OurFutureCity feature a blog post by Artistic Director Katie Dale-Everett!

Katie Dale-Everett Dance_Photo by Katie Dale-Everett_Research period at The Point's Creation Space.JPG

In October 2017, Our Future City collaborated with South East Dance and Artswork to run the #BeCollective event: Our Digital Wellbeing. Digital/Dance artist, Katie Dale-Everett was amongst them who shared her story of working and volunteering with several arts organisations, within and beyond the city.

My name is Katie Dale-Everett and I am a freelance cross-genre choreographer, teacher and creative arts producer based in the South East. Graduating from Falmouth University with a first class degree in Choreography in 2014, I have been building up a repertoire of choreographic works, teaching opportunities, (working in educational settings or with hard to reach groups) and producing projects that have a positive impact on people’s lives, as well as managing my own dance company Katie Dale-Everett Dance. On Thursday October the 12th 2017 I spoke about my practice at the Our Digital Wellbeing #BeCollective event organised by South East Dance, Our Future City and Artswork and programmed as part of the Brighton Digital Festival. Read on to find out more about what was discussed.

Culture and the arts is something that I have always been interested in growing up, with a particular focus on dance and the impacts that the form can have on health, confidence, interaction and as a way to open up conversation on issues affecting people in my community as well as world-wide. I therefore got involved with South East Dance at a young age, taking part in their Moving Voices project, a large scale youth led volunteering programme for 16-25 year olds across the South East of England whilst still at college. As part of this project I managed the dance stage, workshop area and the South East Dance stall for the TAKEPART Festival of Sport and Physical Activity and received funding to put on a dance extravaganza fundraiser at Komedia Brighton for the Red Cross Society Haiti earthquake appeal (2010).

Since graduating, South East Dance’s support has continued and has been a large contributing factor to helping me to get to where I am in my career today. From coming on board as a Production Partner for Rebecca Dale-Everett and my Ignition Random Acts Network Commission (a scheme for 16-25 year olds who show promising talent in film creation) Digital Tattoo: Artefact 1 (which you can watch here), supporting me through the South East Dance Emerging Artist Programme 2015 – 2016 which included introducing me to working with a dramaturge for the first time and most recently co-programming three of my works: Digital Tattoo: Artefact 1 (film), Digital Tattoo (live dance and projection work) and Conversations About the Digital (audio, participatory work) in the Brighton Digital Festival at The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (see tour trailer here).

So how does the digital fit into my practice? I often call myself a digital dance artist (with my first Arts Council England grant being to develop myself as a digital dance artist), however at this stage in my career I would not call myself technical and I am certainly not incorporating as much digital technology into my work as a lot of other artists (although this is a future interest). At this stage the digital for me in relation to my work means exploring choreographic formats, both in the body and within digital containers and making work that explores and questions privacy, control, the Right to be Forgotten and interaction in our increasingly digitalised society, from the personal story to that of different communities and demographics. One of my earliest worries when beginning to delve into this area was that I was not technical enough, however I was given the following great advice from Ju Row Farr (Blast Theory) whilst taking part in their volunteer scheme (2015): Not having a complete understanding of the technology you work with is where the exciting and unthought of can happen. I am therefore excited about what my future work within these enquires will generate and what I may discover.

2017 was a career progressing year for Katie Dale-Everett Dance, in which I received two lots of Arts Council England National Lottery Funding. These funds were to redevelop two of my works and tour three works for the first time on a small scale tour to new and established, rural and urban venues across the South East and West of England and to carry out a weeks residency at The Point’s Creation Space to begin to research and develop a new work for 11-16 year olds which I am planning to complete this year. I also received Ignition Catalyst funding alongside Rebecca (Kabecca Films) to make a new dance on screen exploring age, memory and dance, which will begin being screened from March 2018 and have more recently been made an Associate Artist of The Point 2018/19. I am therefore very excited about what 2018 may bring and how my journey of exploring the digital, dance and their relationship to my community will develop.