Rachel Dean

Between Earth and Sky by Rachel Dean


A game, a protest, an invitation for a cuddle; giving up, giving in, resting or sleep.

Contemporary dance rejected upright heavenward striving for the possibility of rolling, reclining, releasing into the ground. Contact Improvisation embraced falling yet further. For female dance pioneers such as Mary Wigman and Martha Graham this was a conscious choice but somehow through years of focusing on the biomechanics of entering and leaving the ground the meaning in this act may have been eroded for both performer and audience. But where, when and why does a woman lie on the floor? When must she not? For what reasons does a child who until last year had only the floor as her movement realm choose to return to it?

Pregnant dancer Rachel Dean and her toddler respond to Elizabeth Price’s exhibition of reclining and recumbent bodies. The artwork inviting interpretation of their physical actions and thereby challenging a presumed lack of meaning when a female dance performer lies on the ground. Comparison is made between the intentions of mother and daughter. The ongoing exchange between them is embodied and the constant duet of care, responsibility and the work of motherhood continues throughout.

Musical accompaniment from Oliver Dover.

Rachel Dean is a dance artist combining performing, teaching and making work. Her approach is based around improvisation, a somatic/embodied approach and collaboration with other artists and artforms. Choreography has included Love in Idleness, a Midsummer performance taking place in a garden and Nativity, a solo exploring the enduring appeal of the myth and magic of the Virgin Mary. Rachel has an MA Creative Practice from Laban and Independent Dance and a BPA(Hons) from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.