News & Blogs

23 July 2020
Author: The Place

Alumni Portraits - Siobhan Davies

To celebrate The Place's 50s anniversary - and the resilience, passion and strength of the dance community - our series of portraits will feature some of our amazing LCDS alumni, showcase their career paths, their experience and what they have learned about being a dance artist.


When did you study at LCDS? Why did you decide to study contemporary dance?

I never actually joined the LCDS. In 1967 I was at Art School and I began going to dance classes when they were at Berners Place. We then moved to The Place and I remained taking part in the open classes and was involved in rehearsals and early performances. It was incredible to be both a student and a performer (however naive!) at the same time.
I had been at Art School and the 60’s were a rich time for experiencing experimental work. I simply went to a dance class and did not stop.
I was intrigued by the fact that when I left the dance studio nothing of my work remained in the room. Whatever had been done might be a memory in my body as I walked away, and that memory might alter over the hours until my return to the dance studio. In the Art studio I might have left behind a drawing which would remain the same overnight.


Tells us a little bit about what happened since! What are the key moments in your career?

The best has been my constant and increasing awareness of how movement and the body are such good teachers. I am never bored by exploring different movements and the feeling of what is happening when I do.
A few performances have given me the wonderful sense of being whole and having something good to offer an audience.


What did you take away from your creative education? What lessons did you carry with you through your career?

I have definitely not stopped learning. Why would I do that?
I really enjoy being in a studio with others, learning together and working hard so that hours vanish, and then suddenly we need to pause and talk about something else and it is often food!
I like being able to talk to others from other disciplines and sharing common and different perspectives. Visual Art and artists have been a huge resource for me.


How has dance shaped your life? What were the challenges you had to overcome to keep dancing or to remain in the dance industry?

I think I have been very fortunate to be involved in dance in the era I have been.
I have learnt to work hard and that means I can always return to simply getting back to work in whatever form it can take if I can’t find another way through.
I also know that if I had to have stopped earlier on then I would still have learnt something which would continue to interest and inform me.


What are your hopes for the dance community? What will it look like to be a dance artist in the future?

I have a huge belief that dance is coming into its own as a far richer art form than has been perceived.
Studying dance brings the integrated intelligence of the body to the foreground, and when we genuinely address what that intelligence brings us then we have the resources to include more than the making of performance however wonderful that is. Learning through movement can sensitise us to so much. I have an infant grandchild and I am ageing. The difference in our bodies is touching. I can ask myself to be aware of the extraordinary changes she is undergoing, often hourly. I sometimes equate that with a dancer absorbed in the minute changes of an action and learning all the while. I have to adjust to not being able to move as I did and I become expert in other movements, other transitions. It is all extraordinary and unforgettable.


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