Visiting Artist Takeover – Luke Birch and Effie McGuire Ward

Performance information
23rd — 26th July 2024

About the Artists

Luke and Effie are exploring the sensation and meaning of touch. They will be running a daily class for advanced dancers, a workshop for older people or simply come to the studio at the end of the week to see how their stage work is being developed.

Pro Class with Luke Birch & Effie McGuire Ward

Every day Tuesday 23 July – Friday 26 July, 10 – 11.30am followed by chatting!

Donation only, drop-in class

Luke and Effie will each lead on different days.  Participating dancers should expect about an hour of moving which will include improvisation, taught phrases and some sharing of choreographic ideas. This will be followed by about 30mins of creative conversation – which may feed into Luke and Effie’s research of Anthology of Touches, and will also be an opportunity to network, catch up, check in and connect.

Luke teaches a dynamic release-based class which is informed by improvisation and somatic practices. The class will explore body patterns focused around energising the core of the body, and connecting to the ground with our weight. Usually beginning with improvisation/experiential anatomy, we will then explore set exercises and sequences to develop our bodily organisation and connectivity. As well as technical challenges, a sense of dynamic versatility, a playful questioning and finding both clarity and spontaneity are encouraged.

Effie is offering space to enter class with a mindset of being unimpressive yet curious, across a landscape of improvised mobilisations and structured sequences. Giving time to check in with simplicity, and build up the technical challenge – taking the spine through curves, tilts and spirals, and playing with sensations which will likely include opposition, rebound, shift and suspension. Aiming to cultivate an atmosphere of support and possibility to energise one another as collaborators in the room.  

These drop-in, open classes are aimed at advanced and professional level dancers.  No class fee but donations welcome.

Elder’s Workshop with Luke Birch & Effie McGuire Ward

Tuesday 23 July, 1:30 – 3:00pm

Free, but booking essential

Luke and Effie are inviting you to a movement workshop and discussion as part of their research for Anthology of Touches. The movement will explore possibilities for touching your own body, touching the space around you, and exchanging touch with other dancers in the space. This will segue into a creative discussion: reflecting on the touch experienced in the session, and any memories of touch (recent or distant) that pop up for you. We would love for you to return to witness their performance sharing of Anthology of Touches on Friday, 3.30pm.

This workshop is aimed at visually impaired and older people. You do not have to be dance trained to attend, just enjoy moving. Please email or call our box office on 01202 203630 to reserve your place.

If you have access requirements please contact our friendly venue team via or call our box office.

The taxi drop off point is outside the main Pavilion Theatre after which there are steps or lift access. Please call if you need someone to meet you. Our building is guide dog friendly.

Open Studio Sharing for ‘Anthology of Touches’ with Luke Birch & Effie McGuire Ward

Friday 26 July, 3:30 – 4:15pm

Free, drop-in event

Come and see what Effie and Luke have made using material from their research, including the workshop earlier in the week!

Anthology of Touches is a dance duet exploring memories and lived experience of touching and being touched. Featuring shared stories documenting moments of touch through movement, spoken word and recorded conversations. The sharing will be roughly 20mins.

If you would like to stay for some informal discussion after, we would be interested to hear how the work is received from both those who have attended a movement session and/ or creative conversation with us earlier in the week, and those who are coming to the world of the work fresh with no previous contact with us.  Drop-in and stay for as long or as little time as you like.

See more about our Visiting Artists programme.

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