title. The Recovery Position
company. Rosie Kay Dance Company
date. March - May 2016
Working alongside Artistic Director Rosie Kay and the company of five dancers, I was one of four Dance Leaders who created stunning community performance pieces associated to the work of 5 SOLDIERS, which were presented at venues across the country alongside the RKDC theatre production, 5 SOLDIERS. I created a piece for the Aberdeen leg of the tour, which was presented at Gordon Barracks on Saturday 28th May 2016.
To do this, I worked with Music 4 U Integrated Stage School, a group of young people aged 14-25 with Additional Support Needs. The piece was entitled "The Recovery Position":
“The Recovery Position” is an exploration of personal and shared injury. Created in collaboration with the dancers, the piece looks at how our bodies react to injury, stress and fatigue, and how they then recover. Inspired by the injuries of soldiers, and embracing the differences between all of us, this performance is an acknowledgement of how we all react differently to getting hurt and being restored to health.
"I had the pleasure of appointing Gemma as the Dance Leader for Aberdeen for the Scottish Tour of our production, 5 Soldiers. Gemma showed herself from the start to be articulate, well prepared, a very thorough and practical leader, and passionate about learning through the arts. Gemma joined the company for several training days, and really got stuck into the subject matter and themes of the work, exploring challenging and complex areas surrounding conflict, war, stress and injury.
I was blown away by Gemma’s proposal on how to create a new commissioned work on the themes of 5 Soldiers. Gemma had built a strong relationship with a group of young people who had complex needs and were primarily a music group. She had got them enthused, and despite none of them doing much dance before, they and the group director had signed up to the project. Gemma found the thread linking the injured soldier with the very specific and personal needs of the group, looking at injury, perception and empathy. She had grasped the entire essence of the work I was trying to do, and the effect I wanted on participants and audiences.
Gemma’s production (The Recovery Position) was a moving and articulate work that explored themes of injury, pain, loneliness and then working together and empathy. Her group was one of the most well rehearsed, well behaved and passionate we had on the tour (and the quality nationally was very high). The company and I loved working with them, in a warm-up workshop, and felt the intensity of their performances. I would highly recommend Gemma as a warm, intelligent, committed and passionate dance leader. She combines the rare skills of good knowledge of her subject, empathy, awareness and discipline with a warm heart and a funny and approachable manner. I wish her all the best success in her future projects; we would not hesitate in working with her again" - Rosie Kay (Artistic Director, Rosie Kay Dance Company)