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trying in 2019: Christopher Matthews & Janine Harrington invite…


October 16-19th, Siobhan Davies Studios, London, 1.30-6pm, £130

A number of bursaries and low-cost spaces can be offered through generous support from UK organisations, Arts Council England and anonymous donors. Some bursaries have specific criteria, others are open to all. Anyone can ask for some support towards access costs for any reason. Our intention is to make this opportunity as accessible as possible, so if you can pay the workshop cost but would need some help with travel you can let us know that, or if you could afford to pay a proportion of the cost then tell us that. A small panel will meet to allocate resources when we know who needs what. We are trying to figure out the best ways to manage the resources we have and welcome feedback if you have ideas! Please only ask for support if you need it so that we can offer these resources to people who truly couldn’t participate without them. Thank you!

This is what we’ve got:

  • 1 x place supported by Dance North, Scotland for a dancer/dance artist dancer based in the Highlands and Islands/Moray area and/or person who has current working relationship with Dance North. SEE BELOW HOW TO APPLY

  • 1 x place supported by Yorkshire Dance (will be managed direct by YD)

  • 2 x places supported by Chisenhale Dance Space through the Allotment Fund for 2 x CDS members- SEE BELOW HOW TO APPLY

  • 5 x places supported by Arts Council England and donors open to all- SEE BELOW HOW TO APPLY

  • pool of general access resources SEE BELOW HOW TO APPLY


How do we conceive of self and body?  What scripts are at work? What role does our perception play? How does gender and identity perform itself at the perceptual level? How do these things implicate “other” and design they ways we relate to ourselves, each other and environment? What tools for transformation are already available or yet to be made in dance practices to disrupt hegemonic patterns and make new ones? 

WDTBM combines somatic exercises adapted to engage questions about how we construct our bodies and how they are constructed. Proposals are seeded from queer, feminist, and critical race theory that exemplify and disrupt the way identity is embodied. We focus attention to the pressure spaces exert, to the relationship of subject/object as well as the act of relating, to the impact of orientation and disorientation, to reading what our bodies are making through a variety of lenses.  This work is supported through reading and discussion, composing and decomposing performances.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: During this workshop we will use our individual and group body to make and unmake ourselves. At times we will work with pushing our physical limits, working with endurance, disorientation, quick shifts of attention, and riding the group group energy to move away from language and towards embodied comprehension. We will also work with touch, support, weight sharing. We will work with language and try to collapse the space between verbal and nonverbal so that we can swim in associations and fluid states of communicative presence. In this way, we will push to the edges but also question “edge” as a boundary or distinction between ourselves, others and the space we occupy.  

Shannon Stewart is a choreographic artist who splits her time between New Orleans (US) and Berlin. Her company Screaming Traps makes queer, feminist interdisciplinary work for theatres, galleries, parades, bars, and wherever you might like to invite them. For Shannon, the body’s participation in everyday life, social systems, and how we know ourselves is an opportunity for choreographic research. Simultaneously, the practice of dance rituals is a potential for un-training, retraining, making and unmaking. She’s proposed an open source method called Body Based Theory Practice and presented this research in dance symposiums in the US and Europe. Her work has been presented in theatres, bars, parades, river banks, living rooms, film screens, galleries, and in obscure places on the internet. She has a Masters of Fine Arts from Tulane University in Interdisciplinary Dance Performance and a BA in Urban Design from the University of Washington. In 2018 Shannon joined Christopher Matthews in his process of creating Lads and #lads and led a 2-day workshop alongside this research.


We are Christopher Matthews and Janine Harrington, London-based artists working together to realise a public-facing and participatory project around Chris’ practice, building on a trial project hosted last Autumn at Chisenhale Dance Space.  We are are calling this strand of activity trying.

Chris’ work asks questions around class, gender performance, queer community and body image. Janine’s practice is engaged with questions of access, play and agency. In 2018 she wrote a proposition, radical non-symmetrical (reciprocated) advocacy which offers that each of us-  where we engage- has agency to make changes for the better of all of us, however small our reach may seem. It is in this spirit that we want to make the most of our collective resources and develop radical ways of sharing practices and information across contexts whilst exploring ways to queer relations to organisations. We are trying.

For trying in 2019 we will produce a 4-day workshop exploration with Shannon Stewart, a choreographic artist and activist working out of New Orleans who teaches each year at ROAR Berlin. We are able to capitalise on Shannon being in Europe, and collaborate to share her work in dialogue with questions and practices coming up in our UK contexts. 

We have raised money to support as many workshop participants as possible. Support comes from private anonymous donors (not us!), organisations, Arts Council England and a university in response to a letter we sent. A pool of resources will be available to support attendance for those with additional barriers to participation such as low income, disability, travel costs and caring responsibilities. 

Call for participants will go live in mid August with information about the support available.

*Shannon Stewart, 2018


Send us some information about yourself and why you want to take part.

-if you are unable to pay the full fee of £130 please let us know what you would be able to pay

-or if you can pay £130 but have barriers to participation such as travel costs and caring responsibilities please let us know

-or if you need a bursary spot (free to you) please tell us a little about your circumstances

-if you are applying for the Dance North bursary let us know about that

Email to by Sept 20th.

You can send info in any format. If a phone call is easiest for you drop us a quick message and we’ll arrange that. A small panel will meet to allocate resources.

Once we’ve allocated our resources we’ll sell any left over places on the workshop.


Janine & Chris

all questions to: