Talking Moves Series 1 Episode 4: Dancing Differently

Talking Moves | 20 November 2020

In this episode we talk to Katie Green and Ivan Blackstock about the ways in which they have been breaking from the conventional and Dancing Differently… creating new partnerships, new audiences and new platforms for their work. Has their need to challenge the status quo been conscious and deliberate or simply accidental?

Ivan talks about his love and admiration for the music, fashion and technology industries and how these have opened his eyes to a new way of being and working, and Katie talks of the rich source of choreographic stimuli working with museums and heritage has given her. They both reflect on the things that have made them who they are and the challenges they have encountered along the way – not fitting the aesthetic, doors shutting, imposter syndrome and language barriers… but also enthuse about the opportunities they have seized within new worlds which have given them both the ability to keep creating.

Together they discuss the skills needed to create relationships, the care and consideration they give their colleagues and friends, audiences and themselves and the desperate need to adapt to survive. Now more than ever.

Who's Who

Photo of Ivan Blackstock's head and shoulders. Ivan is wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap

Ivan Blackstock

Cultural innovator, Ivan Michael Blackstock is a South London-born multidisciplinary artist whose work as an artist, mentor, curator and cultural observer led him to first to be established as a professional dancer and choreographer, working with artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Kylie Minogue and the Pet Shop Boys; advertising for brands like Adidas, BVLGARI and Guinness and television programmes such as The X Factor UK, The Brit Awards and Dancing with the Stars USA. After establishing a successful commercial career, Ivan went on to choreograph his own work and collaborate in stage productions and Hip Hop dance theatre. Presenting work at the Roundhouse, National Theatre and Breakin Convention, as well as co-found BirdGang Dance Company. This led to the creation of the critically acclaimed production A Harlem Dream at The Young Vic. After the success of this sold-out production, Ivan was then formerly appointed Associate Artist.

From 2015 Ivan Michael Blackstock has focused primarily on his work as an independent artist, creating intense, thought-provoking and political artistic expressions. His work has been presented at Sadler’s Wells, Latitude Festival and La Villette Theatre in Paris. Ivan also launched and founded CRXSS PLATFXRM. An organisation platforming talent who are creating new directions and approaches to Youth, DIY and Street Culture. CRXSS PLATFXRM delivers high-profile partnership events and consultancy with major cultural venues, brands and independent businesses, as well as an annual festival in Peckham. Most recently Ivan was awarded breakthrough cultural excellence in Film and Video for the inaugural Nowness Awards 2019, Choreographer for Beyonce’s Disney exclusive Black is King, he is currently developing a major new site specific work for 2021/2022 and newly appointed Artistic Director of 180 Studios at 180 The Strand.
Photo of Katie Green's head and torso with the back of a dancer's head and arm in the foreground

Katie Green

After reading English at Cambridge University, Katie graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2006 and formed Made By Katie Green in the same year. Her work since then has been diverse, including touring work to theatres, creating large-scale commissions for particular communities and specific sites, and delivering participation projects for children and young people.

Since 2013, Katie has focused her practice on working with dance and heritage, primarily through her Dancing in Museums project and more recently through the Dancing in Caves project. She has created new work for the British Museum, Ipswich Museum, worked on the Surrey Arts commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta,  created a promenade work for the bicentenary of Dulwich Picture Gallery with curator Helen Hillyard in 2017 and another promenade piece for libraries in collaboration with Delight (Surrey) from 2019-20. Her current Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 project will bring a new version of her Imagination Museum piece to at least 25 museums, heritage sites, schools and community centres between 2018 and 2021 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth to America in 1620.

As well as directing Made By Katie Green, Katie works as a freelance choreographer and teacher/mentor. She performed with Cie. Willi Dorner (Austria) from 2011-14 and with UK-based collective Casson & Friends from 2013-15 as part of the Selling Secrets project. In 2012 Katie received a Linbury Bursary to attend Clore Leadership training, and since 2014 she has been the Chair of the St Hugh’s Foundation for the Arts.

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