SHIELD/SKIN

WOTISART? MAGAZINE

What is Contemporary Dance?

I am a 20 year old dancer from Manchester. I started dancing aged 11. I’ve taken ballet, contemporary, contemporary ballet, street, tap, street tap, jazz, jazz fusion, vogue, house, popping, folk and probably lots of other things. I’ve been told I should go and audition at Julliard - the best dance school in the world. I’ve also been told I should quit and go and work at my local Tesco - every little helps?

My life consists of press ups, sit ups, sweating, pirouetting, forward folding, backward rolling, stamps, shunts, shakes, sickles, sautés, seconds, shimmies, salsas etc...
I’ve also done much less exciting things like learnt to be vulnerable, expressed myself about global politics and shared work in India and Iran. I teach at an all boys ballet school and sometimes I feel like I see the world becoming more of a place that I would want my kids to grow up in despite the scary things I see in the news - I see children learning that they can be street or soft or or sassy or quiet and precise or loud and messy.
I also think it’s easy to forget (living in the UK) how important dance can be, how much its woven into cultural fabric, how it can educate, reform, rehabilitate, entertain, bond, comment, analyse.
The two pictures above were taken by an old friend Owen Peters down a dodgy alleyway in Stockport. In the turtle neck I feel like an athlete, that’s how I train and work every day. In the nude shorts I am completely exposed - thats where I feel I begin to make art when I stop making shapes and start thinking.

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Matthew

Rawcliffe