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Jo Lloyd talks collaborating with people and spaces

Dec 24, 2018

Fresh from teaching an early morning yoga class, Jo Lloyd, our current fellow in Dance, spoke to us about collaborating in the creative sphere.

Jo Lloyd working on Garden Dance. Credit: Peter Rozetsk

It’s called Garden Dance, playing with what new forms dance can take in a garden setting. Through Joanna Lloyd’s fellowship she is working on a new collaborative performance, with the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne and nine other dancers.

To realise what it could be, Jo has involved a group of experimenters. ‘It’s a group that I’ve worked with for a while now, and so there’s something really special about the shared knowledge already in the group and the history of working together. There’s an ability to access things quite quickly.’

When looking for a skill set on this team, Jo looks more for the person than the dancer. ‘There’s a dancer who can do the movement, but it’s also the person they are… A lot of my processes engage with psychology, the personal is involved, and [the dancers] contribute their history in many ways.’ She wants to bring theatre to spaces that aren’t usually theatre spaces- amongst Eva Rothschild’s exhibition in a gallery, or this time, in a garden.

With those new environments, Jo is using the collaborative process with space and people to extend her work. ‘I’ve been interested in how I can extend my practice into a group scenario, and how that transmission occurs… I’ll understand more about what I’m doing, and then they feedback and challenge that. There’s something renewing about that exchange.’

‘I keep thinking I’ll work on a solo, and find myself bringing others in. I’m interested in the live negotiation- verbally and nonverbally… There is a mutual desire to keep investigating the form, and what else it can do. What else can we do with dance now?’

‘That exchange feels very healthy. I try to give as much as I get.’ This creates a kind of ‘leakage’ as Jo sees it; ‘some processes you implement with others and then it leaks into their process, and their work… it’s very interwoven. It can be something that people try to close off, but I’ve been more of the mind that you keep building and perpetuating the ways we work. I like the idea of my work always building and augmenting depending on where I am.’


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