Deanne Butterworth & Jo Lloyd on their upcoming Improvisation Series

We sat down with Deanne Butterworth & Jo Lloyd to hear more about their upcoming Improvisation Series.

What can students expect from your classes?

DB: A sense of being invigorated while enlivening physical, spatial, and sonic awareness. Working with different systems and exploring textures and energies in your own body as well as those around you.

JL: My class involves stimulating the physical and imaginary, working with varying energetic states, patterns, perception and negotiations.

What makes improvisation classes unique and what do you hope that freedom of movement will make people feel in class? 

DB: There is a particular freedom inherent to participating in an improvisation class. There will be guided improvisations and simple exercises with varying boundaries where we work together alone, in pairs and as a group. There will be time to watch one another and learn through both observation and practice using space, sensation, presence, imagination, and time. I hope people feel a way to find a sense of freedom in their mind body and a way they can utilise that freedom outside of the studio. 

JL: Improvisation can engage with various methods, and I like to think they can endlessly evolve. I utilise language to perpetuate improvisations and encourage the idea of attempting particular physical investigations. I like the possibility that the body knows the dance and we can find ways to access and allow for it.

What inspired you to dance initially and what continues to inspire you now?

DB: I danced as a child from the age of four – I cannot remember the exact moment I thought would make it a career but it seemed to be quite an intuitive thing and I think it was the result of being interested in the possibilities of how my body moved. I think that still inspires me- that fascination with moving and discovering more about myself and how I relate to others both within the studio and outside of it. The body always changes so the body is always something to learn from. 

JL: I initially learnt about dance through old photos of my mum dancing, I continued to be attracted to it when my sister was having lessons and I would watch her class, then I was asked by the teacher if I wanted to join in. I was always inspired by those ahead of me, both in dance and in my family, and that continues to be a pattern for me, those that have gone before, the brave and bold choices artists have made, through desire and need.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Chunky Move? 

DB: I love that there is a diverse range of people that come to Chunky Move and who are really keen to experience many different approaches to learning dance. There are always fresh faces coming to class as well as a dedicated bunch of regular participants who have been attending for years, some who have become friends over time and who go to see works by Chunky Move and other choreographers in Melbourne. There is a really great feeling of community and friendship at Chunky Move. I also love where Chunky Move Studios is located – right next to ACCA and The Malthouse. 

JL: I love the wonderful people that come to class, they are what make the class, their input. It is especially significant to exchange through conversation and dance, moments of questioning and shifting perception through action together. I never went to church when I was young but maybe meeting at class and dancing has some similarities!