Written by Julia Head, an associate artist at Fen.
In 2015 I was part of the Bristol Old Vic’s ‘Made in Bristol’ scheme. The programme was great, it lets you learn about, and experiment with your practice in a working theatre surrounded by professional theatre makers. Last year I was involved in a Young Company production at the Bristol Old Vic on which Maisie was the Movement Director. I remember being fascinated by her facilitation in generating grotesque movement sequences, unlike I’d seen movement done before. It wasn’t dance. It was visceral and ugly and bold and I loved it.
It is important that I stress now, I am not a dancer. I did ballet when I was four but quit because the teacher wouldn’t let me wear shorts. I do not know the ‘correct’ way to move your body or how to look beautiful with pointed toes but I do know how to move. As children we are very comfortable exploring how our bodies move and as we get older and chairs become more comfortable we lose that confidence in our ability to try.
I was asked to join Fen for an initial R&D period in March for WULF. We had a week of devising over at Desperate Men in Easton (lovely studio spaces!). During the week a quiet bearded man sat in the corner of our rehearsal space with headphones on, staring at a tiny piano attached to a laptop. This was Rowan. At the end of every day he would play us the music he had been creating. Beautiful resonant ambient bass that was made from field recording’s from the Somerset Levels.