Combining Dance and Music

At the start of April, the London Sinfonietta Academy joined forces with Rambert Dance Company’s Participation and Learning team for a weekend in which London Sinfonietta Academy Alumni collaborated with young dancers to explore new ways of working and creating new work.  London Sinfonietta Academy Alumni flautist Chloe Vincent and dancer Lewis Wheeler blog about the weekend…

Lewis Wheeler writes:

During this weekend of workshops, which was led by Deborah Galloway (Dance Animateur) and Mark Bowden (Rambert Company’s Music Fellow), we wanted to experiment with what would happen when various groupings of dancers and musicians worked and improvised together.

Early in the weekend we worked in small groups of 2 or 3 and I found this most productive as our roles were obviously clearly defined and the short solo I created around ritual with Alice, a flautist, was selected for the end of workshop ‘sharing’.

We spent most of our devising time working on different ways to improvise with each other. We started with the music leading and me following the music, sometimes dancing with it and sometimes contrary to it, then we tried the same process but with Alice following my movement. It felt great when I would move my body and suddenly the sound would be echoing my movements. We decided that we wanted to create more of a conversation between the sound and the dance so we would incorporate elements of the music and the dance leading.  We would trust our instincts through the improvisation rather than set up a precise structure to follow. I think this worked well because it stopped any predictable patterns becoming evident to the audience, and it also meant that we could inject vigour and energy into each other’s work when we felt like the piece needed boosting. Other experiments included working in groups with more dancers than musicians, more musicians than dancers and even numbers of each.

I had a great time doing this workshop and have kept in touch with some of the people involved and hopefully will be working with them on creative projects in the future so attending the workshop was extremely worthwhile!

Lewis Wheeler, Dancer
(You can follow Lewis on Twitter @lewiswheeler)


Chloe Vincent writes:

London Sinfonietta Academy 2011

During April, I spent 2 days working with dancers and other musicians at Rambert Dance Company in Chiswick. This intensive weekend, a joint venture by London Sinfonietta and Rambert, was focused on collaboration and involved dancers and musicians composing and choreographing pieces under the leadership of composer Mark Bowden and choreographer Deborah Galloway.

Most of the musicians were more used to performing notated music and not all of the dancers were used to choreographing, especially creating larger works with lots of dancers. This allowed us to experiment with different ideas and composition methods as none of us had worked on a project like this before! It was amazing to have an insight into how another art form works and how their creative process differs from my own as a classical musician.

My favourite aspect of the weekend was creating a duo piece with a dancer where we improvised to develop material

with Debussy’s L’apres midi d’aune faune as our stimulus. As a flute player it was refreshing to look at the piece as a complete work as I often have to prepare the flute solo as an excerpt for auditions.

I came away from the weekend feeling inspired to learn more about dance and to try and include more collaborative work in my music making.

Chloe Vincent, London Sinfonietta Academy Flautist 2011
(You can follow Chloe on Twitter @Chloeflute)



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