Meet our new Young Associate Programmer!

Meet our new Young Associate Programmer!

Dance4 would like to introduce our new Young Associate Programmer Hannah McBrien, here is a quick Q&A to help us learn a bit more about Hannah.

1.    What are you looking forward to most about becoming the new Young Associate Programmer?

I'm excited in general, I'm looking forward to working with both Dance4 and DanceXchange and all that I will learn from them, and excited about being a part of all the great dance platforms happening for young people in the new year. I love making things happen and for young people the chance to perform on stage is so valuable, giving insight into how it feels as a professional, building confidence and of course having fun doing what they love!

2.    What are you looking forward to getting out the experience of being the new Young Associate Programmer?

I'm hoping to meet with and work with lots of new people and develop my own skills; I wish to nurture my creativity and develop my skills working with young people. It will be a good rounded experience to set my dance career off in the right direction.

3.    What do you think you can bring to the role?

My passion and that I take pride in everything I do, I work hard and will bring my positivity and friendliness. I will also bring my love for dance in general, curiosity, artistic questioning, creativity and my artistic perspective to programming. I cannot wait to get started, I am incredibly eager and love to organise!

4.    Could you tell us a bit about your previous training?

I have just completed a degree in dance making and performance at Coventry University. I have been dancing since the age of 3, training in a variety of styles such as disco freestyle, ballet and street. At Bilborough College I took performing arts which led me to begin to further train in contemporary dance and ballet at Déda and with Retina Dance Company. While at University I trained in contemporary dance and somatic practices along with ashtanga yoga, pilates and ballet. I am very interested in somatic practices and improvisation as these forms have really nourished my ability to create my own work. I continue to regularly train in contemporary, ballet and improvisational forms through classes, workshops and residencies whenever I get the opportunity. I am also really interested in using voice and speech within performance, this has been inspired in particular by a workshop I did at Dance4 with Guy Dartnell.

5.    You were involved with The Dance In Galleries season had you ever done anything like Remake before?

I have done a couple of durational performances in the past I have worked with Lizzie Le Quesne in Coventry and performed in her piece 'an intricate field' it was a 4 hour long performance with a series of scores which fluidly led into one another, although different to remake it was similar way of working for me.

My final project work at University was a durational performance of 3 hours, it was improvised within a score that I had developed through my daily practice and process leading to the performance. I shared my space with hundreds of trophy's and medals I had won as a child. The work was autobiographical and investigated notions of obsession and compulsion; fueled by the constant urge to gain satisfaction and relief through the completion of tasks that could provide a sense of control. I interacted with the audience and had conversations as they arose from the score, the piece was called Day 74. And also I often worked with scores during my training at University so I love being given a task and working with it, letting it develop and evolve.

6.    Did you learn anything when working with Florence Peake?

It was a really great experience to work with her because the way in which she works reminded me of the training I had done while at University, so it was really nice way to re-connect with my performance side and check in with my body. We only had a four hour session with her before the performance but she was able to help us bond and establish a great working relationship despite the performers coming from different backgrounds. Florence helped me to think about performance presence, to be present even in stillness and to pay attention to the space and what is unfolding, to make choices whether to accept or reject but being clear in these choices.

7.    What was the last inspiring dance work you saw?

Gosh I have seen so many dance works in recent times but one that is in my head, which I saw at Nottdance, is Sideway’s Rain. It was fantastic I was so engaged the time went by so fast, it was this continuous circle, the dancers came from one side of the stage and travelled across to the other, it was fascinating to watch the development of it. It's the kind of piece that I kept telling everyone about and was discussing with friends for days.

8. The most important question of all… as everyone is a big fan of cake, what is your favourite cake?

Ooo as Im a fan of coffee and chocolate it would have to be a mocha cake!!!

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