Newhaven Fort

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In September 18, PICKETT IMPROV were commissioned to perform at the one day experimental music and arts festival, Fort Process at Newhaven Fort.

It was a very rainy day and the performance, which was programmed outside, was performed in an intimate theatre space in the grounds. The sound filled and echoed around the room as the dancers used different aspect of the space. The audience was sat in traverse along the sides of the room.

Here is some of the performance caught on film: Performance at Newhaven Fort. Filmed by Agata Urbaniak

Afterwards, audience members fed back that it did not look improvised and the performers knew exactly what we happening.

“It was Beautiful, Clever and Inspiring” Audience Member, Sept 18

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Score10: Music and Dance workshop

On Sunday 15th April, Iain and Hannah delivered a Music and dance workshop at the Brighton Natural Health Centre.

This workshop allowed participants to explore movement or sound individually and as a group. Musicians and dancers collaborated together to create live improvisations and explore how they can instantly react and respond to each other. These experiments and explorations built to a performance score at the end of the workshop.

“Really valued having the space to be playful in a safe and supported space” Ellen, April workshop participant

” I had a fantastic time explore the interplay of sounds, movement and space.” Romy, April workshop participant

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As part of Score10 research, Hannah and Iain are delivering music and movement improvisation workshops to different institutions, community groups and higher education establishments across the South East. If you are interested please email: Hello@hannahpickettdance.com

“Fascinating, Absorbing, Thought-provoking”

Reactions from our performance at the Double Bill: Bite Dance / PICKETT IMPROV

On 27 Jan, PICKETT IMPROV performed Score10 at The Old Market Theatre. Here are a few images and some feedback that we received from the performance. Photos by Sophie Newton.

“Score10 sets in motion a circular frequency that passes from Paxon’s percussion through the dancers and back, throwing up images and phrases that thrive on the very absence of narrative association to allow, when all goes well, for something organic to emerge between sound and movement.” – Nicholas Minns, Writing about Dance, Jan 18

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“It’s a fascinating process to watch a five-way conversation made up of physical and spatial interventions and observations, nobody quite knows what the other is about to say nor how she is going to react” – Nicholas Minns, Writing about Dance, Jan 18

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“Slick, Inspiring and Abstract” – Audience Member, Jan 18

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“As an audience we enter this circulation of actions not so much by trying to figure out how much of the piece is improvised and how much is rehearsed, but rather by sharing the interactive flow of movement and sound.” – Nicholas Minns, Writing about Dance, Jan 18

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“I loved watching the musician to see what he was going to do next…it was incredible to see how he was making all those sounds” – Audience Member, Jan 18

About Score10

What to expect:

Score10 unites percussive and electric sound with contemporary dance in a collaborative live improvisational performance. In this exciting work, four professional dancers and their live musician challenge and support each other to react and interact to create an immediate composition with sound and movement.

The performers have a score of 10 rules and guidelines which they follow to compose, track the performance and relate to each other. These rules were devised through movement explorations, on going research into improvised performance and rehearsals.

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In 2015, Hannah studied with improvisers Katie Duck, Nancy Stark Smith and Julyan Hamilton. These artists inspired her to research and direct live movement and music performance research by working with a group of dancers and a musician. A lot of the starting points for Score10 were inspired by Hannah’s work with these artists.

PICKETT IMPROV have been developing their ideas since 2016. They have previously shared their work at the Brighton Dance Network’s Scratch Night. BNHC and The Studio. The Old Market performance is the culmination of this ideas.

Artist, Julia Cunningham, has illustrated Score10’s movement scores into charcoal. The dancers use these concepts as starting points for their performance.

 

 

Score10’s premier is on Saturday 27th at The Old Market.

SCORE10 TRAILER

We are delighted to share the Score10 trailer!
Filmed by: Alice Underwood Films​
Directed by: Hannah Pickett​

Score10 is an exciting live improvisational dance performance performed by Pickett Improv​. PICKETT IMPROV are performing at The Old Market​ on Saturday 27th January with Bite Dance​ in a Double Bill: Bite Dance/PICKETT IMPROV.

Performers: Iain Paxon​, Belinda Papavasiliou​, Rosa Firbank​, Jessica Miller​ and Hayley Ovens​.

Click here to watch!

Thank you to everyone who backed us over the last few weeks to fund this film.

