In this episode, we talk to Deborah Light and Tom Hobden about building audiences for your work.
We make art for people – and if we have no audience, what is the reason for the work? How do we then bring audiences to the work? How do we introduce dance to people who haven’t had an opportunity to discover it? And what do we want of them other than to be spectators?
We begin by asking our guests more about their work and the work itself – Deborah making work in Wales with the company Light, Ladd and Emberton as well as being an independent maker and discussing the part installation, – part dance performance Seeds & Bones which incorporates both personal as well as audience stories.
We then move on to discussing the work of UNIT – where Tom Hobden is artistic director and how the pandemic shifted the very local audience to one that is online and from everywhere. We speak about how UNIT is making dance for the “everyday people” and what that means.
A big question that comes up is – what comes first? Do we make work with our audiences in mind, or do our audiences come to our work? We discuss the need to “make things”, regardless of the outcome and the audience participation, and how as makers we need to practice making things without the pressure of who will see it and who will like it.
We discuss how we invite and allow our audiences to participate in the work, and talk about a very special moment being one of a very few number of people experiencing a show.
Finally, we discuss whether everyone does want to dance or take part in dancing – is it for everyone? And who decides what dance is, and what dance isn’t?