Since its conception in 2011, 12° North Graduate Dance Company as an Arts Council England funded project, has supported thirty emerging graduate dance artists in a dance training company, which operated as a professional dance touring company, with dancers engaging in class, rehearsals and performances with a view to preparing them for the world of professional dance work. Their development was supported by the use of imagery, both photographic and video, and each dancer’s journey was framed visually within the theme of ‘the dancer at work’ or ‘utility’.
Introducing Bohm’s ideas on how the unfamiliar and alertness increase artist perception, this abstract supports two interconnected research projects in one poster, in dialogue with each other, both of which explore this working process of the interconnection of photography, film and self reflection, as a method of strengthening the emerging artist’s sense of self and agency in the professional world of dance.
Firstly, the poster addresses Newall's photographic capture of dancers at work, and how such capture frames cultural perceptions of dance and dancers, both inside and outside the world of dance. Secondly, it addresses Jaundrill-Scott's work on the self-reflexive responses of dancers to black and white imagery of themselves, and how visual literacy can enhance dance learning and the dancer’s sense of self as a working professional artist.
Finally, it address how, during this project, the visual engagement has impacted upon the researchers’ own experiences: in such processes, the teacher is usually the self effacing agent in the learning process, but both researchers began to engage with a meta level of reflection about their own artistry: as image makers; as performance specialists; and as teachers. In a world that has hitherto been logo-centric, the posters propose that engaging with images, and enhancing visual literacy are vital behaviours for self-awareness and self-development in learning environments.