Germinating an Idea



I feel I am coming home with The Dance Movement’s latest project – ‘Farnham Blooming’ (FB). The very first project I did with/for the Company was called SEED and here I am going back to the start with a new and exciting site-specific performance and a little bit of R&D with, yes you’ve guessed it – seeds. FB as we know it in the office, is looking to bring to life outside spaces throughout Farnham as part of the Town’s entry for the South East Based Competition, In Bloom.  Through the project we are taking the theme of flowers, the growing and nurturing of plants right into every aspect of the performance.  We are growing our costumes, our props and providing our audience with gifts we have grown and made.


So this initial blog is to talk about my first experiment – cress and mustard. How quickly do they germinate? As you will see from the images, cress far outstripped mustard, but once fully grown the mustard has a more powerful leaf structure with a lovely contrast to each face of the leaf. Documenting these seeds’ growth has kind of been a snapshot of time when our own ideas for the project have also been growing. I recently applied for a pot of money to create a performance again outdoors, but with a totally different set of requirements theme-wise. It was a ‘proposal’ of the idea for the work. As ever I was ‘up against it’ time-wise and left the application until the last minute.

I worked up a ‘mood board’ of ideas and found a fascinating side angle to my initial research and thoughts. I was quite glad that in the end the full funding for the performance didn’t materialise, which meant I could have a slightly less busy Summer Term! However, on receiving feedback, I got the impression that the person selecting the work to be performed wanted a ‘finished article’ and didn’t want to take a punt on a fleeting glimpse of an idea.

Since then, unfortunately, I have been germinating my ‘seed of an idea’ and actually getting quite excited about what could have been. It just needed a bit of time.  As with my cress and mustard experiment, the longer the germination period, the longer you can ponder and consider your art form, the more fruitful, fulsome and ‘big’ those ideas become. Time can be against us in our frantic lives.

As a freelance dance artist I sometimes feel like I blunder from one project to the next with always a terms number of weeks dictating the outcome. However, with this project finding the time to just stand and stare, to wait and think, to consider and select… is key and will be for me, the backbone and the joyous part of creating and devising dances for the young people taking part.


Originally posted March 30, 2015.