Dance artist Beth Veitch discusses her experience of creativity in lockdown. Beth also gives us an insight into her latest project, Waiting On It, an interdisciplinary project which aims to explore the human experience.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am Beth Veitch, a dance artist and creative based in the North East. I trained here at Dance City and before returning to live and work in the region, I ventured South to tour with SBB Dance and internationally with Mapdance, gaining a Masters in Dance Performance. I am currently working with Fertile Ground Dance on their 2021-22 season. This year, I was awarded the Charlotte Grant Early Career commission from Dance City and next week, start the creation of my interdisciplinary project, Waiting On It, supported by Arts Council England and Northumberland Arts Development. I am delighted to be collaborating with a collection of vibrant and talented early career creatives in the North East, who will be essential in the shaping and creation this work. These include dancers Ashlin Huck and Emily-Fleur Peake, writer Lauren Vevers, illustrator Oh Lightning (Jodie Lightning), musician Anna Hughes, filmmaker Alex Ayre and producer Sophie Halford.
How would you describe your style of work?
My style of work places the human experience behind the lens. I like to question the seemingly mundane, find roots in philosophy and find the pathway from idea to product in interdisciplinary collaboration, writing and conversation. I like to challenge the body; to find the noise in stillness, and the quiet in busy moving and take design inspiration from a life-long love of film.
Did you do any creative work during lockdown?
Like most dancers during this time, my living room, bedroom and kitchen became a studio and Zoom classes formed a structure for each week. I still feel extremely grateful to those who provided classes during this time, and a space to mentally venture beyond the walls of my home. I spent a lot of time interrogating and reshaping my own practice and in nature, where this project began to take form. I also began an Instagram account, @TalesFromHomes capturing remote movement stories from dancers adapting to the less conventional spaces we found ourselves in.
Has the lockdown changed your working processes, your career pathway or your vision for the future?
For me, the past year has illuminated the value in community. In making genuine connections with neighbours and strangers for the first time, I began to find a new purpose in the work I wanted to create; to put those who walk the same streets I do as the most important audience to serve. I have always been, and always will be, so proud to be from the North East; a community that continues to uplift me and form my home. I now wish to deepen and spread my roots, to create work that serves this community first and to make perceived ‘big’ ideas truly accessible.
Tell us about your latest project
Waiting On It, is a multi-disciplinary project exploring the pace and pathways of the everyday in an intimate collaboration between dance & writing, illustration and spoken word. Finding form in a trilogy of short films and an accompanying Zine, Waiting On It takes themes of courage, permission, patience and an individual’s experience of time to examine the space in-between having something and nothing. The creation of this project starts next week, which is very exciting! The films of Waiting On It will premiere at Dance Edits, on Saturday 16 October at Dance City.
How can people get involved?
While in creation, we will be opening up rehearsals on select afternoons to anyone who may be interested in gaining a peek into the process and we will be opening a morning class for local artists to join. To find out when these will be, follow @BethCVeitchDance on Instagram. If you are a resident of/around Corbridge village, we are looking for participants to create their own Zines with us. All you need is some creative curiosity; no previous Zine knowledge or dance experience is required and resources will be provided. If you are interested in getting involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Dancers – Ashlin Huck and Emily-Fleur Peake
Photography – Jodie Lightning (Instagram – @ohlightning)