In August 2012, twenty dance artists from eleven countries spent ten days at the Findhorn Community Foundation, Scotland, to be coached in the performance of a solo they had each commissioned from renowned choreographer Deborah Hay.
Hay’s innovative Solo Performance Commissioning Project (SPCP) instils a transformative and rigorous daily practice that stimulates and enriches each individual’s approach to performance and choreography. In particular Hay urges artists to be sensitive to the entirety of the space within which they’re moving, to "unfix" themselves from their habitual, forward-facing modes of perception. This process then engenders twenty unique solo adaptations of the work.
Independent Dance commissioned filmmaker Becky Edmunds to document the journey of the group as they learned the solo "Dynamic". The resulting film brilliantly captures the process by which Hay transmits the same solo dance to twenty individuals, and unveils the experiences, insights, and questions that inform the work and artistic practice.
Further detail on how the practice of adaptation came about and how to approach it. (24 min)
Project participants share how they raised the money to attend the workshop and the patrons who supported their participation. This featurette provides an overview of the economics artists are negotiating within different countries contributing to a broader discussion of arts funding in general. (31min)
Karl Jay-Lewin (Bodysurf Scotland) shares his experience of being an SPCP participant in two previous years, talking further about engaging in daily practice and the performance of his adaptation. (9.44 min)
An essay centring on the practice and artistic process within the creation of Deborah’s work and her transmission of that practice to others
This article was first published in Maska - Performing Arts Journal, vol. XXVII, nos. 149-150, 2012, pp. 138-143.
Having attended each SPCP from 2004, 2012 was conspicuous for the absence of Gill Clarke (1954-2011). On arriving at Findhorn, Deborah felt compelled to write a letter to her, sharing her thoughts and observations as she takes participants through the SPCP for the final time.