Siobhan Davies


London, UK, 1950.

Dancer, choreographer and film maker. Engaged with image gathering, drawing, writing and conversation as extensions of dancing and choreography.

In 1967, Siobhan Davies began taking classes with the Contemporary Dance Group, which would soon become the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. In 1969, she was already performing with the company and, in 1972, choreographing for it. In 1974, she was appointed Associate Choreographer and, in 1983, Resident Choreographer. Alongside her work with LCDT, Davies worked as a dancer with Richard Alston and Dancers and as artistic director of Siobhan Davies and Dancers, which she founded in 1981. The following year, she joined Richard Alston and Ian Spink to form Second Stride, one of the most influential independent companies of the 1980s in England. As a choreographer, her main initial influence was the abstractionism of Merce Cunningham, but she began to develop her own language with Sphinx (1977), consciously preventing herself from thinking about style, technique or meaning. Plain Song (1981) was also a milestone, a piece in which she constructed an intricate composition from her own dance phrases. In 1987, Davies left the LCDT and the Second Stride and travelled to the USA with a Fulbright Arts Fellowship, where he stayed for a year. On her return to England, she joined the Rambert Dance Company as associate choreographer (until 1992) and founded the Siobhan Davies Dance Company in 1988. The pieces White Man Sleeps and Wyoming, which he made with the SDDC, and Embarque, with the RDC, showed a renewed vitality. Over the next decade, Davies continued to create her own body of work, which was fundamental to the affirmation of experimental dance in England. Bank (1997), Wild Translations (1995),_ Wanting to Tell Stories_ (1993), Different Trains (1990) and Make-Make (1992) were pieces in which she extensively explored her choreographic resources. During this period she won a series of awards, saw her work broadcast on national television channels, received commissions from the English National Ballet and The Royal Ballet for opera stages, and from Artangel for the Atlantis Gallery in London. From 2000 onwards, Davies moved away from the stage to present work in studios, galleries and even in an aeroplane hangar, including Plants and Ghosts (2002), _Bird Song _(2004) and In Plain Clothes (2006). Also in 2006, she opened the Siobhan Davies Studios in South London, which became a dance centre shared with Independent Dance and Performing Arts Labs. In 2007, she directed Two Quartets (2007), for the theatre stage, after which she dissolved her company and completely abandoned the model of touring dance productions. From then on, Davies developed her choreographic work around banal, unadorned actions and movements, presenting a series of collaborative gallery events - The Collection (2009), ROTOR (2010), Commissions (2010), To hand (2011), Manual (2013) and Table of Contents (2014) - in which she explored the intersections of choreography with visual arts, contemporary crafts, film, sound and poetry. Her work has been shown at the Victoria Miro Gallery, ICA, Whitworth Gallery, Ikon Gallery, Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, Turner Contemporary and Arnolfini. In 2012, she created All This Can Happen with director David Hinton, a film made entirely from photographs and archive footage, which was shown at film festivals in Rotterdam, Buenos Aires, New York, San Francisco and Berlin, among others. She repeated this gesture ten years later with Transparent, a film made once again in collaboration with David Hinton and with Hugo Glendinning.

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