As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I’m working on a chamber opera project called Flightpaths with the writer and producer Adam Strickson. The overall project is called Wingbeats, which will consist of Flightpaths, to be performed in 2011, and Amy’s Last Dive, to be performed in 2012. What I perhaps haven’t mentioned before is that Wingbeats itself falls under the umbrella of a larger project aiming to promote sport and movement through art in Yorkshire called imove.
Yesterday evening, I attended a gathering labeled Creative Conversations, which was an opportunity for artists, producers, directors etc. to meet and discuss their particular projects that formed part of imove. The meeting was held in a rather funky venue in Leeds called Holbeck Underground Ballroom, the home of theatre group Slung Low. The venue itself is a series a railway arches that house a small black-box theatre and a rather Holmesian sitting room complete with poetry books and piano. Despite the obvious attractions of the interior, there were a number of people who were particularly pleased with the “outhouse”, which was actually a rather nice garden shed with a properly plumbed-in toilet and sink.
In the past, I have often found these kind of meetings a bit uncomfortable, usually due to the enforced hobnobbing and mingling, or even worse the getting to know one another activities that make me shrivel up a little inside. However, this particular soiree was very pleasant indeed. There were no speeches or games and at no point did anyone attempt to get me to wear a little name badge. In fact, I had a very enjoyable time and got to chat to photographers, poets, dancers, choreographers, film-makers, directors, producers… the list goes on, about their latest imove projects and how our work overlapped and complemented each other within the wider project. Better than that, the organisers allowed the evening to flow naturally, which meant nobody felt forced into small talk or blowing their own trumpet. Interestingly, whereas normally I would be a little shy at one of these bashes, I actually got to know quite a lot of new people. In fact, as I was leaving, I noticed that there was one person I hadn’t chatted with. We did manage to exchange a few words though and promised to have a proper discussion at the next Creative Conversations meet.