Innovating Dance Practice: Seville, Coventry, Berlin.

Innovating Dance Practice was a six week professional development period from June to July, studying with contemporary-flamenco teachers and researching new technologies being developed with flamenco and contemporary dance. Huge thanks for financial support from Ausdance NSW and partially self-funded. Thanks also to Claire Hicks (Critical Path), Rosa Cisneros (C-DARE), Margie Medlin, Claudia Chambers and Prue Clarke for their great support.

Barcelona: Israel Galván, Sonár Festival. Seville: Flamenco Empirico workshop, Juan Carlos Lerída and dance classes with Leonor Leal. Cordoba: research at Sefardi Museo Coventry: Wholodance,C-DARE Coventry University Berlin: Flamenco Empirico workshop, Juan Carlos Lerída. Granada: research in Albacin and Sacromonte. .




Vast architecture

Gaudi’s flower petals and green blue tiles

Sacred temples with floating roofs

And roses for miles. The palace in the distance

Burst my heart open

And Seville behind me, always awaits.


The claque of dissonant feet

We look for our souls own true sound

In the rhythms unfolding.

Everyday a new arrangement like flowers in Cordoba's courtyards

Liso es liso he says. Liso is flat.

Neutral? I ask.

No. There’s no such thing as neutral in Spain They say.

Respect the rules He says. But the rules have their own way of unfolding

Just like the rhythms each day.


Berlin is the wall, but an open-hearth furnace.

Friendly smiles and young faces and bicycles and gentry

They own their history, their murder and crimes

There’s no cultural amnesia here

Just a sense of failed past and putting it right; before your eyes.


The old folk still suffer from a plan not in place; the young have moved on

Vietnamese Vegan on every corner and a beer in hand.

And their flamenco is buoyant and joyous and fresh

Those Arians play with a culture that here is displaced

But seeks to find its place

In a satellite of Seville.


In Coventry, there’s digital flamenco on the screen

There’s Greek, Ballet and Contemporary too.

Tools for education and preservation and communication

Despite Brexit; across the EU.


Israel’s in Barcelona, oh my heart burst again!

The joy of freedom,

He jokes and plays

Nothing is sacred…

Breaking every rule.


They say when you’re in Barcelona look up.

The buildings of Gaudi, those flower petals and the people

Who want independencia and sovereign rule.

Innovating dance is more than step here or there,

It’s finding that independencia

From a collective state to being an embodied country of your own.


Europe’s embrace of a contemporary-flamenco that only begins to emerge

Across Germany, Sweden, France and Spain,

England, Portugal, Brazil and New York

Tel Aviv and Brussels.

And then there’s me in Sydney and Tomas in Melbourne,

Maree in Perth and Yasmin in Adelaide,

And trying to explain that distance to those ….

Well we may as well be in Sweden and Berlin and Seville and Lucerne.


Pushing and pulling torso from limbs

Scuffing new sounds through suspension and fall

Consoling my questions, but not my quest.

Still more to do and much more to learn

Perhaps to Seville.

Or to bring a new independencia of a contemporary tradition

Into this satellite, home.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Photographs during Empirico Flamenco workshops with Juan Carlos Lerída and Leonor Leal in Seville and Berlin.