Jo Lloyd on the value of Chunky Move’s Artistic Development initiatives
‘The rare opportunity Chunky Move offers with Next Move is immersive, the artist is able to engage with the staff throughout the process and create the work in the venue where it will be presented… With the Next Move commission, there are experts in their field at Chunky Move ready to do the work we often take on ourselves.’ – Jo Lloyd.
Chunky Move nurtures every stage of a dancer’s career, providing opportunities for training, professional and creative development. From workshops for dance students to our acclaimed Maximise and Next Move program, Chunky Move supports dancers and choreographers right through their career. With development programs designed to ensure our company makes a lasting contribution to dance in Australia, our support significantly impacts not only our individual artists, but the contemporary dance community as a whole. We sat down with company dancer and teacher Jo Lloyd to discuss the impact Chunky Move’s artistic development initiatives have had on their career.
When did you start dancing with Chunky Move and where has that taken you since?
I began dancing with Chunky Move in 2003; my first project was performing Gideon Obarzanek’s works Wanted, Crumpled and Corrupted on a European tour. This was also when I began teaching for the company and I then went on to perform in Gideon’s I Want to Dance Better at Parties nationally and internationally. The works were physically challenging and the rigour that Gideon asked of us remains of interest to me. I built working relationships with other company members at that time and some of these progressed into collaborations with my own works that continue currently.
Tell us about your experience with Maximised and how it has contributed to your artistic development?
The Maximised program offers fantastic support for independent artists. The Chunky Move studios and the additional in-kind tech and administrative support I have been offered when Maximised by Chunky are very valuable as an independent artist. It eliminates some of the demands of coordinating and creating your own work, so as a choreographer/ director you can focus on the artistic research and development, which is the priority.
What opportunities have become available for you, having participated in Maximised?
Through Maximised I have been able to host informal showings of my work in the studio and create quality documentation of the work to then utilise to seek further support for the projects to go on to a presentation stage. Often the showing is a show in itself. In 2013 I was able to carry out a 24-hour project at Chunky Move, which allowed me to create and present a new work in 24 consecutive hours. It was an incredible experience that had an impact on my work that followed.
How did working as a commissioned artist for NEXT MOVE further your artistic development?
The rare opportunity Chunky Move offers with Next Move is immersive, the artist is able to engage with the staff throughout the process and create the work in the venue where it will be presented. As an independent artist you are used to taking on many roles, but with the Next Move commission, there are experts in their field at Chunky Move ready to do the work we often take on ourselves. The work I created and performed with Nicola Gunn for Next Move 2016, Mermermer was received really well and was nominated for several awards and won the Green Room Award for Best Music Composition and Sound Design (Duane Morrison). My work was exposed to new audiences and we went on to have a successful season at Liveworks, Sydney.
Chunky Move relies on the support of its generous donors, what does being supported by the Chunky Move community mean to you?
The arts function through interaction, engagement and exchange. My relationship with the work I do through Chunky Move – teaching, programming teachers for both the Professional and Public Class Programs, and creating work – all contribute to building face to face and physical negotiations. Chunky Move support comes in many forms; those who attend class, the staff and the audiences – it’s a web that functions not only for the creators, but I see it as a feedback loop.
Each year we rely on the generous support of our donors to ensure that our impact extends far beyond the stage. We may be small but we dream big and with the ongoing support of our community we can continue to share our unique productions with audiences here in Australia and around the world. Help us take the next step.