20th November 2017
My name is Libbie (Elizabeth) Edwards, I’m a third-year dance student at Falmouth University and I was lucky enough to spend a week doing work experience with Justice in Motion. My time with the company has been an eye-opening experience, I’m not sure exactly what I expected from this week, but safe to say it exceeded all my thoughts. I had a variety of things to work on throughout the week and a lot of them were out of my comfort zone – but it wouldn’t be experience if it wasn’t.
I knew that I’d be spending a number of hours in the office this week, I thought it would be interesting, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I feel like it’s easy for the dance industry to be glamorised without an understanding of how everything works from the inside; how much work really goes into running a company and the organisation behind it all. I know how to dance, I’ve been trained to do that, but I didn’t have any real understanding of what the reality of working in a company was like. How do you find money to put on a performance or begin a project? Funding. And I learnt all about that this week.
Anja sent me a spreadsheet that of all the different funding opportunities she’d found, and I updated the information, who they were, what they were looking for, details about applications, how much funding, deadlines and contact details.
I’ve got more of an idea for how to find funding and how much you realistically need to apply for each year to get anything (which is always more than I expect). Alongside the funding information I was doing some research for Justice in Motion’s new project on modern slavery in the construction industry.
I felt so naïve researching this, I never realised how much of an issue modern slavery is today, especially within the construction industry – which in hindsight is exactly why Justice In Motion are creating pieces like this. Everything I found was shocking, for example, at any given point in time around three in every thousand people are suffering in forced labour, these are shocking statistics considering how many people like me would otherwise be unaware of the issue. The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates that there are around 45.8 million people in modern slavery around the world, the numbers are harrowing, but knowing them makes me want to help change them.
Anja and Emma were performing an excerpt of ‘BOUND’ at the Emerge Conference at the Said Business school on Saturday, so I was lucky to be able to see rehearsals for that and observe and learn about the process of sound design for the performance.
Personally, I’ve never seen anything quite like BOUND, it’s raw, emotional and powerful, I wish I had managed to get to see the full performance of it. On the Friday we had an hour slot for tech rehearsals in the Nelson Mandela Lecture hall.
Nomi was unable to go to the conference and the music and the video to project was on her laptop. As I was familiar with the performance and the cues I was the one to put on the sound and projections. Nervous would be an understatement, I didn’t want to be the one to mess up the performance. However, despite some technical issues at the start with the HDMI settings – it went smoothly.
The week went far too quick and I wished I could have spent more time with Justice in Motion, there’s still so much to learn about how a company works but I’ve got more of an understanding into it.
This experience has also helped me learn things about myself as a dancer and what I want my career to be like. I know I want to make a difference to someone’s life, through creativity and movement. If I’m going to create pieces, I want them to have an impact, like raising awareness of issues which aren’t being spoken about enough.