Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Making work for a younger audience

Photo by Chris Nash
Following on from the observations I made whilst shadowing Enrique Cabrera from Aracaladanza and Full House Theatre Company early in 2013, I have had the opportunity (with support from a Surrey Dance Collective mentoring bursary) to work with choreographic mentor Niki McCretton during the development of my Dancing in Museums project in order to further understand what it means to make work for younger audiences. Niki is a specialist in creating performances for children and families and Artistic Director of Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company. She helped me to consider:

•    ways to draw the audience in, and particularly preparing them for seeing something which they had maybe not seen before
•    how to work with the audience as co-collaborators, asking them to help with tasks the characters needed to complete
•    the significance of non-verbal communication: sometimes taking the description/text away, but then dropping it back in where necessary (e.g. in the sound score)
•    the importance of not offering any final answers about what the artefacts could be, or how they could be interpreted, but rather offering possibilities about what they might be
•    which pieces of historical information it might be important to include in The Imagination Museum
•    how to convey the passage of time in a way that a younger audience could relate to
•    how important the overall structure and transitions between sections would be to the audience (compared to how important they seemed to be to me)
•    the importance of presenting The Imagination Museum in a way that the children would potentially not have come across before in formal education, emphasising its playfulness and physicality

Photo by Chris Nash
Details of the full creative team for The Imagination Museum are available on my website here:, and I am indebted to all of these brilliant people for their hard work and enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to where we take the Dancing in Museums project next: keep updated by liking our page on Facebook, following us on Twitter (@madebyKG), visiting the museums page on our website and reading the posts on our blog labelled ‘Dancing in Museums’.

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