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The Essence Programme

for 2023 and 2024


Background and Motivation

ESSENCE is a pilot programme for dancers and art makers interested in exploring environmental, interactive and immersive performance. I have been a dancer all my life though I never knew it. I entered the professional dance world in 1974 through a series of happy accidents and since then have been searching to reclaim the  essence of the dancer in me.


This search has led me on many paths; professional performance, various dance techniques, choreography, teaching, body mind connections, Somatics, body mind centering, trauma work, psychological processes, the discipline of authentic movement, the nature of creativity, deep listening and most recently the extraordinary freshness of the present moment when Essence, stripped temporarily away from all history and conditioning, can express itself purely, directly and simply as it is right now.

To do this in the presence of another, be it audience and/or colleagues is an act of co-creation. All parties present collaborate, engage and co-create to invite a receptive field of energy that can allow this to happen. There is an invitation to all aspects present - the environment especially that of being out in nature, all the natural contents of the environment, the audience and the other dancers - all are equally important. The full richness of the exchange cannot take place without any single component. Because of life’s natural flow of impermanence, the offering or event or sharing is unique each time.

As I reach the end of my dancing life, I have a strong desire to share the journey with any dancers and/or indeed any art maker who feels drawn to explore this approach. Musicians, singers and visual artists would also be welcome.


Running alongside the programme for dancers will be a programme which will allow early career dancers interested in this approach to be present, witness, engage with and explore the process.  Our bodies are the ground. Each participant will learn to deeply engage with their individual enquiry.

Essence Programme Content

The methods used will be guided somatizations, hands on work in partners which develops sensitivity and attunement, working outdoors with installations and earth, processing your experiences, learning about self-care and nourishment. Body Mind Centering® principles and explorations of the various systems of muscle, bone, fluids, organs, nerves and how they are reflected in our environment. Some anatomy and physiology. Psychological processes in each system.  Some of the ideas we will explore are:

Modules One and Two: April 15 to 28, 2024

Getting to know your environment, inside and outside

  •   Setting the space and clarifying intentions.

  •   Getting to know each other and an inquiry into relationships.

  •  Learning to be with Nature; hanging out with outdoors

  •  Co creating with the land; creating an environment from which to offer interactive
    and immersive performances.

  • Nourishment. What is quality nourishment? What foods does your body functionbest on? Some kitchen basics.

  • As a dancer, what is nourishment for you? What is embodiment for you?

Modules Three and Four: June 24 to  July 7, 2024

Time, Timing and Timelessness


  • Human time - Natures time - Present time

  • Rhythm and sound - Voice - Awareness and Attention, space, body, density, fluid, flow, following, engagement and evolution of movement. Whole body support -

  • Audience/performance

  • Co Creation

  • The observer - The observed 

  • Deepening into interdependency

  • Impact physically, emotionally, cognitively, making and moving -

  • Performance and Audience interaction

Modules Five and Six: August 12 to 25, 2024

Performer and Audience


  • Performer interacting with audience and installation/environment -

  • Audience interacting with performer/installation/environment

  • Seer and seen, witness,

  • Quantum, the Field, intention, presence, roles and identity

  • Invitation  - Performance in inviting the world in.

  • What have we learnt?

  • What else is needed?

  •  What else needs developing?

  • What needs more attention?

  • What needs more time? 

  • Audience with performers’ dialogue and inquiry alongside final performance offerings in the Gorse Hill Gardens

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