Knowing the Dance

How can we know the dancer from the dance?
‘Knowing the Dance’ was a yearlong project exploring the meeting place between movement/dance and poetry and has been supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Artist Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES) and Down Arts Centre.

The Project had four main elements

  • Masterclass with Sarah Warsop investigating how her work creating a middle place between choreography and other artforms, principally contemporary jewellery design, could be used to work across to where poetry and movement meet (January ’17)
  • A dance/poetry collaboration with dancer/choreographer/researcher Paula Guzzanti working with musician Martin Devek trialling different ways that poetry and movement/dance can connect with each other. The making began progress in December ’16, with the premier performance on the 9 September, 7pm, at Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, and a further performance in November at the Brian Friel Theatre, QUB, Belfast.
  • Development of my own practice as a writer, creating innovative, sturdy practice around the issue of movement in poetry what is already an artistic signature. See ‘The Clock Repairer’s Companion: Thirty Tristichs’ – for a creative working out of my considerations of the moving parts of poetry generally, and my own writing also.
  • A body of poems, reflective of this work on knowing the dance within the word-on-the-page world, provisionally titled ‘Walking by Water’ – in progress. I am, as of 17/18, working on this particularly body of work.
  • A mechanism to communicate the techniques and learnings of the project, particularly through the medium of writers workshop, piloted with Words for Castle Ward and others at Down Arts Centre on the 9th of September and facilitated by Sarah Warsop.

I have been documenting the different aspects of the project, through the lettersforladyn blog. If you would like to enquire further about any aspect of the project, do contact me at