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Meet the Joie de Vivre Film Competition Judges – Diane Amans

Photo by Simon Richardson


1)What do you think is interesting in film as a medium for capturing work featuring mature dancers?

I love the way film offers inclusive performance opportunities. It removes the stress of live performance and captures subtle small movements. With sensitive editing everyone has the chance to contribute to high quality work

2) Do you still dance yourself? What are you interested in exploring creatively in your own body or other mature bodies?

Yes, I still dance. I enjoy devising dances and performing with my new group – Laughing Knees Dance Company. We recently danced at a May Festival and, as well as a few traditional dances,we did a Maypole Toreador improvisation. Great fun!

I’m interested in exploring creative ways of translating choreography so that seated dancers are included. Sometimes we’ve found some exciting new movement vocabulary when one or two dancers have to stay seated because of joint replacements or other conditions. I also have quiet little dances with my partner who has problems with balance and can only stand for a few moments at a time.

3) What continues to inspire you about dance and its potential as an artform?

Dance continues to surprise and delight. I love watching children dancing unselfconsciously in the park or the playground or the garden at my local pub.

As an artform dance has the potential to engage the whole person – not just muscles and bones. This is really noticeable when I see people almost glowing from the inside as they express themselves in dance. Often, in care homes, there are ‘magic moments’ when someone, who rarely engages with people or activities, begins to move and create their own individual dance. It might be something very small – but it is often a moving and very special moment for those of us who witness it.

Interview with Diane Amans

The interview with Diane Amans below was shot in November 2015 in the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice, during the XII Des Annual Conference “Creative Archipelagos. Ideas and practices”.

DES (dance, education, society), founded in 2001, is an Italian National Dance Association. Since its foundation, DES has been engaged with projects and conferences to promote dialogues and sharings of both ideas and practices, wishing to create and develop unity and consistency of thoughts in a sort of ideal archipelago where the different creative islands of DES members and external operators can meet and grow. 


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