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Messages of Hope and Frienship #1

What am I doing? Nicole Watson
Creative Director Surface Area Dance Theatre

I have taken this period of isolation to extend my theoretical research on the concept of Ma (間), which can be translated from Japanese to mean a gap, pause or interval. With support from Arts Council England, in the coming months I will advance this period of enquiry to begin practical research and will be joined by a team of interdisciplinary artists in the studio at Dance City, in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The team and I are aiming to develop new work, that physically interprets the possibilities of Ma, and will produce a series of gestures, postures and settlements of physical contact. As members of the team are D/deaf, I will direct the research to consider using the entire body as a listening instrument, capable of feeling, touching and seeing the colours and textures of sound in space and silence. We are extremely excited to begin experimenting with Subpack — wearable technology that translates sound to vibration and with generous support from the Greggs Foundation the project was able to purchase ten Subpack units, that will be accessed by members of the D/deaf community during the timeline of the project and beyond.

Check out the website of Surface Area Dance Theatre to keep up to date.  

Nicole Vivien Watson is a choreographer and the Creative Director of Surface Area Dance Theatre. She has spent years finessing her understanding and empirical knowledge of the Japanese practice of Butoh, which informs much of her work. Her international residencies have included The New York Butoh Institute (2018); the Japan Deaf Theatre, Tokyo (2017); and most recently the UK in JAPAN 2019-20 artistic residency at the British Embassy Tokyo. She has been involved in a number of inclusive dance projects including  Hand in Hand (2019) ,  which was inspired  by  a historical relationship between  Japan and Newcastle, created  in collaboration with Chisato Minamimura in partneship with Dance City and the Japan Foundation and supported by Arts Council England and the Big Lottery Fund.