About Dance Plant Collective’s Residency

This LGI Residency is the first development of a new work, choreographed by Bella Wilson, entitled STRUCTURE.

Here’s what Bella said of the project on the eve of the residency:

“STRUCTURE is a contemporary dance theatre show that will examine, deconstruct and reconstruct the human desire for structure: for routines, rituals, roles.

“I am particularly interested in how we navigate this idea of structure through our embodied experiences of the world: how our bodies are restricted, codified, censored, categorised; how we yearn for both routine and a lack of it at the same time; how digital technologies are shifting our social constructs and relationships, and creating artificial structures of human connection. I find myself constantly drawn to exploring the juxtaposition between order and chaos. Can we function without some rules/guidelines/parameters? What can our bodies reveal about humanity’s need for structure and the capacity to function without it? Choreographically, I will be investigating working with restrictive structures, with a particular interest to explore choreographing ‘chaos’, and not-choreographing ‘order’, and the ways in which these concepts might be interlinked.

“STRUCTURE is an expansive topic, and there are many potential avenues to explore. Every lived experience in some way has a relationship to structure, through the ways our lives are organised in every facet of life. Being alive at a time when the world is on the brink of ecological collapse, financial recession, and polarisation of society, making art which is topical and reflects contemporary society is necessary. The translation of this has the potential to open up space for conversation, contemplation and discussion within an experimental dance context. Dance Plant aims to make intellectually rigorous art which people can relate and connect to; art that invites the audience in.

“My intention for this residency is to investigate and explore STRUCTURE in as many ways possible and to allow space for unexpected discoveries to occur through the magic of the collaborative process, without the pressure of having to create a finished product. Through rigorously investing into the choreographic research process, I intend to build a series of movement “worlds” or sections of movement material to present at an informal studio showing at the end of the residency, and to enable discussion, reflection and feedback from the audience, to help inform the second development phase in 2020.”

During the residency, Bella will be working with dance artists Tui Hofmann, Jaz Yahel, Brittany Kohler, Natasha Kohler and Kit Reilly.

A Conversation about STRUCTURE

On Thursday 10 October, Bella sat down with LGI’s Studio Producer, Tom, for a wide-ranging chat that included discussing rhe creative impetus for the work, what the collective discovered during their residency and what’s next for the work.

Listen to the conversation here.

About Dance Plant Collective

Dance Plant Collective, with Bella Wilson as a core member, is a strong group of young dance-makers and performers from Auckland, New Zealand, with a passion for creating politically challenging and transformative dance theatre works. Since their formation in 2016, Dance Plant have created a diverse repertoire of works, ranging from short pieces to full-length dance theatre shows which have been presented in a variety of venues across Aotearoa and Australia.

Find out more here.

About Bella Wilson (choreographer)

Bella is an independent contemporary dancer, choreographer and teacher.

She trained at the New Zealand School of Dance as a contemporary major, and graduated with a Certificate in Dance Performance in 2013. From 2015-16 Bella furthered her dance training at Unitec, graduating with BPSA majoring in Contemporary Dance. Bella received the Senior Scholar award at her graduation ceremony, in recognition of achieving an overall A grade average for her degree. As a tertiary student, she was fortunate to work with some of New Zealand and Australia’s renowned choreographers, including Malia Johnston, Claire O’Neil, Michael Parmenter, Okareka Dance Company, Antony Hamilton, Lina Limosani and Richard Cilli.

As a professional dancer, she has performed with Footnote New Zealand Dance & Alexa Wilson, Black Sheep Productions, Tempo Dance Festival, and she has notably worked as both a dancer and choreographer on every major project with Dance Plant Collective since their formation in 2016. Her recent choreographic achievements include choreographing a short work for the re-opening of the Gus Fisher Gallery, co-choreographing the well-received work Lite Moves for Luma Festival Queenstown 2019, winning ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Auckland Fringe Awards 2018, for the double bill which included her work Cha(order)os, amongst many more.

Bella also has a diverse teaching practice, and regularly teaches contemporary dance technique, ballet and creative practice within dance studios, elite pre-professional training programmes, high schools and tertiary institutions across Auckland. She has recently had the privilege of teaching the second year choreography course within the University of Auckland’s Dance Studies degree.

About LGI Residencies

LGI Residencies offer artists the freedom to explore new ideas, develop new works and cultivate their choreographic practice. Studio space and administrative support are offered by LGI, as well as the opportunity to share outcomes of the residency in a way that best supports the artist in residence.

Out of Time residencies take place during evenings and weekends. This format offers choreographers more flexibility in their schedule as well as optimising the use of these stunning studio spaces.

For more information on LGI’s residency program and the other 2019 Artists-in-Residence, please visit the Residency tab on our Programs page. Each will also have a blog post, offering an insight into their projects as they progress - find these on our About page under News.

Get updates on all LGI’s artists-in-residence in your inbox monthly by signing up for the LGI enews, or keep an eye on LGI’s Facebook and Instagram.

Image: Delainy Kennedy