DANCE DANCE DANCE
Today at 1948, choreographer Ella Robson Guilfoyle guided the Flyknit Collective PERFORMANCE group as they began creating their final pieces.
We spoke to Ella about what performance means to her.
When did you start dancing?
I started dancing with I was 3, then I went to do my full-time training at Laban when I was 18. After that I worked as a dancer for a while, before realising that I wanted to make a very particular type of movement that no-one else was really making. So I started developing my own choreography and creating stuff for film and fashion and theatre and large scale events.
Recently I’ve been working in circus and dance, which has been really exciting. It’s nice working with people who do things that you can’t.
What does performance mean to you?
Performance is the sole reason why I do what I do. I love moving, and I think that even if I stopped choreographing and got a job as a lawyer, I would still go to class. There’s something about it – it’s like yoga for some people – it makes them feel like themselves.
The reason I do dance movement is all about performance. I love the theathrical side of it. It’s everything to me. I’m more interested in an individual who has strong performance skills – and it could be anything, it could be the fact that they always look at the audience and have a little engagement – than the most technically skilled dancer. Some people are just natural performers.
How will you be working with the group this week?
I’m helping the group to make sequences of movements that are inspired by the light response and the sound response of UVA’s installation, as well as image capture.
What I’m trying to help the students to do is lay down motifs which will be the basis of my for the live piece on the UVA’s Levity installation at the launch of Aske Gardens. I’m really excited. UVA are just…the pinnacle. I’ve always gone to their installations. There’s something so clever about how they turn a public space into a performance space. All my choreography is about taking pedestrian movement from everyday life, so I’m really interested in taking public movement into choreography, too.
What are you excited to part of the Flyknit Collective?
I love Nike as a brand for a starter – I always train in their clothing. But also, I’m just so excited by UVA’s response to Flyknit. I would never think of responding to the project in the way that they have but for me collaboration is just the best way to work. Nike, UVA, me, the other innovators, the performers, the students…we’ll work together to produce the end point. It’s just too exciting.
PERFORMANCE IS THE SOLE REASON WHY I DO WHAT I DO