MOVING ALONE, TOGETHER

Trinity Laban Voices in Motion over 60’s dancers, 2019


To all my fellow #dance & #performance pals I’ve seen so many of you shifting your practice and embracing the digital to connect with existing and new participants globally!

Generously turning your living spaces into home studios and helping people get out of their seats and their minds and really into their bodies! 🏃🏼‍♀️ I’d like to make something, not really in response to all this, but more just to feel connected with you all.

My screendance practice has been waning as my PhD writing amps up and as the possibility of physical collaboration is void, I’d like to make something together. I’m calling out for 10 second clips of you dancing/moving at home, that I can repurpose into one film. For the purpose of this I’d like your 10 second clip to consider the relationship between the body and the frame of the camera. How do you enter and exit the frame? What movement is captured? What happens off screen? Think of your proximity to the camera and the position and how this shifts over the take. Is the lens moving or still? Are you filming yourself or is it more of a duet between the camera and the body? Your clip should focus on movement – whatever that means to you in these times. Also, hit record a few seconds before you start and give yourself a few seconds at the end too before you cut it off. Please film in landscape for the purpose of the edit 🙂

If you’d like to take part let me know. I’ll collect all clips by Friday 10th April. Remember every body is a dancer.

For some screendance inspiration:

Vimeo Screendance Collective
Katrina McPherson
Straybird
Sigur Rós Valtari Mystery Films

Stay safe everyone. 💛 

There’ll be a day, hopefully not long from now.

There’ll be a day, hopefully not long from now
when families will be reunited with cuddles and kisses 
not pixels on screens 
or live streams 
but people, together
and our hands will heal.
 
Friends will sit side by side, laughing 
as we occupy our favourite spaces again
signs saying ‘temporarily closed’ 
and ‘hope to see you soon’ on the doors
will go, and then we’ll have to book in advanced
to get that coveted window seat, like before.

There’ll be a day, hopefully not long from now
where we’ll relish the company of strangers
shake hands when we meet them
greet people on the street with hellos and smiles
and ‘how are you, it’s been a while?’ 

We’ll go outside and breathe in deeply,
not the stuff that flows in through our windows and doors
but the freshest air from the trees
we’ll notice birds and bees and flowers and we’ll see beauty
in things we’d started to forget to take notice of.

There’ll be a day, hopefully not long from now
when our neighbours will be out in their gardens
with friends round having barbecues
listening to tunes until late night clouds of reds and blues fill the sky

We will kiss with no delay and not think twice
about stealing a lick of chocolate chip ice cream
as we walk holding hands on a balmy day
We’ll head into town and hold doors open for others
and our lovers will move our hair away from our faces
as strands get stuck in our lipgloss
and we’ll all talk about things that don’t matter, together again.

There’ll be a day, hopefully not long from now.

Shapeshifter

there are times when I truly believe
that I have always known who you are
your tastes, your desires, your dreams
a triangle of colours
the person whose refection I see
in square window panes and puddles
and in the hearts of those I love
but the truth is that you, my dear
you are ephemeral and forever renewing
as fresh as the first raindrop of spring
a shadow that doesn’t fit
as old as you’ve ever been
or the concave of a spoon
a self-portrait drawn with invisible ink
direct like an arrow
a beautiful paradox
with more sides than a dodecahedron.

© Stacie Lee Bennett-Worth, 2019

The sky

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of my time looking up
The sky
The vast cavernous rooftop that is endless and ever changing
It’s a connection between me and and the world
A path from me to you
A deep pit of blue, peppered with stars, stretching far and wide
A cocoon in which the earth rests
A way in
The way out

© Stacie Lee Bennett-Worth, 2013

A note from 2013

One day in 2013.

Today was a Monday. Quite the none starter.

Being quite a fresh MFA graduate, I still feel like an enclosed caterpillar of education waiting for the right time to burst free from my chrysalis into a beautiful life as a flourishing butterfly, where all hopes and dreams come true. (Yeah,right!)

Meanwhile my chrysalis is becoming an increasingly more hostile place. One with high rent, bills to pay, and a (greedy) mouth to feed.

This is not what they put on the brochures.

University flyers are littered with success stories- gushing tales of pride, extensive career options and sickly sweet snaps of wide eyed, fluorescent smiled youths with ill fitting square hats. Square hats that you aren’t even allowed to throw in the air.

So what comes of the square hatted folk?

Is the mortar board hat a symbol which defines a definitive skill set that sets you above and beyond from the general wash of society, or a homage to the idiomatic expression ‘square peg, round hole’ which will hang over you as you make the leap from education into the big bad world but will never quite fit in.

It’s a proper tough time.

I threw myself into my MFA straight from BA in a bid to keep the learning cogs ticking over. My gosh I was nervous, inexperienced and a little naive but above all that, I was hardworking and driven – and still am – by my passion for Dance.

