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summer main event

research or die.

© mickael marso riviere

b12 summer main event


location: eden***** studios


Leila Mcmillan


shadow dancing

In this workshop we will work with duality and how two opposing truths can occupy the same space at the same time. In the research we will work the shadow as a Metaphor (Carl Jung) and use tools from Flying Low (DZ), Solo Improvisation and Jiu Jitsu drills for our physical approach to the theme. Our shadow never leaves us, it can be shaped through light within us and our understanding of who we are. It changes, transforms and morphs through time. The shadow can be a place where we hide characteristics of our self whether these are positive or negative. Is it a place where we live a different life? Does our shadow lie separate to who you are? We will start with ourselves, painting what we look like in the light and what we are in our shadow, we will then dive into the imaginary, a moment to metaphorically try on a new persona. Duality is present in how two elements can coexist whether this be abstract or tangible, opposite or complementary, working to form a dynamic system. You will be led through different improvisation tasks, working with physical and emotional states, speed, change, and transformation through solo and duo set ups. We will work in pairs to create a space where a witness, a support and a sound board exists and is available. We will move, play, laugh, sing, discuss and create something together. This research has been developing through the choreographic processes linked to 3 fingers at arm’s length (2017), curl of hair (2021), and a new body of work.

some workshops offer group improvisation or partnering. these workshops elements may or may not be possible and the teachers and choreographers will modify their workshops accordingly in line with the health and safety measures required at the time. please stay flexible. thank you!

leila mcmillan (uk/usa) is an international choreographer, teacher and performer. she creates work that is high-energy, yet nuanced and abstract in its choreography, drawing on personal experiences focusing on themes of identity, gender and the cultural interface. she was artist in residence at hong kong academy for performing arts in 2017, creating new work, 3 fingers at arms length, and nominated for outstanding choreography at hong kong dance alliance awards 2018. Her full-length work Family Portrait, 2015, was presented throughout the UK. New digital work Curl of hair, 2021, is an intimate duet stemming from personal trauma, shame, and duality. she was a Wild Card artist of Sadler’s Wells curating, This Way, That Way, 2015, at Lilian Baylis. As a performer, she worked with artists including david zambrano, crystal pite, thomas lehmen, jasmina krizaj, and nina fajdiga. since receiving a place on zambrano’s 50 days flying low and passing through, 2010, she is one of the certified artists teaching this technique, and has led the development of this approach in the uk. She is now senior lecturer of contemporary dance at hong kong academy for performing arts, lecturer at london contemporary dance school 2014-2020, has taught throughout europe, middle east, asia, united states and south america. since 2012, she collaborated with angolan visual artist isaac carlos as co-founders of muxima, an independent cafe in bow, east london, awarded several times best cafe in east london.



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