CHANGE MAKERS BLOG
August 2nd 2017 – Change Maker Blog: Permission
Photo by Ruth Campbell – Rob Hesp, Luke Pell, Kitty Fedorec and Kate Marsh
In the two Labs that have taken place so far, I have been pretty vocal in my enthusiasm to get to the part where we all move together, make contact with each other in a way that is beyond or other than talking to and at each other. This is no way de-values the essential nature of the talking/presenting parts, this is how we begin to make space to articulate and share our practice and ideas. What is personally interesting to me in this, as a dancer, mover, touchey-feeley type, is how it seems that the body and physical experience is often left behind as we extend or progress into leadership, whatever leadership is.
In Metal, Peterborough there is a space, a lovely space, not too small, not too big, private enough to roll around on the floor (or whatever) but also close enough to hear the gentle reassuring sounds of a clicking keyboard or boiling kettle, just to remind you that you are part of something.
Since starting my Change Makers partnership with Metal, I haven’t used this space other than to meet or observe other people’s practice. This morning I went for a short run, when my head is a bit full, I turn to my body to re-connect and find some space. As I was running, enjoying the predictable monotony of one foot after the other, audible breathing, I began to wonder why I haven’t accessed this space. I know I’m allowed, in-fact encouraged by my colleagues at Metal, actually I think they like it best when they too can hear the sounds being produced by someone playing music, moving, lying down in the space from their office space.
I think it is more about giving myself permission to allow the different aspects of my life to collide, to understand that the stuff in a tracksuit feeds the stuff at the conferences or meetings and vice versa. Why is it that we seem to have developed a habit of separating physical practice and ‘non’ physical practice? Are we not physical as we plough through the endless emails? Are we not constructing those same emails as we run, swim, dance, move do yoga?
I wonder if we would find more space if we could understand this more deeply, that the body that writes the funding application is not one dimensional, if we attend to our ‘whole’ in these processes what could happen?
So, I write this blog as a sort of promise to myself that on this Change Maker journey which explores progression into leadership, that from time to time I will turn up in my tracksuit armed with my ipod, I will try and remember that leadership is (or should be) a holistic experience where the body is not left behind.
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About Change Makers
Increasing the diversity of senior leadership in art and culture by helping to develop a cohort of leaders who are Black, minority ethnic and/or disabled by means of a targeted senior leadership training and development programme.
Disabled dance artist Kate Marsh will work with Metal as an ‘agent for change’ and future leader, leading a programme that explores new approaches to talent development, leadership and collaboration for disabled dance artists via a series of LABs, residencies, and up to 12 new commissions. The works will be presented at industry showcases at the Southbank Centre, Metal events in Liverpool, Peterborough and Southend, and a new national symposium to coincide with Unlimited 2018. Kate will undertake an extensive professional development programme including a month long residency in Australia and will input to organisation wide change within Metal.
About Kate Marsh
Kate Marsh is a disabled dance artist with over 20 years’ experience of performing, teaching and making. Her interests are centred around perceptions of the body in the arts and notions of corporeal aesthetics. Specifically, she is interested in each of our lived experiences of our bodies, and how this does (or doesn’t) inform our artistic practice. Her recently completed PhD focusses on leadership in the context of dance and disability and draws strongly on the voices of artists to interrogate questions around notions of leadership, perceptions and the body.
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