Dance Blast Monmouthshire
role. IGNITE Project Choreographer
date. January 2020 - Present
location. Abergavenny, Wales
I have been commissioned to choreograph a new 15-minute work on Monmouthshire Connected Dance Company, an experienced inclusive adult dance company, to be performed at Abergavenny Castle as part of a site-specific immersive community dance theatre project which explores magic, Welsh history and ritual. In collaboration with the dancers, I am devising a remix of Welsh myth “The Lady of the Fountain”, from a feminist perspective. The final performances were due to take place in April 2020 but, due to the spread of COVID-19, this was cancelled. Instead, we are currently developing a documentary film on the process.
"Being a part of the piece has made me realise that the most beautiful and the purest power one can have is when they find themselves and accept who they are. That's true power. Gemma has found her true calling in life. As choreographers go, she is one of the best I have had the pleasure of working with. She only ever sees people's abilities and potential, and in doing so gives people the most incredible platform in which to grow and develop as dancers.
Gemma brings the most amazing energy to each session. On the odd occasion I have come in feeling not too great, I have always left with a warm heart, a big smile on my face and a real sense of achievement. You can't come and not leave feeling happy. I love the little tasks that Gemma sets that allow the most beautiful self-expression and choreography to happen. As a dancer I never feel overwhelmed by what has been asked and I am always pleasantly surprised at the outcome! I love that I can ask Gemma any questions I have, I never feel that any question is a silly one no matter how bizarre they may be!
In a recent session, I got to do a balance where I stand on the legs of two of my fellow dancers whilst being supported by everyone in the company. Never did I ever dream I'd be able to do something like this let alone it be in a dance piece that the world is going to see! I was very nervous to begin with, but Gemma looked at me, smiled and said "I believe in you, you've got this." These words moved me to a point where I began to believe this in myself and before I knew it, the whole group was cheering. I did it!
Being part of such an amazing dance journey with Gemma and MCDC helped me to find myself and loose myself all at the same time."
Participant, Ignite 2020 Project