Collective Identity (2021)

“On Saturday I made the rather grand claim that the CID project is in a way about learning to live; I stand by this. In our shared exploration of what we have in common, we are in the process of learning to love ourselves and each other.”

We’re interested in compassionate connection between people, and with ourselves, and how dance could contribute to greater self awareness, leading to greater care for ourselves and others. Collective IDentity (CID), is the latest in a series of multidisciplinary explorations directed by Danielle Jones, with dancers, musicians, visual artists, film and photography. Alongside long time collaborator Jaka Skapin, this project explores the intersection between improvised, mindful expression, and professional, co-creative practice with dancers with Parkinson’s.

Collective IDentity (2021) has produced a body of artistic work that represents the collaborative enquiry of dancers with Parkinson’s across the country. This practice and research project, spanned across 18 months working with 7 national partners funded by Arts Council England. The live dance and music programme directed by Danielle Jones saw an exploration of togetherness and empathy, and a personal enquiry into identity and collectivity, both on screen and in person. The project spanned lockdown periods from Spring 2021 through to re-entry into in-person activity in Spring 2022. The multidimensional dance and music content was shared through live online and in person workshops, a bespoke online community platform designed to engage with outside the dance programme, a bespoke one-to-one workshop programme in dancers homes, and the creation of a touring exhibition of visual artwork and photography.

“I think it’s taken quite a time in my life to realise that actually, identities are not fixed, and that we are all kinds of people at all kinds of times. Sometimes simultaneously”

Man with eyes closed | Collective Identity
Collective Identity - man with eyes closed and hands in the air
Collective Identity - couple dancing
Collective Identity - man with hands over eyes
Collective Identity - woman with arms outstretched

Collective IDentity (2019)

The first phase of the CID Project took place in 2019 in partnership with Poplar Union in East London. The culmination of the weekly multidimensional exploration saw the creation of a new exhibition of visual art, photography and film installed at Poplar Union and the production of a live dance performance and film ‘A Single Thread’ featuring dancers with Parkinson’s.

“We have danced; we have seen ourselves in the frame of artists work; we have been the feature subjects of portraits; curated music; choreographed; written poetry; learned a new language of the body; discussed beauty; had our opinions heard; had our dances observed; been applauded, acknowledged and celebrated; moved people to tears, exhaustion and hysterics! We have reached the widest potential for human expression and we’ve enjoyed every second of it! This project has not just been an opportunity to dance each week, to free ourselves from physical restriction and rigidity; far more than that, it has been a safe space for artistic experimentation, a chance to be the subject of art, to inspire art, and to be an artist in our own right.”