Photo by Camilla Greenwell
Lee Griffiths is a producer within the arts industry. She first visited the Jerwood DanceHouse earlier this year with Botis Seva and Far From the Norm for their performance of BLKDOG. At the beginning of lockdown, we asked Lee what her job entails, what she’s passionate about, and what’s keeping her busy in lockdown.
My name is Lee Griffiths and I am a producer mainly working in Hip Hop dance theatre.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I really enjoy being able to have blue sky thinking conversations with artists at the very beginning of a seed of an idea and then nurturing that idea to the “finished” version. The transformation is one of the most rewarding parts of what I do.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
As an independent producer, I am not attached to just one organisation or company and that means I have to be really strict with my time. It’s quite tricky to change gears with different artists and different projects simultaneously.
What is something you are passionate about?
I am passionate about building a tribe, a community of creatives that share the same values as me and ultimately, bringing hip hop to the forefront of the wider arts sector.
How are you managing to stay creative during the current situation?
I am lucky I have a 3-year-old son who needs constant stimulation, whether that’s painting or role play, gardening or cooking – every day is different, and I have to be creative with what I have to keep him occupied.
What’s playing on your playlist at the moment?
Basically, lots of female empowerment tracks!
The company performed at the Jerwood DanceHouse earlier in our spring season – how was your experience of Ipswich?
The team at DanceHouse were so fantastic to work with, Botis had presented MADHEAD last year with the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), but it was the first time Far From The Norm had visited. We were able to connect with local professionals and audiences through our Normad programme working with Rikkai Scott (BDBlaq), we were shocked with how many people stayed for the post show discussion – it just shows the power of conversation. Until soon, we hope!
What advice would you give to young people who might aspire to be producers?
I think of the producers’ role as the bridge between the artist and the outside world, whether that’s audiences, partners, venues etc. It is a vital role, and to do it well, you need to understand the creatives you are collaborating with, take your time to understand them both artistically but also as a person outside of the studio.
What’s your ultimate lockdown activity?
Pretending to be the ‘Big Bad Mouse’ from the Gruffalo (obviously for my son, not my own sanity!)