Q&A: Bite Dance/ PICKETT IMPROV

 

An interview with Hannah Pickett, Director at Pickett Improv, & Alice White, Co-owner at Bite Dance.

How did this collaboration come together?

Hannah: I first encountered Bite Dance when I was Producer and Artistic Director for the Brighton Dance Network Dance Trail 2016, as part of Brighton Fringe. Bite Dance presented their piece Still Laughing as part of the trail and I instantly fell in love with their work, admiring them both as artists and individuals.

I later began developing my individual artistic, improvisation-based practice with a group of dancers and a musician. My practice focused on exploring the direct relationship between music and dance. During this experimentation, I analysed the shifts and decisions that occurred within live performance. This continued practice resulted in the start of the Score10 project and was shared in informal and pop up events in Brighton. As Score10 evolved, the next step for the work was to present it in a theatre space.

When finding a double bill partner, Bite Dance was the obvious choice. Their funny dance theatre work contrasts our experimental, improvised performance. I really enjoyed working with them in 2016 and am pleased to share this evening with them at this early stage in our careers.

Why should people watch the show?

 Alice: People should come and watch the show to be able to experience the broad spectrum of dance as an art form. In terms of our piece, Crying with Laughter is something that everyone can enjoy – it’s fun and a welcome break from all the terrible things happening in our world today.

What can audiences expect?

 Hannah: Two professional dance works contrasting in nature. They can expect humour, experimentation, entertainment and innovation -a diverse evening of contemporary dance.

One word that would summarise each piece?

Alice: Absurdity and invention.

Hannah: Laughter and exploration.

What do you hope to achieve with the work presented?

Alice: I hope Crying with Laughter allows people to enjoy dance from a light-hearted perspective and that audiences can be absorbed by something they’ve not seen before. Crying with Laughter is something very distinctive and clearly portrays our aesthetic as a duet. We reference some of the great comedians, such as Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy, and it’s been interesting to appreciate these comedians as choreographers. I hope we can successfully pay homage to this style of physical comedy. Dance can maintain artistic integrity, it can provoke thought and be well researched, but it can still entertain us.

Hannah: I hope Score10 serves as a pilot performance that enables audience members to gain insight into Pickett Improv as a practice. I hope this exposure assists in the launch of our future community workshops and provides further performance opportunities.

WHERE: The Old Market Theatre, 11A Upper Market St, Brighton, BN3 1AS, UK.

 WHEN: Saturday 27th January 2018

 Tickets available on The Old Market Theatre website.

BITE DANCE:
Facebook @bitedancecompany
Twitter @_bitedance
Instagram @bitedance
bitedanceco.wixsite.com/bitedance
PICKETT IMPROV:
Facebook @PickettImprov
Twitter @ HannahPickett_
Instagram @hannahpickettdance
hannahpickettdance.com

Being 3D and using our eyes.

In our second session we explored being 3 dimension objects in solo improvisation and the use of our eyes to generate movement. This resulted in a final rehearsal that combined both ideas to challenge the dancers to become 3D bodies and engaging their environment through their focus.

Understanding the concept of being a 3D object in space is key in improvisation. Because the audience sees a dancer from in all angles, the performer must focus on what their body is doing in a space rather than focus on the image that they are making. To do this the dancer must be aware of being in a space, the position of others in space and how they come across to the audience.

Using an adaptation from Deborah Hay’s work, I layered ideas through the exercise and challenged the dancers to make their movement more interesting by asking, ‘what if you could be seen from all angles?’ Afterwards, the dancers reflected that the activity helped them to increase their spatial awareness and break their movement and fall-back habits. I will use their feedback to identify how I can explore this concept in greater detail.

We also tried to use a mirror for feedback however the dancers found this hard as the 2d image of the mirror reflection caused them to lose their 3Dness and their connection with the room.

Inspired by Katie Duck’s teaching, we moved on to the use of the eyes to generate movement. The use of the eyes is important as “Focus creates interest.” Sometimes in performing improvisation dancers forget about their focus and default to ‘glaze over’ which makes it more difficult for the audience to engage. Our activity challenged the dancers to focus externally whilst keeping an internal 3D body. Initially the dancers reflected that when they focused at a long distance, they lost their immediate awareness in space. However, after exploring the different ways of using focus and the eyes, the dancers enjoyed being allowed to choose which eyes they were going to use.

The session left me with the question and the challenge; how can we both use our focus and be actively aware of ourselves within space at the same time?

