Co-creation & Democracy

Danielle Teale

To devise dance, your most important resource is the dancers in front of you

This is a shared perspective that myself and fellow dance artist and collaborator Sarah Lewis feel is at the heart of our making process. It is also at the centre of our exploration as CARVE coLAB. The four of us have worked with dancers and singers with Parkinson’s for a combined total of over 20 years and in that time, we have been responsive to the changing priorities in our dancers lives.

Overwhelmingly, the journey we are now on to create work, has come about democratically and through equal co-creation, in part due to the desire from our community to perform, and additionally through our desire as artists to challenge norms and expectations.

This is something that we can do together. Parkinson’s can make people isolated but this will help us show the world what we’re about

– CARVE cast member

Listening to the community of people with Parkinson’s that we have the pleasure of working with, we hear their genuine desire to show the world what they have learned, their joy of expression, and what they are capable of as artistic individuals. Regular classes are a fantastic way to shake off the burden of Parkinson’s, but performance takes this to the next level, gives them a sense of ownership, or purpose and of achievement; something they can share as a tangible demonstration of their artistry with friends, family and the world.

I will come away from today feeling a huge confidence in this group of people, and with ultimate trust in you as a team

– CARVE cast member

This week we were able to test some of our concepts and ideas together in dance and music devising workshops. The dance tasks we facilitated were embraced with a sense of joy and abandon that a choreographer can only dream of. This was a group of artists ready to contribute! Just as valuable was our shared dialogue about what worked, what we could do more of, what didn’t work, what considerations must be made and why.

This was a meeting of minds and an exciting moment of connection as a company, something we are so delighted that our community trusted us enough to participate in.