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News and Events

Going Forward With A New Creative Ecology

DRS is committed to being part of a momentum within the arts and cultural sector which is leading a new creative ecology and demanding action around climate change, species extinction and environmental degradation. Focusing on these urgent issues, Jacky Lansley is leading research towards a new major cross-disciplinary project for 2020/21 and a series of thematically linked residencies at the studio will be announced in the autumn, offering a wider pool of artists the opportunity to explore environmental concerns through their own creative practices.

DRS has pledged to be Oil Sponsorship Free and has joined Culture Declares Emergency.

Reflections on ABOUT US 

Performed at Modern Art Oxford, February 19th 2019

“ABOUT US is a remarkable embodiment of ordinary human experience that reveals the universal through the personal, and places dance firmly in the political sphere.” – Maggie Watson of Oxford Dance Writers

“……it was lovely to see the dance performance yesterday. I loved the idea of how small movements embodied, reflected, revealed and foreshadowed  inner worlds.” – Audience Member

“I find any group of people moving in a public place exciting to watch – if I allow myself to really look at the cacophony of gestures, shapes and rhythms that are happening. The passings, almost meetings and near collisions are somehow choreographic. In our performance ABOUT US there are episodes, which seemingly don’t connect to each other – moments that might seem obscure, but which, we hope, provide enough clues for viewers to go on a journey with us. 

ABOUT US developed slowly over 3 years and explores a collage of personal stories the performers brought to the studio to share. These stories, while unique to the individual artists involved, foreground the everyday choices we all make around loss, joy, anger, pleasure, fear; choices which may feel ‘free’ but are in fact often determined by our personal histories, the economic system and by societal expectations.  As a team we asked how these experiences (not all painful and melancholy) might resonate with audience members because of the way they reflect a more generalised space relating to contemporary life in the UK. 

Modern Art Oxford has been a very positive and inspiring context for us. In 1977 I collaborated with the artists Sally Potter and Rose English on a performance project titled Mounting which was commissioned by Modern Art Oxford (then Museum of Modern Art Oxford). The surface form of ABOUT US may seem very different from Mounting - more ‘choreographic’ – however, many of the same performance strategies are there: playing with a juxtaposition of visual and theatrical languages, drawing on ‘high’ and ‘popular’ forms, deconstruction of archetypes and intimate dialogue with audiences. In my recent book ‘Choreographies’ *I say of Mounting “… the audience was invited to share in the process of making performance, which at times felt very uncomfortable. Their attention was used to create energy and effect, they were in the ‘spotlight’ – we explored their presence in relation to the woman performer.”  It is so interesting to me that, after all these years, I am still working with the same intentions.” – Jacky Lansley

ABOUT US is directed and choreographed by Jacky Lansley, with new music by Sylvia Hallett and performers: Vincent Ebrahim, Esther Huss, Fergus Early, Ingrid MacKinnon, Ursula Early, Jreena Green, Tim Taylor. Cinematographer: Roswitha Chesher, Lighting Designers: Nao Nagai and James MacKenzie, and Dramaturg: Ramsay Burt.

Images of ABOUT US taken at Modern Art Oxford, including Esther Huss, Fergus Early, Ingrid Mackinnon, Jacky Lansley, James MacKenzie, Jreena Green, Sylvia Hallett and Tim Taylor.

Jacky Lansley Awarded One Dance UK’s Jane Attenborough Award

Congratulations to Jacky Lansley who has won The Jane Attenborough One Dance UK Industry Award!

This award honours an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form. Named in memory of the founding Director of Dance UK (later to become One Dance UK), the award aims to highlight the important, but often unacknowledged, contributions made by exceptional individuals who make a real difference to how dance is created, supported and seen.

The One Dance UK Awards salute the outstanding contribution of people working in dance, the annual event is an opportunity for people in the industry to unite, celebrate, acknowledge and recognise the people who have made an impact on the vibrant UK dance landscape.

Click here for more information about One Dance UK’s Awards and other award winners.

Jacky Lansley at the One Dance UK Awards with Chief Executive, Andrew Hurst
Jacky Lansley with Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp


Chisenhale Dance Space - Collaboration Between Generations Commission

R-AGE, created by Jacky Lansley and Grace Nicol, is a conversation through dance, image and performance between a ‘young’ and ‘older’ woman. Together they explore the power of women working across generations and examine questions about women and age, including those frustrating generalisations which frame women as never being the right age.

Drawing on their working relationship and friendship over the last five years, the artists have created a cross-disciplinary performance score which engages audiences in a series of challenging, humorous and radical questions about women, power and art.

Jacky and Grace consider their artistic dialogue as highly topical in a polarised Brexit Britain, in which conservative driven austerity has divided generations. Through performance, they  explore finding a common and intergenerational language that can contribute to positive collective action around these issues, within the arts and beyond.

R-AGE was performed on December 8th 2018 as part of Chisenhale Dance Space‘s ‘Collaboration Between Generations Commission’,  supported by The Choreographer’s Gallery Trust and Arts Council England.

Jacky Lansley and Grace Nicol in R-AGE photographed by Nina Photography

CHOREOGRAPHIES: Tracing the Materials of an Ephemeral Art Form

By Jacky Lansley, Published by Intellect Books

See reviews by: Lynn MacRitchieNicholas MinnsRosie Lehan and The Dancer-Citizen Journal

Choreographies offers unique insight into the processes behind independent choreography and paints a vivid portrait of a rigorous practice that combines dance, performance art, visuals and a close attention to space and site. For a signed copy please contact
Buy online

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