The other day a colleague said ‘Jo I think this is a 10 year project’. He’s not wrong. The show will happen – it will never happen in the same configuration again. I’m excited by this. I am constantly moved by people’s playfulness, generosity and sheer presence. I watch and there is so much care in the room, vibrancy – JOY. I am touched. As I was leading the warm up, I lifted my arms to guide everyone into a child pose and I said, “I’m so moved… I can barely function!”.
- Ways of Being Together
- Cardiff Dance Festival
- 19 November 2017
By Jo Fong
This is a choreography for many people
It’s not a dance
It’s a movement
The act of bringing people together
The art of bringing people together
Choreographer and project director: Jo Fong
Creative team: Rosalind Haf Brooks, Beth Powlesland, Lara Ward, Richard Bowers, Gareth Clark, Michael Cobb and Heloise Godfrey-Talbot
About Jo Fong
Jo Fong is a director, choreographer and performer working in dance, film, opera, theatre and the visual arts. She has been living and working in Cardiff since 2006.
Jo has toured her work throughout the UK and to international festivals. Her celebrated An Invitation… was selected for both the British Council Edinburgh Showcase and British Dance Edition. Jo recently created projects for Hull’s Year of Culture and the 2017 Xintiandi Festival in Shanghai.
Jo is a Peilot Associate Artist with Chapter, Research Associate with South East Dance and a regular performer with Quarantine Theatre.
029 2030 4400
Half-price tickets if you are under 26
Suitable for audiences of all ages, but please note the event starts at 6pm and might not finish until 9pm, possibly a little later.
There are only a limited number of tickets available for this event. We advise booking early.
Image Jamie Morgans