**Pics free to use**
based choreographer and performer Thomas Goetz develops a new piece of work with
dancers Zinnia Oberski (blue scarf), Kristin Weichen Wong (long black hair) and Andrada
Dragoescu (short hair) as part of Space, Nature, Nurture residency
established by Dance Base and
Jupiter Artland which offers dance and movement artists a unique opportunity to immerse
themselves in and work in the surroundings of Jupiter Artland.
Credit Ian Georgeson

Perfect backdrop for dance and movement artists

Dance and movement artists are being offered a unique environment in which to work.

Dance Base, Scotland’s national centre for dance, and Jupiter Artland, a contemporary sculpture park and art gallery just outside Edinburgh, are thrilled to announce the five artists selected for the Space, Nature, Nurture Winter Residency Series – a new collaborative residency programme which offers dance and movement artists a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in and work with the natural and sculpted outdoor surroundings of Jupiter Artland.

Jupiter Artland encapsulates the richness of the Scottish landscape, incorporating wild woodland alongside sculpted spaces, and is a hugely inspiring and creative environment for artists to engage with. Space, Nature, Nurture is the first collaboration between Dance Base and Jupiter Artland and both partners are thrilled to be able to provide an opportunity for artists working in dance and movement to bring their practice in to this unique environment.

The five artists selected were chosen based on their genuine interest in developing material in, with and in response to the unique natural environment and in collaborating with ecologies as a central part of their work. They are Thomas Goetz, Hamshya Rajkumar, Kate E Deeming, Jennifer Paterson (All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre) and Simone Kenyon. Please see below for more information.

Each of the Space, Nature, Nurture artists will receive a fully funded 1-2 weeklong residency at Jupiter Artland over November and December when the Park is closed, providing them with full and unlimited access to the Artland. As part of their residency, they will each present an element of audience engagement, reconnecting or establishing a link with their audience. These will be delivered in person and online.

Dancers Zinnia Oberski, Kristin Weichen Wong and Andrada Dragoescu at Jupiter Artland (Photo: Ian Georgeson)

This Residency programme has been made possible thanks to funding from the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund and is part of a wide programme of artist support that Dance Base are delivering to support Scotland-based dance artists to return to their practice after this very difficult 18 months.

Thomas Goetz is an Edinburgh-based choreographer, performer; movement facilitator who draws inspiration from themes related to nature, philosophy and science. His recent work is concerned with emergence, behaviour, and (eco-)systems in nature and the role we play as part of these systems.

Talking about his residency, he said: ‘All living organisms occupy specific ecological niches which describe the role they play in an ecosystem. Animals & plants evolve unique adaptations to survive, live and thrive in a specific habitat under certain environmental conditions.

‘In this residency I will be exploring how we can evolve into creatures which occupy the natural and artistic habitats of Jupiter Artland. These evolving imaginary creatures will differ in the way the move, are able to perceive the environment, communicate (with sound/voice or movement) and interact with one another.’

Hamshya Rajkumar is an inter-disciplinary artist who navigates through embodied movement, intention and ritual.

She said: ‘Through movement I will be exploring various human interventions within the Jupiter Artland estate in the form of Gardens, Woodlands and Land artworks that reflect the human need for beauty versus the understanding of the ecological community. An element of my practice involves embedding within Land +| Sea:scapes who are devoid of my ancestors.

‘I am curious about forming an intra-species alliance with the much debated invasive Beech Tree and introduced ornamental exotic Plants. An extended focus will include the relationship between manicured foot and manicured grass. As Heavy Rain is likely during November, I will be experimenting with using second hand clothing as an extension of the bodily self as well as skin that absorbs and moves with weather.’

Space, Nature, Nurture is a residency established by Dance Base and Jupiter Artland (Photo: Ian Georgeson)

With decades of outdoor dance experience, Kate E. Deeming describes herself as an ‘artist who uses dance to make good stuff happen’. She creates public facing work largely in urban environments and outside of traditional arts hierarchies.

Kate said: ‘I am interested in creating moments and reminders that build empathy and connect us to our individual and collective power, to reinforce and manifest a joyous and loving world.’

For the Space Nature Nurture Residency Kate E. is to create a week-long durational dance piece inspired by the Jupiter Artland Landscape. Utilising costume and wearable speakers, she will create giphys of wee dance moments which will feed into her wider community practice.

Jennifer Paterson is an aerial and dance director and Artistic Director of All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre, Scotland’s leading aerial dance company. She trained at London School of Contemporary Dance before discovering aerial and that she could overcome her fear of heights, going on to perform worldwide with several companies and directors.

For her residency, Jennifer will be working with other dance and aerial artists: Chrissie Ardill, Beverley Grant, Marie Williamson and Freya Jeffs.

She said: ‘Starting within the woodland at Jupiter Artland, taking movement from the ground, and moving it up into the air and around the trees, the woodland and back into the landscape, utilising our aerial dance harness skills and how we can play and create together in this environment. Our audience engagement will be through two workshops within the environment, allowing participants to play and explore both in and out of harness, just as we are doing. One for adults and one for children. Being so close to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena at Jupiter Artland we will look to connect with climbers there, as well as recreational aerialists from the Scottish aerial dance community.’

Simone Kenyon is a Scotland-based artist, performer, Feldenkrais practitioner and academic. For the past 20 years she has worked across performance and dance that embraces the complex interrelationships of movement, people and place.

Talking about her residency, she said: ‘The residency will focus on new research exploring the practices of drystone dyke building; including the choreographic, material agency, conservational, ecological, cultural and social aspects of wall building. Working for the first time, in-person with Master Waller, George Gunn, we will work with an existing wall in need of repair within the grounds to explore building techniques, place relational performance, creative conversations and take time to develop this new collaboration.

‘Filmmaker Emma Dove also joins to make our collaborative trio to further explore and develop ways of working with film in the process. On the last day of our residency, we will share our findings and explorations though conversation in-situ with a small group. Post residency we will share a film for a wider audience online. Beyond the physical residency, Simone will begin new critical-peer conversations with artist Robbie Synge, to stimulate questions and ideas as a way of continuing the development of the work.’

Tony Mills, artistic director at Dance Base: ‘Jupiter Artland is an incredibly innovative arts space with a team that is forward thinking. We feel it is the perfect place where artists can be supported to explore new connections between dance and the environment within an artistic context.

‘As we come back to working together creatively, the desire for collaboration and making things happen is so much stronger. This has resulted in this exciting cross-city partnership that will challenge the notions of what dance is and where it happens, and open up new avenues for dance artists and their work. We look forward to creating more opportunities with Jupiter Artland in the future.’

Nicky Wilson, director of Jupiter Artland: “It is an honour to host Dance Base and their Space, Nature, Nurture residency at Jupiter Artland. Working alongside other cultural institutions creates great networks across the city, and the country, which are incredibly powerful vehicles for change. I am a huge advocate for bringing creativity outside, enjoying the outdoors, watching nature, and being inspired by art. It is more important than ever to embrace this freedom and I am so excited to see the residents flourish in the landscape.’

Find out more about Dance Base HERE, and Jupiter Artland HERE.