Dance Communicates Via the Human Body

It offers undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in contemporary dance artist training and professional development (Laban website 2006). As for SDDC, since it was formed by Siobhan Davies in 1988, it has been Britain’s flagship independent dance company (Siobhan Davies Dance Company website 2006). The company is primarily a dance production outfit, but it also focuses on professional development of dancers. Thus, SDDC holds activities such as workshops and masterclasses aimed at the higher level dance, music and visual arts students, educationalists and professionals (Siobhan Davies Dance Company website 2006).
While the institutional nature of Laban and SDDC is not identical, the development of these companies illustrates that their general policy and direction are the same. For the past decade, both Laban and SDDC embrace the policy of enriching dance language through the diverse mix of performance (Laban website 2006, Siobhan Davies Dance Company website 2006). For instance, Laban encourages students to perform works that are experimental and defy traditional definitions. The Laban Theatre also presents work by companies as varied as The Cholmondeleys, Featherstonehaughs, Henri Oguike and Societas Raffaello Sanzio (Prospectus Introduction 2006). With regards to SDDC, it has moved away from presenting work in proscenium-arched theatres to different spaces. For example, since Plants and Ghosts in 2002, SDDC has used non-conventional performance areas such as an aircraft hanger, a gallery and a warehouse (Working with our audiences n.d.).
The respective direction of Laban and SDDC also demonstrates a trend within British contemporary dance companies to encourage collaborative effort between different art forms and to design dance movements based on interactions across disciplines and passions. Recently, Laban and Trinity College of Music – two very distinctive specialists in their respective art forms – have merged to form Trinity Laban. Laban and Trinity relocated to the same quarter in South East London to facilitate conversations and collaborations between students of the two art forms (Prospectus Introduction 2006). In SDDC, works such as In Plain Clothes (2006), Bird Song (2004) and White Man Sleeps (2004) are clearly creations that attain new height due to Davies’s exemplary choice of artistic and technical collaborators. Consider also, SDDC’s successful commissioning of artists from different disciplines, including author Caryl Churchill and sound artist Max Eastley, to engage in extended periods of intensive research with the company dancers (Working with our audience n.d.).
In the realm of enriching the discourse about contemporary dance, British modern dance companies have embarked on sharing and extending their discoveries within and beyond the profession (Prospectus Introduction 2006). Consider, for example, Laban’s ambitious programme of reaching out to the greater community and enriching the debate on dance through its varied publications. Laban regularly publishes the Dance Theatre Journal, which is UK’s leading dance journal covering reviews on current thinking in dance and related art. Discourses in Dance, another journal published by Laban, has an international audience. It explores the rapidly expanding academic discipline of dance studies by addressing issues such as testing new methodologies and examining dance in relation to critical theories, cultural studies and cognate disciplines.&nbsp. &nbsp.&nbsp.