I never really understood the thirst for the stereotypical student life (nor the copious amounts of alcohol) and I was never a regular at any of the ‘student night’ knees-ups. I always expected that because I only went wild on a handful of occasions during my studies, that this was a sure fire way to ensure I was a top-marks, stand out, one-of-a-kind student with more to give then any one else.

Yet there I was, sharing graduation day with people who had surfed through their degrees with ease. Got a steady overall result, and had a blast knocking back shot after shot of their student loans.

So ‘where is she going with this?’ I hear you cry.

I think what I am simply trying to say is that life is tough after education.
I stumbled from degree to degree and am now still stumbling (some days tumbling) towards what seems like a rocky road to proper real life adulthood.

I am also trying to say that in this life, you can never resent those people who can get ahead without putting much thought into it; that’s just how it works. The spells of hard times and good times will come through waves throughout life; and I guess for me, a life without my education would have been like tackling the surf without a board – even more tricky and uncertain.

So how do you nurture who you are whilst making a career out of something that seems out of grasp at times?! (If only I knew the answer!)

It seems then when bursting onto the scenes as a newly educated, fresh from the knowledge pit, eager-to-work human being your first thoughts might well be :-

a. Why hasn’t anyone called/emailed me and offered me a job yet? (As if by magic!)

b. Why does it seem that everyone is getting ahead and I’m on a carousel of set backs and knock downs? (Not something I would recommend at the funfair.)

and

c. Why doesn’t anyone realise that I’m an amazing candidate, with plenty of experience who would work so so SO SO hard? (The national CV template for all graduates.)

So I guess what I am experiencing here is a typical rearing of two pretty unhelpful heads. Miss Naive and Miss Unrealistic. Two very tricky alter ego’s that can rear their silly little heads during tough transitional times. Believe me, I’ve met them and they can throw you totally off kilter!

But don’t worry, you can equalise them with a dash of Miss Headstrong and a healthy helping of Miss Reality check and just a few meetings with Miss Self-Appreciation. (Or Mr, or Mrs, or Prof – whoever they are!)

It just seems very important not to lose focus or look for flaws in the paths that you have chosen to follow because this part of life; ie breaking free from the chrysalis of comfort and cracking into the vast wilderness of the wider world, is essentially the foundation for the rest of your life. (However, there is always room for change and deviation from this path, it ain’t no one way street!) No matter how long and hard you compare your life path to that of an(other), thier life will never be yours, so it is simply a waste of time to do so.

The path is yours. Y O U R S. And there’s only so far you can go without some kind of opportunity appearing in your sights. And sometimes you have to look that little bit harder, seeing with your whole heart, soul and being. I mean yes the eyes have their uses but this requires insight as well as out-sight.

What I propose to do myself is to remain optimistic (as I flick the last tear of failure from the my cheek) and stay focused (you can do it, you can do it) and also to fill as much of my time soaking up the research, experience and wisdom of those around me – all whilst trying to keep up with my rent and other expenses. Hopefully without having to continuously (and very gratefully) dip into the bank of Mum & Dad.

The general consensus here (however annoying and mundane) is that there is no magic formulae to find your desired career and it rarely happens that you can have it placed directly into the palm of your hand. It’s a learning curve. An adjustment. And all of the tests and these experiences will hold positive significance in later life. One of those ‘Hey, remember when I just couldn’t get a job for ages and I felt proper crap about it? Yes? Oh how we laughed’ sorts of tales, perhaps.*

*Or like me, you might read your old scrawlings, 4 years on and realise you had totally forgotten ever feeling that way but wholeheartedly appreciate that those hurdles made you even stronger and more determined and you are still very much smiling, perhaps even wider than ever before.

Keep that fire burning

They said I should sell myself,
But I didn’t know how.
Writing reams, connecting seams of a future undone.
By societies ideologies and an unknown desire to be successful.
To make money, to be good.
Like I know I should be, but it’s hard to see why a girl like me,
should rise to the top; be the best?
I’ve seen doting teenage mothers, broken families and a society with benefits piling, finding joy.
The rest are filing for divorce, regulars in court, committing crimes and never doing time.
It hurts, when you don’t understand your place.
Hatred and greed, feeding tongues that don’t need feeding anymore.
Seems I’ve been blind.
Head in the transience of time, prancing my way through an education.
Now, a resurrection
Creativity once buried but never lost, and ignited now.
Like a Phoenix, burning bright, dancing and loving like never before.
Being scared? Yeah, scared.
Conforming? Conforming leads to yawning.
Dawning. Yearning. Keep on burning.
Someone might pull the plug, and I’ll lose it all.
But it’s my drug and I’m dancing this addiction.
To a life of creating, earth-quaking, knee-shaking, love making.
You’ll never bring me down.
Happiness, no less. That’s my success.
Throwing myself to the deep.
Taking what I was born to have,
what I was promised to be given.
By them, to keep.

© Stacie Lee Bennett-Worth, 2013