Etch- Company Dancer Heather Walrond Reflects

Three weeks with Exim Dance Company have been beautiful. What an incredible team to be working with. Everyone is so open and down to earth with a sense of freedom and respect within the space. I have felt honoured to be apart of this creation process and to share it with inspiring and highly professional artists.

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Researching into my own memories has been a difficult process; I have found it extremely hard to speak out detail of my memories without feeling like it’s not important or that people will get bored. I’ve had to really open up and trust that what I am saying is interesting and there is so much more detail in each memory than I first thought.

Every day we asked each person in the team a few questions about themselves which was really beautiful to get to know each artist involved; I discovered things about myself I didn’t even know. Whilst we did this we drank different teas, which made it feel like a retreat learning about each other, building memories slowly.

We learnt a song in the process, which bought back memories of singing in the choir in my home church. It was really refreshing to work on a new, unique sound together as a group of dancers, however it was difficult to trust my own voice at first and be confident enough to get ‘on’ my voice with each note. It definitely began to feel more comfortable each time we did it and it is such a beautiful vulnerable song.

I have found it fascinating working with the lighting and costume designer who are both extremely creative in experimenting with their ideas and thinking out of the box. I also have learnt to use text within dance and how to combine the two, with a sense of it being inclusive at the same time.

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I’ve loved how textures, smells, tastes, text, dance, music- all come together to give the audience an experience rather than a ‘show’.

Listening to each other, responding to each other and allowing the space, ideas and movements develop has been a real eye opener and has helped me develop not just as a dancer, but a choreographer too. The piece changes each time we perform, coming in and out of improvisation and set phrases, which is something I am beginning to get hold of and understand.

I feel like we have shared so much with each other and have been given so much. So much gratitude to everyone involved.

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Heather Walrond | Company Dancer

 

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