Laura Vanhulle, our Choreography Award Holder 2017 shares her thoughts from her two-week residency in our studios as part of her award so far:

April 2017

I’ve been at DanceXchange for nearly 2 weeks now exploring ideas for my new work ‘Infinite Womanhood’. The piece is about the woman: her individuality and sexuality, examining the misperception and misappropriation of female sexuality within sections of society, as something vulgar or bad and how women sometimes have to live up to unrealistic ideals. We have been hard at work in the studio collaborating with Brazilian dancer/choreographer Gustavo Oliveira and Belgian dancer Sarah Leenders.

It’s been such a great experience and everyone at DanceXchange is been so helpful. Having dedicated studio space has meant we have been really productive and given me both the physical and mental space to develop my concept. I have had sessions with my dramaturg Charlotte Gregory to help shape the narrative, and have been also working alongside musician Ricardo Rocha who is playing live for us in the piece. I am also using a larger piece of a set for the first time in my work, created by Chris Cuthbert Acquis Media.

The mentor session with DanceXchange producers was very useful, as my own professional development in how to run a dance company is also an important part of this process.

With this work I aim to create a conversation about the importance of being comfortable with our natural female beauty and emotions, suggesting that to use them is not a bad thing: it’s a woman’s strength. ‘Infinite Womanhood’ is influenced by ideas from pole dancing, Kathak and the Geisha, as well as Paulo Coelho’s novel ‘Eleven Minutes’. Watch this space for the 2018 tour…