Over the last three years MDI have been a major contributor to the creation and development of my work. Through offering many residencies and creative opportunities I have been able to define my artistic voice and really embed my choreographic practice. In 2012, MDI provided me with a rare opportunity to create a new, innovative project (LUSTRUM) which has gone on to be a major project throughout the UK and is being hosted by many other National Dance Agencies. Not only have MDI provided constant support to developing my work, but they have also provided me with numerous performance opportunities at festivals such as LEAP and City Steps which has exposed my work to greater audiences and other organisations, resulting in me receiving great feedback and gaining further support to showcase my work. MDI brokered the relationship between myself and Taciturn Dance Company where I worked with the company and have since become a collaborator and big supporter of their work. Through working with MDI I have been able to really connect with the North West where my work really seems to sit well. It is fair to say, that without the constant support of MDI, I would not be the artist I am today.
Artist Joseph Mercier and producer Clara Giraud
MDI has supported us in a number of very valuable ways over the past two years. This has been through a number of informal conversations with Karen Gallagher and other members of the MDI team and two more formal ways: in-kind mentorship from Karen Gallagher for Cruising, Clubbing, F*cking, and a weeklong residency at MDI to develop Throb which included further mentorship support from Karen.
MDI’s support has been very important in my development as an artist, both in terms of my career and in terms of my artistry. Karen’s interventions in rehearsal as a mentor for two of our projects, Cruising, Clubbing, F*cking and Throb have been invaluable: her hands-on approach to feedback has both challenged and inspired me and has made a considerable impact on the quality and integrity of my work. As an early career artist this is a relationship I consider extremely valuable.
Our weeklong residency at MDI in December 2012 enabled us to develop and create our successful piece Throb, which premiered at The Place in January 2013, with very positive reviews and feedback. The unlimited access to the studio, mixed with MDI’s hands-off approach to their supported artists, meant we felt free to develop and create at our own pace and work according to the needs of the piece. This was an extremely productive week, and the success of the piece would not have been possible without MDI’s support.
One particular aspect of dealing with artists the team at MDI does exceptionally well is that they understand that different artists have different needs. This means that they listen to the particular needs of the artist and/or project and work to find a way to answer those particular needs with the resources they have. In our case, one particular need we identified was mentorship. Another was rehearsal space. MDI answered both these needs and it has had a considerable impact on my artistic development and the reach of my work to audiences. I wish it was a model other dance and performing arts organisations would follow.
Sharing my work through Northern Dance platforms is helping to raise my artistic profile across the North. I have shared my work in various stages of development. Most recently I performed at Yorkshire Dance where I received positive feedback to move my work forwards in future. The Northern dance platforms allows the work to reach wider audiences, beyond the North West. As an early career female choreographer, this is a great opportunity for me to continue to learn my craft as a maker, performer and film editor. The audience response helps to shape a relevant artistic solo that is both true to the subject matter, and both entertaining and accessible. I am looking forward to developing the work further, with support so that the work can by programmed at a range of venues for small scale touring in future. I am looking forward to taking 'Someone Worth Imitating' to Dance City with more questions about how I can take my work forwards in future.