On this episode of DLEW, I talk with Sarah Poekert, Artist in Residence at Space Clarence Mews in London and Artistic Director of charity Thrive Youth Dance Company.
Sarah is taking her time as an Artist in Residence to re-examine her creative process and find new ways of creating. Between working within a community, discovering different forms of collaboration, and recognizing how your environment affects your creativity, Sarah has a TON of information to share on creative processes.
Sarah Poekert is a contemporary dancer and choreographer based in London. She began her dance training at age 7, taking ballet classes with Liliana Cubero. She joined Cubero’s junior ballet company at age 12 and participated in 2 performance tours to Costa Rica as part of the group. At age 16, she spent the summer in New York City studying for 6 weeks at the Alvin Ailey School.
After completing a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance Performance and Psychology at Roger Williams University, she moved to London in 2009 to study at Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance. This is where she began fine-tuning her creative practice and work as a dance artist. Poekert completed a Diploma in Dance Studies and Master of the Arts in Creative Practice at Laban and subsequently her choreography has been shown at venues across London including The Place, Ugly Duck, Rich Mix, Trinity Laban, The Point Eastleigh, The Shunt Lounge, The Brick Box and Trispace Gallery.
Sarah’s work has also taken her to Bergen, Norway where she worked Lisa Colette Bysheim to develop a duet oh, and one more thing,which was shown as part of Resolutions Festival 2016 at The Place. Poekert also continually works on collaborations with Angie Moon Dance Theatre (NYC). Most notably, their dance film Places Between which was an official selection at Movies by Movers and Art of Brooklyn film festivals. Sarah was also Artist in Residence for 10 weeks at Space Clarence Mews Oct – Dec 2016 where she created her solo It just sort of happens one day.
As a choreographer, Sarah is interested in how to encourage the audience to have an active role that directly impacts the journey of the performance. Her interest is in how to sculpt the audience, allowing the performers to take ownership of the space while also giving the audience agency and room to play within it. She strives to allow the audience to have a more tactile experience when viewing dance. Her work also investigates personal and collective memory and the imprint left within the body from past experiences. Her attention lies in uncovering the layers of movement material that already exists in every body using creative tasks, sensory information, imagery and improvisation.
Sarah Poekert is the Co Director of 3s A Crowd arts collective. 3s A Crowd are a London based collective of performance artists whose work is a non-definitive and enlightening dialogue between theme, performer and audience. They create site-specific and responsive performances that are playful and curious. As part of 3s A Crowd, Sarah was selected to take part in the Barbican Open Lab program 2015.
Sarah Poekert is also a teacher of dance and creative movement. She teaches in London for Siobhan Davies Dance, the Royal Academy of Dance and Beatrix Potter Primary School. She is also the Artistic Director of charity Thrive Youth Dance Company who provides classes where young people ages 12 – 19 can study contemporary dance and choreography in a creative and supportive environment. As part of Thrive, Sarah produces of the Thrive Youth Dance Showcase, which received Arts Council funding in 2017. The platform hosts 80+ secondary school children giving them access to a day of dance workshops and a professionally produced performance open to their friends and families. Sarah also continues to support and mentor Roger Williams University dancers studying abroad in London as well as creating and delivering mat based dance and fitness classes for adults.
Sarah Poekert is currently Artist in Residence for one year from Jan 2018 – Jan 2019 at Space Clarence Mews in London where she is developing a new piece of work to be premiered in 2019. The piece oscillates between power and submission, illusion and reality – delving into the rituals and balancing of power involved in being female.
Dance Like Everyone’s Watching with Andrea Muhlbauer is the show that brings you inspiration and insight into the world of dance and choreography. Andrea and her amazing guests, today’s top dance artists, bring you behind the scenes into the world of creating dance.