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Wellbeing in practice and practise: Your needs, my needs, our needs

Wednesday 27 July, full day

Tutors: Jane Chan, Shivaangee Agrawal and Meera Patel

This day long course, led by Jane Chan, Shivaangee Agrawal and Meera Patel, collectively known as Velocities, advocates for dancing as a way of feeling close to ourselves and each other at the same time.

The artist team will be sharing a facilitation methodology that empowers individuals to honour their own needs while attending to those of others. This methodology works in close collaboration with participants of community groups and is grounded in respect and receptivity.

People Dancing offer this course in acknowledgement of the difficult balancing act – made yet more difficult through the pandemic – that so many of us in participatory arts need to negotiate. Caught between the desire to share, serve and protect our participants and our own drive to the preservation of self and stamina, what have the last two years taught us about the importance of engaging in both these aspects with equal rigour? And equal joy! A course for all of us in need of revival, refreshment and reminder of the pleasure of together which draws so many of us into the field in the first place.

Above image credit: Working with older adults. Photo: Takeshi Matsumoto.

About Jane Chan

Jane is a dance artist who works at the intersections of making, performing, teaching, project managing, producing, writing and change instigation. She is trained in Kathak, contemporary dance, Chinese classical, Chinese folk dance and wing chun.

Jane’s work takes her around Britain and internationally. At times, her work shows up in spaces like Brunel University, Central Saint Martins, Chisenhale Dance Space, Fringe Club - HK, HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, The Place, The Yard Theatre. Sometimes her work also arrives at spaces that are not as expected like online meeting spaces, community centres, care homes and hospitals.

She is also a lecturer in contemporary dance at London Contemporary Dance School, The Place, performs regularly with Amina Khayyam Dance Company, a mentor for Arts Emergency, supporting under-represented young people who wish to pursue dance into tertiary education and career and founder of Passion Project, a teaching initiative aims to share the joy and benefits of movement and dance to toddlers, dance and non-dance professionals, immigrant women group, older adults with and without dementia.

Storytelling through movement and dance, care, curiosity and empathy are at the heart of Jane’s practice. Her work is autoethnographical and aims to question and reclaim cultural and social misrepresentation as well as dismantle, redistribute and reconstruct the power dynamics within the landscape of movement, dance and body practices.

Image: Jane Chan. Photo: Simon Richardson.

About Shivaangee Agrawal

Shivaangee is a dance artist with a practice that concerns choreography, writing and advocacy. She draws upon her regular training in Bharatanatyam, as well as more experimental practices of movement. She performs regularly and has worked for a range of artists including Janine Harrington, Jo Tyabji, Evie Manning, Sonia Sabri, Seeta Patel, Shane Shambhu and Suba Subramaniam.

She has presented work at Blue Elephant Theatre, Southbank Centre, Watermans Theatre, Bloomsbury Festival, Resolution Festival, Next Choreography Festival and Dance Umbrella Croydon. Her work establishes and draws from peer-support, rejecting the individualism that we are pushed towards. Since leading the creation of ReRooted Dance Collective, the first group of classical Indian dancers in the UK to develop a methodology for working collaboratively, she has been committed to the creation of kinship in performance landscapes. This year she is supported by The Place as a Choredrome Artist, as she explores collectivity, rhythm and disorientation.

Image: Shivaangee Agrawal. Photo: Yasmin Centeno.

About Meera Patel

Meera is a kathak dance artist who now trains, teaches and performs with Pagrav Dance Company (PDC). She also performs regularly as an independent artist and her most recent work includes exploring Indian classical dance from a non-visual perspective, co-writing for Peut-Étre's Audiomoves podcast series, performing in PDC's ‘Kattam Katti', and co-devising ‘Hanuman Tales’, a family theatre show and film.

Image: Meera Patel. Photo: Yasmin Centeno.