In this episode, we talk to Annie Hanauer and Erion Kruja about Creating an Identity.
For many dancers it’s a dream to secure a long term contract within a prestigious dance company, but there comes a time when it just feels right to move on. So what happens when you fly that nest – leaving the safety of a regular wage, daily class, regular performance opportunities and the companionship of like-minded company members? How do you build that support infrastructure for yourself – at the same time as having to find the funding, secure commissions, and rebrand as an independent?
We start off by finding out more about life with Candoco (from Annie) and with Hofesh Shechter Company (from Erion) and how they came to make the decision to leave. We discuss the support infrastructure and development opportunities they had whilst still a member of the company and what that looks like now that they are making work independently.
We talk a bit about the type of work a body wants to make when it has been a tool for other choreographers for so long and both of our guests offer suggestions for what’s needed to better develop and support independent dance makers of today. As we very often do, we talk about language definitions and discuss the feeling of living across both an ‘emerging’ and ‘established’ description. We talk about the implied hierarchy of dancers and choreographers (the inaccurate expectation that everyone wants to ‘graduate’ to becoming a maker) and this leads us onto broader discussions about labelling where Annie shares the frustrations she experiences of being boxed up into the ‘disabled dancer’ category, and what it’s taking for her to mentally and physically break out of that box. Annie sent us some further thoughts on the subject – don’t miss her PS at the end of the episode.
And finally, we talk about the differences between the offer here in the UK and internationally and what we can be doing as dance organisations to better support the lifeblood of our art form.