Explorations in Collectivity is home to the dance practice, research and enquiry of dance artist and activist Danielle Jones (Teale). Ongoing explorations into the themes of collectivity and connection began in 2017 with Collective Field and continue into 2021 with the innovative new programme, Collective Identity (CID Project).

we begin... (2021-22)

we begin… is a film portrait series, shot during 16 visits to the individual homes of dancers with Parkinson’s throughout the summer of 2021. They share a unique moment, captured live by Pavel Radu (ROPO FIlms) through a single shot, with movement and voice developed and performed within the workshop on that day – all led and directed by Danielle Jones (Teale) and Jaka Skapin. The intention is to showcase the aliveness of the collaborative process between Danielle, Jaka and the dancers – a process that is explored with integrity and vulnerability and evolves alongside the dancers in every session they deliver together.

“Each of the pieces is a mini performance captured by a dynamic hand-held camera. The musical pieces have been developed from what was sung live in the space. The films showcase the original sound with additional layers added during post-production; or an exact re-recording of the initial improvisation, when a digital vocal looper was our instrument of choice.”
– Jaka Skapin

Working with our dancers to develop the content for this process was a practice of noticing, offering, and reflecting. This co-creative process has been a pleasure to evolve over the summer and we are looking forward to sharing more films from the series over the coming months. Click here to see the gallery of films released over six months from October 2021 to April 2022.

who we are now, and then...

Who we are now, and then… was an exhibition in 2021 which explored the shifting and evolving ideas surrounding care, identity, and compassion, shared by people with Parkinson’s through the process of dancing with Danielle Jones, Collective IDentity (CID Project).

The exhibition featured three commissioned artists who presented new creations alongside photographic work captured in dancers’ homes by Sara Hibbert and the screening of excerpts from a documentary film directed by Danielle Jones and Jaka Skapin.

The commissioned artists were Emma Brown, a visual artist with a focus on printmaking and illustration, Edwina Kung, a fine artist who explores how we respond to our surroundings to make meaningful relationships and David Armes who works with letterpress and focuses on print, language and geography.
Working with CILIP, the libraries association, the 14-venue tour took place in hospitals, libraries and arts centres across the UK. Launched during Libraries Week, the exhibition opened across two locations in East London, at Poplar Union and Idea Store Bow.

The full exhibition toured to Poplar Union, East London (3 – 19 Oct), Wimbledon Library, South West London (1 – 11 Dec), Fleetwood Library, Lancaster (8 – 25 Apr), The Point, Eastleigh (5 – 18 Feb), and Colchester Library, Essex (4 – 29 Mar).

To accommodate the wide range of settings and to make the exhibition as accessible to as many people as possible, a smaller adapted version also toured to 9 venues in areas the CID Project currently works. A digital version of the exhibition was also launched, providing a fully accessible virtual space with artworks digitally accessed for optimum viewing along with audio description.

Collective Identity (2021)

Exploring compassionate connection, individual and collective identity and the value of leading with care – Danielle Jones (Teale) recent work Collective IDentity (CID), is the latest in a series of multidisciplinary explorations with dancers, musicians, visual artists, film and photography and research, spanning across 18 months working with 7 partners across the country, funded by Arts Council England.

Collective IDentity (CID Project), brings expressive, moving and creative dance opportunities to people with Parkinson’s throughout 2021. Featuring a live dance and music programme directed by Danielle Jones (Teale) (dance) and Jaka Skapin (music), this programme is an exploration of togetherness and empathy, in a personal enquiry into compassion, care, identity and collectivity, both on screen and in person.

This innovative project has two major strands of work; an artistic, multidimensional dance and music project taking place both online and in person for people with Parkinson’s to engage with; and the creation of a documentary film and visual arts exhibition that will tour to libraries, hospitals and arts venues across the UK. Collective IDentity will produce a body of artistic work that represents the collaborative enquiry of dancers with Parkinson’s across the country. Follow the project and evolving artistic outcomes on the blog.

Collective IDentity (2019)

Alongside long-time collaborator, vocalist Jaka Skapin, the first phase of the CID Project took place in 2019 in partnership with Poplar Union in East London. The project explored the intersection between improvised, mindful expression, and professional, co-creative practice with dancers with Parkinson’s. It was, and continues to be, inspired by the lives and experiences of those people with Parkinson’s, their sense of individual identity and value, and how dance has the power to shift the perspective we have of ourselves as artistic, beautiful, meaningful and worthy…

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.”

Collective Field (2017)

In 2017, an interest in the contrasting collective and intimate spaces of dance, provoked by ongoing work with dancers with Parkinson’s, led dance artist Danielle Jones (Teale) to develop the practice as research project, Explorations in Collectivity & Intimacy, which would later evolve to become the nationally successful programme, Collective Identity.

The project began as a process led exploration considering the tools we use to develop dance with people with Parkinson’s and how we can value the shared energy of the collective, equally with the individual contributions of intimate movement exploration. The relationships between sound and body, rhythm and space, and the role of shared movement in relation to personal, physical, and perceptual experience were all been considered.

Connecting through a shared interest in these themes with visual artist Sara Hibbert, the first phase of this exploratory process was captured in an installation film. The work-in-progress film Collective Field (2017), was exhibited at the RCA Dyson Gallery as part of a work in progress show by Altai Collective in 2017.