I was raised on disco. My mother passed on the disco to me from an early age.
I would wake in the middle of the night and stumble down the stairs to find her dancing, all the furniture pushed back. She would be dancing in the space of our living room and I would no longer be tired, we would dance together in the night to all the hits of the 1970′s. This natural celebration through dance: The disco. As an artist, I still carry the disco.
I remember when she told me about the careers office. Aged sixteen, she sat with the adviser and told them that she wanted to be a dancer. She wanted to dance. The adviser advised her it was not a viable career path and suggested that she should become a shop assistant. Or a nurse. Or a typist. Being a dancer in Fife in the 1970′s was apparently not for my mother. She became a typist, and she is still a typist, but she still has the disco and it finds its’ opportunities to show itself at wedding receptions, cricket club discos, ballroom classes and again, in the front room when no one is home.
The disco is to dance freely, to have an aliveness and the act of living doesn’t come in an elite form. This isn’t learnt through training at a barre or by practicing and practicing, each individual was born with the right, and the natural ability, to express their own voice through moving. Each body has its own identity, its own movements.
The disco isn’t in the learning, the four for nothings or the 5,6,7,8s, but it’s rather about the embodiment of the present, of the potentials of your person, the aliveness that you bring in that moving moment and all the conversations that it can bring. It’s about the body that you’re bringing in that moving moment. Stepping forward and claiming your body as the wonderful tool that it is. The choreographies of your life live in your limbs; from the top of your head to the tips of your typing fingers. Let us reclaim the dance, fuel the disco and open it’s opportunities to everyone. To every body.
Of course what I am talking about stretches further than dancing. I mean for the disco to be bigger than our bodies, I wish for our art to break any inaccessible boundaries, to break any elite hierarchical preconceptions and to find a common language that we can invest in and share into. Every body should have the opportunity, the choice, to be a part of performance dialogues: performance and art are not elite clubs. Dancing does not belong solely in trained bodies.
I aspire that my practice can assist redefining perceptions of dancing, art and performance; for it is a sharing, and there is nothing more innately human than that.