More than 15 BA and MA alumni are presenting their work at Resolution Festival this year, and we are excited to welcome them back! We caught up with 3 MA EDP (Expanded Dance Practice) alumni to find out what they have been up to since graduating, and how EDP has helped and shaped their practice.
The Place: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you are up to these days?
Loren McK: I am an artist and writer who’s interested in Queerness and activism. Since graduating, I have worked with Thick & Tight, Courtney Nettleford and Corali Dance Company on a film about the life and work of Derek Jarman, I have provided facilitation support and mentoring at LCDS and Trinity Laban, and I am about to begin the Duckie Homosexualist Summer School… any excuse to do art every weekend!
Vittorio Pagani: I’m a dancer and choreographer from Milan, Italy. After training at Ballet Junior de Genève and attending the MA in Expanded Dance Practice, I am now developing the project LARVAE, which reunites a collective of artists that focus on creating multidisciplinary performances while developing sustainable dance communities.
Wency Lam: My practice has a lot to do with bodily sensations. Most of my works have somatic practices as a starting point and expand further into dance pieces that can take many different forms, such as live performances, films, and durational installations. Currently, I am working on a piece titled Is Any Body Home?. It will be premiered on 19 May 2023 in the Resolution Festival. Apart from that, I am deepening my research in contact improvisation, somatic work, and physical theatre through the support of the artist residency at Fieldworks Dance.
The Place: What was your journey to becoming a part of the Resolution 2023 artist line up?
Vittorio: After presenting my work “A Solo in the Spotlights” as part of my final dissertation for EDP at LCDS, I felt the need to keep on presenting that work in theatres, or at least reiterations of it. EDP’s Course Leader Hilary Stainsby then directed me towards Resolution 2023 - it’s thanks to her encouragement that I applied and got to participate in Resolution 2023!
Wency:Is Any Body Home? is a continuation from a strand of my MA EDP final project during my studies at LCDS. My ongoing autoethnographic research is about navigating decolonization, migration and identity from the perspective of a Hong Konger.
Loren: Resolution 2023 has given me the opportunity to share my work, Lesbian Dance Theory, with more people and a space to try out new ideas. Throughout the process I have attended workshops facilitated by the Resolution team and learned a lot about what happens behind the scenes. I really enjoyed the Dramaturgy workshop facilitated by Orrow Bell which gave me the space, time and tools to think about returning to work which is already formed.
The Place: What is your piece about, what do you want to convey through it?
Wency:Is Any Body Home? is a visceral exploration of the migrant experience and the struggles to find home and belonging. It works with the embodied uncertainty, crisis, and chaos that arises in the in-between space where previous identities have dissolved and no clear identity is established. It is a duet across the blurred borders of contemporary dance and physical theatre. It explores how movement and physicality could uncover memories stored in the body.
Loren: My work, Lesbian Dance Theory (part 1 - again): Liberating a speculative field, is a seriously humorous lecture and multimedia performance which centres around dialogues, practices, histories and futures of those who identify as, with or adjacent to the term Lesbian.
Vittorio: My piece A Solo in the Spotlights draws inspiration from some of the experiences I had as a dancer and performer, and sheds a light on the cracks that open when one undergoes a creative process.
The Place:Tell us a bit about your time at LCDS as an MA EDP student. What did EDP offer you and have you been able to reflect those learnings in your current work?
Vittorio: My time at LCDS was filled with challenges that helped me locate myself in the landscape of contemporary creators. EDP offered me the time and space to deeply investigate the subjects that sparked my interest the most, and classes that related to the production of dance works beyond the choreographic field. I was inspired to integrate projections and costume design as a seminal component of “A Solo in the Spotlights”.
Loren: As a Student at LCDS I felt supported and encouraged to follow my own interests and process. There were amazing opportunities to learn from our teachers and invited practitioners, but this was balanced with space to learn from our peers. The lessons I learned in these creative processes continue to inform my practice and made me feel excited to make work and perform again.
Wency: During my time as a student, I was exposed to many different practices through the wide range of artists who were brought into the course. I was allowed to be in the driving seat of my artistic research while also being supported by the faculty through lectures, discussions, sharings, feedbacking and tutorials. Studying alongside MA Screen Dance and BA students also facilitated the exchange of ideas between different emerging artists and has allowed me to create art that takes different forms, such as a durational installation and a short film. The devising dancers of Is Any Body Home?, Hsinyu Wu and Esme Lovell, are also great artists whom I met during my time at LCDS.
I would say the highlight of what I have learned is that all perspectives are contextualised. This has allowed me to understand how I relate to the world and has allowed the possibility to shift perspectives. These learnings have changed me as a person and are definitely reflected in my artistic practice. In the creative process of Is Any Body Home?, I also often draw upon creative tools, feedback models, and facilitation skills that I have learned from EDP.
What's next for you after Resolution?
Wency: I would be lying if I said I knew what’s next [nervous laugh]. But all I know is that I will keep learning, researching, and creating, and see how life unfolds
Loren: I am going to focus on developing Lesbian Dance Theory into a full length work, I will be performing at Latitude Festival, continuing my facilitation support practice and much more. I share information about my work, practice and creative process on instagram @lorenmck_ and on my website lorenmck.co.uk
Vittorio: After Resolution 2023 I’ll take part in some of the main Dance Festivals in Italy with “A Solo in the Spotlights” and other new productions with the LARVAE project, while also giving workshops and Masterclasses focused on tools for the creative process.
What would you like to say to our upcoming EDP applicants?
Vittorio: I’d like to encourage them to be true to their interests and to follow those ideas that spark them, so that EDP can become an exciting research ground to kickstart new narratives in dance.
Loren: The Expanded Dance Practice course is a great opportunity to get a feel for your own artistic practice and learn from others. Ask questions and follow your own curiosity. It’s a good idea to research the visiting artists and figure out where your practices intersect and what you could learn from them. Take the space you need to figure things out and play in the process.
Wency: The EDP faculty are great people to talk to. When you apply, don’t be shy to express yourself or ask questions. It is a great way to find out whether you and EDP are a good fit for each other.
Vittorio Pagani is presenting A Solo in the Spotlight on 18 May
Wency Lam is presenting Is Any Body Home? on 19 May
Loren McK us presenting Lesbian Dance Theory on 25 May