Score10 – Music and Dance Improv Workshop

This Music and Dance Improvisation workshop, with will experiment and play with group improvisations, the relationship between movement and sound and creating short performance.

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We invite all movers and music makers to collaborate together to create live improvisations and explore how they can instantly react and respond to each other.

All dancers, non-dancers, musicians and non-musicians welcome!

Dates: Sunday 5 November
Time: 2-5pm
Cost: £20/£18 conc.

Workshop facilitated by Pickett ImprovHannah Pickett (dance) and Iain Paxon (music)

BOOK YOUR PLACE


For more information on their work please visit:
http://hannahpickettdance.com/improvisation/

Meet the Team

PICKETT IMPROV is formed of a collection of dancers and a musician.

The group started improvising together in 2016 and have performed pop up and informal events in Brighton.

Directed by: Hannah Pickett.

Performed by: Jessica Miller, Rosa Firbank, Iain Paxon, Hayley Ovens, Belinda Papavasileiou

Jessica Miller:

Jessica Miller is an independent dance artists and founder and member of Swallowsfeet. Jessica started working with improvisation whilst training at LABAN. It has stayed an important part of her practice and performance work including BeaT spACe bEAt by Sivan Rubinstein which has been performed at The LABAN Theatre, Transcend Festival and Embrace Arts. She has been a part of Score 10 (Pickett Improv) since October 2016.

Jessica says “what I love most about performing improvisation is the element of surprise and unpredictability that the audiences energy can create”

Rosa Firbank:

Rosa is an independent dance artist from Brighton and member of the Swallowsfeet Collective (swallowsfeet.com). As an independent performer she has worked with Sivan Rubinstein (SAMBA AND TEARS) Charles Linehan, Lizzi Kew Ross, Tick Tock Bridget and visual artist Barbara Loftus. Improvisation is always key in her creative process and development as a performer; especially the physical and cognitive challenge of each spontaneous decision.

Iain Paxon

Iain Paxon has been exploring acoustic and electronic music making for over 20 years, ranging from experimental pop, musical stories to free improvisation. The interplay between sounds and images has been a focus in recent years, experimenting with music as an accompaniment to video, slide shows and live dance. For Score 10, Iain explores the textures of close mic’ed objects, their miniature worlds amplified.

Hayley Ovens

Hayley is a freelance dance artist, specialising in contemporary and community dance. She graduated with a first class honours degree in Dance Studies from the University of Roehampton and went on to complete an MA in Performance at University of Chichester. She has toured as a performer with Mapdance, CoDa and Ceyda Tanc Dance. Hayley has experience facilitating dance for all ages and abilities, leading creative projects in a range of community, health and educational settings. She is the co-founder of dance education company CTeD.

Belinda Papavasileiou

Belinda Papavasileiou is a Cypriot dance artist who lives in the UK since 2012 where she started her contemporary dance training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Currently she is researching and engaging in social and community dance practices, multidisciplinary and participatory work as part of her MA in Inclusive Arts Practice at the University of Brighton. Belinda’s practice unfolds through an environmental reciprocity and draws on her knowledge on dance techniques, improvisation, contact improvisation and somatic practices as well as her collaborations and exposure to diverse artistic processes.

Belinda is particularly keen on finding ways to engage and collaborate with various groups, sharing her love for movement either as a teacher, performer or artist.

Hannah Pickett

Hannah is a dance artist, improviser and teacher based in Brighton. She has taught and performed improvisation performance and contact improvisation nationally and internationally in different festivals and platforms including Brighton Dance Network’s performances, Barcelona International Dance Exchange (BIDE), Freakatoni Witchy Improvisational Weekend, Amsterdam and at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of music and dance. She has trained with improvisers such as Nancy Stark Smith, Ray Chung, Lalitaraja, Katie Duck, Kirstie Simson and Julyan Hamilton. Her choreographic work and improvisational performances have been performed in London, Brighton, Spain and Amsterdam.

www.hannahpickettdance.com

In 2016, Hannah invited a group of Brighton based dancers to explore improvisation in conjunction with a live musician. The research encourages all performers to react to each other’s performance decisions to create instant actions and relationships. The work formed the start of the Score10 project and the launch of PICKETT IMPROV.

 

Past performers: Sara Johnson, George Miles and Eloise Fouquet

Support from: Brighton Natural Health Centre, Pet Lee, The Old Market, Brighton Dance Network