The multiform Bristol organisation Ausform, a creative producing outfit that organises a biannual performance platform alongside other projects/events to support artistic development and research, has announced that it will be taking on two Associate Artists under the new scheme Ausform: FORGE. For the next year, the supported artists will be Jonathan Priest, a circus artist and corde lisse specialist who's currently Joint Head of Aerial at Circomedia in Bristol and a teacher at DOCH in Stockholm, and Isabelle Cressy, a contemporary dance artist and choreographer who formerly trained as a gymnast and aerialist.
Priest, who works as a soloist as well as with has his own company Fan-atticks (founded with Anja Duchko-Zuber) and other directors, is currently working on the solo piece Knots, based around the text of the same name by the psychiatrist R.D. Laing. Cressy, who works under the company name PINCH, will be focusing on the intersection between contemporary dance choreography and aerial practice. Ausform's artistic director Lina B. Frank says: 'Jonathan and Isabelle are at very different stages of their careers, but what's so special about them is what they have in common: they both have a wonderful sense of voice. They also both have a history in circus and strong, idiosyncratic movement languages. They create intelligent and conceptual performances driven by the desire to explore ways to marry ideas and narratives with movement – and it's these combinations that I find most exciting.'
Ausform, which started in September 2009 as a performance platform, is now 'an ideas-lead organisation which grows organically', and Lina explains this first year of FORGE is a pilot to test out different ways of working. It will involve 'R&D periods that integrate participatory projects, mentoring, collaboration, producing support, and “bodystorming” sessions to connect to the wider performing community'. There will be a number of work-in-progress showings throughout the year – some by invitation, some public. Dates are to be confirmed, but if you're interested in hearing more or attending then e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Ausform: FORGE is focused on supporting contemporary circus and dance, but the organisation also runs other projects to develop experimental performance and live art. The next Ausform Platform will be 20 & 21 April 2012 at Bristol's Cube Microplex (on the 20th) and the Parlour on College Green (on the 21st), with work from Greg Wohead, CODA Dance, Sleepwalk Collective, Jackie Vitale, and Matt Foster.