Xindanwei | 新单位 A new way of working | 一种新的工作方式

May 14, 2013

May Featured People:Janis Claxton | (五月)人物:Janis Claxton

Filed under: People | 人物 — Tags: — Alice @ 11:56 am


[lang_en]Interview &Translation / Alice Dong

1. Welcome to, you are the first choreographer featured in Xindanwei People! Would you mind to introduce yourself a bit?

Sure. I am a choreographer, originally from Australia but I am based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have been working in contemporary dance internationally for 30 years in areas spanning professional, educational and community dance. I have lived and worked in several countries and over the past 4 years I have worked on several projects involving dancers from Scotland and China.

2. Can you tell us about Janis Claxton Dance the award winning contemporary dance company you are the artistic director for and what you do for it?

Janis Claxton Dance is a contemporary dance company supported on a project to project basis by various stakeholders in Scotland including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, British Council and Confucius Institute for Scotland.
We make work for touring in small and mid scale venues and specialise in work created for unique public spaces such as zoos, museums and galleries. All of our work is research based. This involves various levels including movement, space, concept and science based research. Some of our most recent projects have been based on human/animal and mathematics/dance connections.
The company has a core team of 4 dancers including myself and we work with different artists for various projects including musicians, actors, costume, set, lighting and sound designers as well as dancers from China. We also consult with people such as zoo keepers and mathematicians as part of our research.
For the company I am the Artistic Director which involves wearing many hats and delivering at all levels of the process. On an artistic level I am involved in training (and inspiring) the dancers, igniting concepts, initiating and carry out research, directing rehearsals, choreographing the work, gathering and coordinating collaborators etc. I also am very involved with the management, publicity and production areas and work with my team to book tours, fundraise, write grants, produce publicity materials, manage budgets and deliver project reports. It is a large job remit and even though I am at the helm of it, it really involves a lot of collaboration and team work. Since being at Xindanwei I recognise a lot of parallels with the concepts of coworking, cocreation and Design Thinking. For example even though I initiate the concepts and research area, it is together with the dancers that we develop the movement material.

3. You have had an on-going relationship with Chinese dance artists and organizations and could you tell us about the experiences you had in collaborating with Chinese dancers for the Shanghai Expo, and with BeijingDance/LDTX ?

Over the past 4 years have worked with Chinese dancers on numerous occasions for projects in China and the UK. All of the experiences have been rewarding and exciting but my favorites have been when I bring dancers from the UK and China together for extended periods to cocreate together. The culture clashes and convergences inform the entire creative process and contribute to the work we make and over time we have developed layers of understandings, interpretations, misunderstandings that have been poetic, sublime, amusing, confusing and we have even developed our own Chinese/English dancers sign language!

4. As a contemporary dance practitioner what were the circumstances that lead you to coming to Xindanwei? What are your future steps?

I came to Xindanwei because I was a very lucky recipient of a fantastic fellowship called ICE ( )This is a fellowship that identifies 5 leaders in the arts and offers us the opportunity to be placed in an organization outside of the UK for a 3 month period to work with inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs out-with of our usual filed of work and leadership. It is a fantastic to learn outside of my own field which I have been immersed in for 45 years! The fellowship offers opportunities to learn about leadership and entrepreneurship from a totally different perspective.

5. Thanks again for providing this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?

I feel very privileged to be working with Liu Yan who is such an inspiring leader, initiator and creator. Xindanwei is a great space to work in and through Liu Yan’s latest project Ask Lab, I am learning a lot. It’s very interesting how a choreographer can fit into Xindanwei and Ask Lab! I am excited about transferring skills back into my own creative process and hopefully creating new ideas and projects from this experience.[/lang_en]

[lang_cn]采访和翻译/ Alice Dong



2.作为艺术总监,能跟我们说说Janis Claxton Dance这个舞蹈团队以及你在期间所做的一些努力吗?

Janis Claxton Dance是一个现代舞蹈团队,主要是由一个又一个的项目支持着我们的公司运作,而它在苏格兰有着多个股东,其中也包括苏格兰政府,创意苏格兰,英国大使馆,苏格兰孔子学院。




3. 据我们所知,你一直都有在和中国的一些舞蹈艺术家甚至是组织进行一些互通合作,那么你能跟我们聊聊你在上海世博会以及2012北京现代舞双周这两个合作项目上的经验感悟吗?


4. 作为资深舞者,是什么机遇让你来到了新单位,在此之后,你有什么规划吗?

我来到新单位完全是ICE ( ),它每年都会评选出艺术领域的5为杰出者,进而为他们在英国之外的优秀组织里提供3个月的交流机会。在那里,他们可以和他们自身所专注的领域之外的一些极富灵感的企业家一起工作,获得启发。

5. 感谢你给xindanwei.com这个采访机会,在最后,有什么别的要跟我们的读者说的吗?


No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress