EncoreEast is proud of its strong relationship with DanceEast. The pandemic initiated changes in our relationship and in 2020 we stepped out from under their wing to become an independent dance company. This third edition of HOST has remained a true collaboration, co-produced by DanceEast and EncoreEast.
‘Dance & Age’ is a hot topic and from the outset, we framed HOST 2022 around our experience of dancing though the pandemic. The pandemic created many problems but forcing dance out of the studio and into the world wasn’t one of them. We have danced in towns, parks, forts, fields and beaches, giving us the opportunity to keep connected, keep creating and keep dancing. Being seen so publicly changed how we saw ourselves; we became our first audience, and we danced for the love of it.
Site-specific dance lends itself perfectly to camera, so we quickly became proficient in using our phone cameras, capturing ephemeral moments of freedom to share and enjoy when new lockdowns kept us apart. And when dancing outside was impossible there was Zoom, a medium that granted us the privilege of working with amazing dance artists all over the world.
These are the experiences that have shaped this years’ HOST.
We are thrilled that our friend and Protein’s Artistic Director, Luca Silvestrini, will lead workshops on creating and performing dance outside the conventional theatre frame. Our relationship with Protein began pre-pandemic and it was a joy to complete Me, My Body and I over Zoom in the first lockdown. Michael Joseph’s exciting workshop with phone cameras and ring lights will help us hone our phone-filming skills. Divya Ravi adds to our journey of experimenting with new dance skills and genres. Zoom has opened the professional dance class to all of us and Hofesh Shechter’s Political Mother: Unplugged workshop at HOST is a great way to get a real sense of how a company works and creates.
The pandemic created restrictions but older dancers across the globe showed resilience and created dance everywhere. Let’s Create became the theme of HOST and we are thrilled by the huge response to our film call-out. We will be sharing over twenty films from as far away as Chile, Singapore and Australia. The latter’s award-winning films have the honour of having HOST’s oldest dancers at 107 and 101 years old. Our home-grown talent showcases the full spectrum of older dancers’ talent, from those who have just discovered dance, to experienced amateurs and former professionals. We are immensely proud of the programme we have curated.
We are honoured to screen the UK premier of Israeli choreographer Galit Liss’ GO! For over ten years, Liss has researched the ‘physiological aesthetics’ of older dancers in her ‘Gila’ company, purposely working with non-professional dancers. “GO!” is a manifesto to the older body.
These ideas will feed into our national ‘Conversation on Dance & Age’. Shobana Jeyasingh (CBE) will lead the conversation and encourage a discussion which will continue beyond HOST to Elixir (Sadler’s Wells) and Ageless Festival (Yorkshire Dance).
As we build up towards the event, HOST’s performers and filmmakers are sharing their experience as older dancers. You can read their ‘Spotlight’ blogs here. We think this is a great way to get to know each other before we come together at HOST.
So, Let’s Create, share and enjoy!
Stella Eldon | Member of EncoreEast
On Wednesday 4 May you can join us for a full day of dancing or just for the showcase at 5pm. Click the links below to book your tickets!