We caught up with Meg Saunders, who will be performing in Tilted Productions Constructions of Thin Air here at The Place on 9 & 10 Mar 2018. Meg will also be leading a dance workshop for children based on the show as part of Easter at The Place.
Tell us a bit about your dance background..
I came to dance through a love of gymnastics and circus as a young child and went on to study at Trinity Laban, later joining their postgraduate dance company Transitions. I have since worked for various choreographers and began to work increasingly in performances that were outdoors or in interesting spaces. I have also always taught alongside performing and creating and find that each area feeds and inspires the other.
You are teaching a workshop at The Place on our Easter programme, could you tell us more about what to expect?
The workshop this Easter will be playful, active and creative. It will focus on ideas that surround Tilted Productions new piece Constructions of Thin Air, such as home, family and place. The day will begin with a warm up class accompanied by a live musician and in the afternoon we will work creatively through games and tasks using objects and props from the show.
What's your faourite thing about teaching?
I love the surprises! Whatever age group I’m working with, teaching and sharing ideas always inspires me and helps me to see things from new and fresh perspectives. I’m usually nervous beforehand, as there is always an element of the unexpected, but most of the time I finish a session full of energy and ideas. I like nothing more than sharing my passion and enthusiasm for dance.
Which teacher influenced you the most?
When I was training at Trinity Laban, a teacher called Lizzi Kew-Ross really encouraged me and helped me to build my confidence as a performer. I have since worked with her in various projects. She has had an influence on my career and ideas for over a decade now, from when I was a student, to learning about collaborating with musicians and working outdoor/site specifically whilst performing in her work.
What's been the biggest challenge in your career so far?
It was very tough when I first graduated to find enough work. I would work in a pub until late at night and then get up early in the morning and go to class and auditions (I don’t know how I had the energy!). Slowly as I gained more experience and began to build a stronger network it got easier and I was able to make a living through dance. The precarious nature of working as a freelancer can still sometimes be a bit scary but I love the variety, the people and the unexpected places you end up (and the fact I get to dance with people for a living!) so I don’t regret a thing.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
A dream dinner party would mostly be filled with my family and friends - however it would be interesting to have Nina Simone, John Cage, David Attenborough, Malala Yousafzai and Pina Bausch around the table as well. I recently discovered I had an ancestor that was a pirate - it might be fun to invite him too!
Find out more about Constructions of Thin Air on our Whats On page.
Find out more about the Creative Contemporary workshop on our Easter page.