Thanks for visiting this site.
I have a passion for using dance and movement to connect. I love to create new projects.
I continue to build my practice in researching effective and enjoyable ways to engage and support participants to explore their own dance, online and live.
When I'm not busy, I update and add stuff to this site.
So if it's out of date, that's a good sign, right?
In partnership with The Byre Theatre
During the last few months, Quee and I spent time on daily walks and an idea began to take hold. Could we create an online exhibition in partnership with The Byre Theatre, made up of our experiences of these walks? What might inspire others to pause, take a photo, sketch or record sounds using their phone, for example? And gradually the concept of creating tasks for anyone to try out on walks around St Andrews evolved.
We invited fellow freelancers, Hazel Terry (Visual Art) and Niamh O'Loughlin (Dance) to contribute their ideas and a short performance video was filmed by Brian Hartley, featuring dancer Jade Adamson, on the Fife Coastal Path.
Quee wrote a new sound score for this, including playing from acclaimed musicians Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach. The Sea Path video can be seen on The Byre Theatre’s website: http://byretheatre.com/events/sea-path/
We invited everyone to download Sea Path Routes from The Byre’s website. Each walk contains prompts devised by the artistic team to encourage writing, drawing, photography, film, painting, moving, singing… whatever inspires you.
We offered introductory workshops to meet the artists and asked everyone to share what they make on a Sea Path route. Check out the Sea Path Gallery via the link above.
We've been delighted by the responses to Sea Path, from all over the world. We were inspired to create The Anywhere Route for you to try where you are.
Let us make a Sea Path near you.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.
Keep on moving...
Career-long Professional Learning
Dawn has a passion for sharing learning and her love of dance. Get in touch to discuss your cluster or school's CLPL needs.
Leading Dance Workshops
Dawn carefully designs dance sessions to maximise full engagement and growth in confidence for all levels of experience.
As a former performer herself, Dawn has experience in all aspects of artistic development and is happy to share knowledge with individuals or organisations.
Working Freelance since September 2019, I'm enjoying working with great companies in Scotland in a variety of ways, including teaching, writing strategies and resources and supporting rehearsals and performances.
The experience I gained as Head of Creative Learning for Scottish Dance Theatre (2007 - 2019), has been put to good use and it's fun connecting with a range of companies and contexts.
As the first Dance Artist for East Lothian Council Arts Service, (1999 - 2007), I initiated and delivered a region-wide Dance Programme, testing movements and themes to give participants an invigorating and physically satisfying experience of movement in the most comfortable setting possible; no mirrors, without focus on performance until everyone felt ready and always with a focus on positive critical feedback from everyone.
Please email me for my full cv.
Dancebase R & D Online Residency - The Tasks
1 minute task: Position the camera so that your whole body standing can be seen, stand on the first mark and record.
In one move, get your right eye as close as you can to the lens. Stay there until you want to move again.
Slowly retreat from the camera, back of the head leading, backwards and down to the ground until you are lying on the ground with your feet at Mark 2.
Move to conceal what you don’t want to show, staying in shot. Use time, levels and movement qualities/effort to hide.
Release it all (any way you want) and exit the shot to ‘Stage Left’. Stop recording.
2 minute task: Start recording and retreat from the camera until your whole body can be seen.
In many moves and random directions, get your right eye close to the camera lens then retreat from the camera in a decisive and clear way. Get low to the ground with your feet at Mark 2.
Do what you want someone else to observe. Use time, levels and movement qualities/effort. Or anything else.
Exit the shot towards ‘Stage Left’ and make a last minute swerve to the camera.
Aim of the film?
I looked for common threads and standout moves, for moments that piqued my curiosity.
I then blocked these into an I Movie project.
I quickly became interested in the passing of energy from one dancer to another, becoming completely absorbed by the attention to detail needed to ensure the movement flowed from one another. My fascination in recognising the micro movements the dancers made before committing to the next move grew. Imperceptible in real live life, on screen I could see the flick of a finger, a micro blink, an eyelid twitch, a minute head move or a tiny shift of weight and then.... they're off!
Once I’d made an edit, I talked with Quee MacArthur, Composer and husband, about the idea of the sound being brash, inhuman, stark, uncomfortable and unmusical. Not words usually attributed to Quee's compositions!
I told him my rationale, vague ideas of landmark references, of where I thought there was space in the resulting short film and where I imagined more driving, pushing through, energetic flow.
Quee quickly came up with the ideas of using reverb and delay as an analogy to the distance of the camera.
He wanted a slightly manic vibe, echoing the editing.
He programmed a track of underlying beats, using a moving low pass filter.
We talked about introducing real instruments and Quee used some audio from the dancers’ films which he processed. I pushed for more bass. He is a bass player....
We held an online preview for 5 of the dancers. It was so lovely seeing everyone, albeit on zoom, though we missed Shannon as she was working in France with little wifi access when we zoomed.
You can see these beautiful contributions from these generous dancers on Vimeo.
Password is Dancebase
Thanks to dancers Shannon, Niamh, Leanne, Jack, Alan and Ellis, to Dancebase and to Quee MacArthur for composing the music.