• Dance/Connect

Youth advisory spotlight: Georgia Gardner

In this blog, we are delighted to introduce Georgia Gardner who sits on our Intergenerational Advisory Committee as one of our youth members. Georgia graduated in 2021 from an MA in Fine Art and is currently a postgraduate student in the history of art department, both at Edinburgh College of Art. Read on to learn more about Georgia and her experiences of being part of the Dance/Connect team!

By Georgia Gardner

I applied for this position on the advisory committee as I was looking for opportunities to develop my experiences of qualitative and arts-based research methodologies. Dance/Connect was immediately appealing, aligning with both my practice and academic interests.

I position preparation at the centre of my performance practice to unsettle the pertinence of striving in the social concept of ‘normal’. I engage in a responsive and mindful process of embodiment and nuanced and experimental music notation. Considering the collective phenomenon of perceived personal lack, I reconfigure preparative and subconscious acts as instances of self-prioritisation. Critiquing the neoliberal propagation of ‘normal’, and the collective striving towards this illusion, I embrace the imperfection of being human.

When I joined Dance/Connect I had just completed a research project funded by the Edinburgh Futures Institute, titled the Brick House of Normal, that considered social pace and habit as a choreographic facet of the mundane. My project considered how fulfilment and normalcy are produced in relation to the rhythms that underpin pedestrian functioning, especially within the institution. Having researched pacing and the psychological impacts of bodily co-ordination I was excited to consider co-ordination in online dance classes and how this might impact loneliness and anxiety in the face of pandemic isolation. I also believe that my embodied practice and long-term navigation of different forms of healthcare lent me useful insight to contribute to the study, which I approached from a position of empathy.

While studying and working my practice has evolved into a model of reparation, revolving around embodiment. This focus on reparation, for me interacts with questions surrounding the politics of touch, recalling my experiences of ableism and the paternal authority of the medical gaze.

So far it has been such a joy to be part of the Dance/Connect team and I have really valued the opportunity not just to develop skills, but also to meet a network of such interesting and compassionate researchers and practitioners.

Find out more: visit Georgia's website | Find Georgia on Twitter and Instagram

Photo: Film still, from Georgia Gardner, Dyadic Preparation (channel 2/5), 2019

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