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Life in Lockdown: Cherilyn Albert Prt 2

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I feel like I did a lot of offering today. Offering my help, advice and thoughts out to other people. Most interestingly today I took part in a conversation about the current digital co-authorship within the dance industry hosted by Company Concentric. We reflected on the surge of creative practice that is being shared out by ourselves and others and the pros and cons in working in this way at this time.

This morning a creative task of mine was shared by The Playground at Rambert. They have a following and an audience that I had not interacted with prior to lockdown. So, I had quite a bit to feedback on my own experiences. In summary I realised that sharing my choreography is far more in my comfort zone than sharing my choreographic practice. However, I am glad this time has pushed me to formalise my methods and offer them out to others who would both appreciate and benefit from it. In doing this, I believe I am adding to the voice of my dance company and where we sit within the industry. I am opening the opportunity for more diverse feedback. I am giving people a very tactile way to come into our world and understand what drives our creativity. It is very easy to be protective over your creative ideas, but I think I am learning that allowing others a moment of co-authorship can strengthen your creative voice and purpose. There are many ways of sharing your art form, but I believe they all share the same intention of wanting to provide a source of joy and inspiration, so that others can use that joy and inspiration, to do what they want to do. Ideas are made to be shared. I would not be where I am today without others offering their ways of working with me. This hasn’t led me to replicate these ideas but rather draw upon my exposure to a rich vocabulary of different artistic practices to inform my own.

Today has been very quiet.

No one seems to be saying much so I thought, why don’t I speak through movement? I very much enjoyed editing to Solange’s arrangement of Tina Turner’s words. I filmed and put this together using an app called YouCut on my phone. Quick and easy. I have become quite addicted to editing videos in lockdown. This is probably around my 30th edited video and I am planning to start doing a lot more from next week.

I also love finding and dancing to new music. Before making this video, I thought back to my favorite albums that have interludes and/or spoken word. I realised that I enjoy these parts of the album but for some reason they don’t usually make it onto my playlists. A Seat At The Table is such a beautiful album that I feel directly relates and reflects my life as a black woman.

Today has been a day of listening and learning.

Here is me taking my first Online Horton Class of this lockdown period. Super rusty! I would attend class infrequently, whenever I could fit it into my schedule. I have been mainly training in a fusion of hip hop and contemporary movement and all too often I forget to revisit my modern technique training that I built at university. I enjoyed the challenge and appreciated the advice given on autonomy and alignment whilst working on basic strengthening exercises for the whole body. Learning through the screen isn’t the same but had it been a normal Friday, I most likely wouldn’t have been able to make it to class, so I am super grateful to all the artists online sharing their practice and keeping us all moving!

These past few months have bought to light issues that unfortunately some of our communities have to face daily. Although this has been an emotional time for many of us, I feel happy and proud that the majority of those around me, including myself have taken this as an opportunity to educate ourselves, recognize our privileges and make sure that we are supporting others to give themselves the platform to be seen and heard

I will leave you with some Instagram recommendations which I have found inspiring. Trigger warning: a lot of these post focus on people’s personal stories of oppression and abuse.

@helloricardooo IGTV series: White Privilege vs.__
@kidmama_ IGTV video: I am a survivor!
@mary.mandefield IGTV series: BLACK LIVES MATTER
@seattledances IG post: Here are the few ways you may have participated in systemic racism in dance
@pre.elayocu IGTV: Therapeutic affirmations
@thomaspagedances: Racism and The Contemporary Dance World
@view_of_the_arts: In conversation with Valerie Ebuwa