The 'FAILURE lab' began as a research week while making the solo FAILURE. I brought together actors, dancers, improvisers and clowns to ask:
Is theatre more interested in failure than dance?
We ranted, danced, and attempted to liberate ourselves from oppressive gendered ideals and reductive definitions of success and failure.
I kept the name.
'FAILURE lab' became an umbrella, under which I shared my practice, and the questions driving my latest creative processes.
Improvisation and Performance Workshops
Together, 'we' create from the radical possibilities within the present. By 'we' I mean everyone present who wishes to join.
We practice getting lost as a strategy, disarming habits and judgments, playing with mystery, overwhelm, underwhelm, and excess. What situations will make my dancing body unfamiliar to myself?
We play with sourcing movement from sensations, words, objects, materials or costumes. We stretch our range of physical qualities and states. What can we understand, create and compose from the logics of a sensory body and image world?
We integrate visual, physical and vocal elements to collaboratively explore grey areas, unfamiliar territories, and places that might scare us.
FAILURE Lab drew its influences from CI and somatic practices, clowning, comedy improvisation, theatre devising and choreographic methods, visual composition, text and continuous writing. Bringing in an eclectic mix of philosophical thought from cultural, queer and feminist theory, and accumulated influences from contemporary performance and dance makers.
Photo: Mary Pearson Image: Martin Shead at FAILURE lab
FAILURE Lab research week, April 2012 was with:
Laura Doehler, Graham Hicks, Britt Jurgensen, Ben Phillips, Noel Perkins, Genevieve Say and Jamie Wood.
Funded by Arts Council England
Workshops and Intensives 2012-2021:
Ponderosa P.O.R.C.H Summer School (Germany),
Liverpool: Physical Fest, TILT dance studio, Young Everyman Playhouse Youth Theatre, Collective Encounters Youth Theatre, Edge Hill University, Hope University, John Moore's University, University of Liverpool Continuing Education, Metal Culture, Summerhall (Edinburgh), PASS Performing Arts Studio Scotland (Edinburgh), California State University San Marcos (San Diego, CA, USA), Live Art Bistro (Leeds), Goldsmiths’ CI Society (London), Studio 404 (Portland, Maine, USA), Improspecjie festival (Zagreb), The Arden School of Theatre (Manchester)
“I had some of the most profound experiences of my creative life in the lab.”
- Dr Scott Thurston, Reader, English and Creative Writing at Salford University
“Physically and intellectually challenging...hugely rewarding. I even experienced a few moments of utter joy/ pure euphoria”
- Dr Jennifer Allanson, Director, TupleSpace
“There is nothing really similar being offered in Liverpool - it is utterly unique.”
- Brendan Curtis, Bearded Child Theatre