Key tenets and methodolgies

Tim Taylor (Equity: Tim Doughty)

Contextualising my practice…experiences

Social: I consider my whole life, the life that I have lived in relation to others, to be the source of a pirate’s cave’s worth of influence on the creative work I am interested in now – whether exploring intimate autobiographical detail or surface-veneer frippery.

 Remembering conviviality in a Didsbury hairdressers’ in 1963, journalists hanging out in the Bull and Bush in Hampstead in 1964, surfer boys with sun-bleached hair in Santa Monica in 1966…Essex boys with rude-boy hair in Southend in 2001…it’s all part of that which stimulates.

 Cultural: My influences include: Chris Morris (The Day Today), Alan Bennett (Talking Heads), Julie Walters (I’m 53, yes…53, intrigued? I think you will be!), Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, decorative arts, the value of humanistic education (Rogers), Parisian sub-cultures of the 1970s (as witnessed and experienced), 60’s happenings in London and Los Angeles (seen from a child’s-eye view), life growing up in a large family, the Home-Counties juxtaposed with my Merseyside origins, a childhood and teenage growing up around creatively influential figures of the era, counter-culture subversion, my gay-icons, Rita Hayworth, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, sensuality, consumption and excess, gentleness and countryside, London, my education, teaching and learning, performing, peace…work…

Political: radical – liberality, socialist – conventionality

Artists, works and ideas/theories:

  • ‘One is not simply a body, but, in some very key sense, one does one’s body’ (Judith Butler in Fischer-Lichte, 2008: 27)
  • “Human beings have a natural potentiality. They are “ambivalently eager to develop and learn” (Carl Rogers in Curzon, 1997)
  • ‘Everyone carries some geography round in their aura. Sometimes I feel very Aldeburgh, another time, much more Savoy Grill’ (Derek Taylor, 1996)
  • ‘I have a dark and dreadful secret, I write poetry’ (Stephen Fry, 2007)
  • As a teacher, Farber helped dancers discover “their dancing involved not only their physical technique, but also their spirit, soul, emotions, and musicality.” (Reviewed by Robin Ireland for ForeWord CLARION about The Prickly Rose: A Biography of Viola Farber by Jeff Slayton) 

Inventors: Currently – Harrison Owen – Open Space Technology (and as interpreted by Improbable Theatre for Devoted and Disgruntled)

Choreographers/Directors: I’ve worked with and learnt from: Wendy Cook (Trent Park), Jane Turner, Luke Dixon, Eric Idle, Tim Brinkman, Jacky Lansley, Lucy Bailey, Martha Clark, Matthew Hawkins, Bill T Jones, Philip Headley, Ultz, Sian Williams and the Kosh, Richard Wilson, Johnny Hutch, Declan Donnellan, David McVicar, Michael Keegan- Dolan, Ken Russell, David Alden, Steven Pimlott, David Pountney, Jude Kelly

Composers: Steve Reich, Philip Glass, R Vaughan Williams, Samuel Barber, Giacomo Puccini, John Lennon, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Ron Sexsmith, Antony and the Johnsons, Kate and Anna Mcgarrigle, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Ashford and Simpson, Leiber and Stoller

Works: books, films, objects….a random selection

  • Non-fiction – Sexual Outlaw (John Rechy),
  • Fiction – Generation X (Douglas Coupland)
  • Poetry (Constantine P. Cavafy)
  • Film – Now Voyager, Gilda, Room at the Top, The Joy Luck Club

 Methodologies…I work with interdisciplinarity because:

  • it offers those involved with the chance to negotiate the ways in which different manifestations of performance may be used to create meaning and impact
  • it extends the expressive range of what is communicated
  • it helps the practitioner-facilitator to foster an environment of inclusivity in which fellow participants in the creative process are empowered to contribute what they are able to in ways that are appropriate to their abilities
  • it’s a pleasure and a test to find out how differing modes of expression can coalesce, sort of in conversation with each other, during the working process
  • the creative result will have its own, very particular set of qualities

Key tenets: Having worked primarily as a dancer-actor across a diverse professional field of contemporary dance, musical theatre, comedy improvisation, opera-dance and straight drama and also having explored developments as a choreographer in fringe theatre and the commercial sector, I have had the chance to build a portfolio of skills, knowledge and understanding that gives me a strong creative edge in a complex world of what just might be possible. Of equal importance to the building of an eclectic profile of ability is the fact of my teaching work. Since 1999 I have taught across the sectors of children’s and young people’s workshops, BTEC and A level dance and performance, dance and drama in adult education, special educational needs (SEN) as well as in the more recent specialisms of adult literacy and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). So, I think this range of interests, insights and professional experiences gives me a real investment in the viability of combining approaches around creative output and social entrepreneurship.

A particular working relationship that has had great value for me over the past seven years has been the one I’ve enjoyed with choreographer and artist, Jacky Lansley. Of a current project, Guests R&D, in which I am involved, she notes:

This is a project concerning interdisciplinarity in which we will cross boundaries of skill, approach, craft and genres to guest in each other’s worlds. It will be about generosity, intelligence, exchange and collaboration. I am interested in cross disciplined work because it allows the power of different artistic languages and processes to ignite and fuse – particularly when new approaches/forms are required to express the inexpressible.

March 2010

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