In this episode, we talk to Harriet Waghorn and Kamala Devam about their experience working across different genres of dance.
As dancers we often train in streams of dance genres – often there are expected routes mapped out for us and aesthetics we are expected to achieve. It’s therefore refreshing to find artists whose work transcends those divides, fuses aspects of styles together to make new aesthetics, new vocabulary. What does that mean in terms of training for themselves, as well as making work, working with dancers who may not have the same experiences?
We begin by asking our guests how they came to find dance – both Kamala and Harriet mention their mothers and how they facilitated their first steps on their journeys. We discuss their training and how they came to build their experience across the genres of contemporary, ballroom, Bharatanatyam, acrobatics and contact improvisation.
We ask our guests why are they drawn to the styles in which they work, and how stepping away from the usual framing of genres and fusing other styles relates to their audiences. we find similarities that may not be obvious such as the constant flow and trust that is needed in both contact improvisation as well as ballroom – and how important the connection with your partner is.
We move on to discuss their own teaching practices and what they are looking for in dancers when they choreograph work. The importance of training is a huge part of any dancer and artists life and we discuss how they train across such different genres of dance.
Finally, we are intrigued to hear what’s next for our two artists on their journey working across genres.