Since 2015, we have developed and piloted several projects under the creative learning arm of our artistic programme, CURIOUS. The strands of the programme are designed specifically to enhance understanding and enjoyment of our work, but also crucially to provide new experiences for harnessing individual creativity and inspiring people and communities. We seek to nurture a deeper engagement with the artistic process, allowing participants from a range of ages and backgrounds to explore their own creativity and embedding a sense of ownership in the process. We aim to provide high quality, inclusive and accessible experiences that promote an environment where everyone is valued and can confidently engage with the arts.
Invite: Our Invite workshops (delivered in partnership with Playwrights’ Studio Scotland) are a structured way of sharing our creative processes with other artists, practitioners and students who want to expand their own practice by engaging in our distinctive approach to creating work. Led by Christine and writer/musician Luke Sutherland, the workshops provide participants with the opportunity to explore collaborative and experimental ways of working on the interplay between text, music and movement and what this may bring to the development and direction of their work.
These workshops can be delivered and shaped for specific timeframes and groups; for example, as one-off workshops, weekend workshops or longer residencies. They aim to bring together choreographers, writers, dancers and artists of other specialisms (i.e. composers, designers, visual artists).
‘a vivid and inspiring experience’ A participating playwright on Invite
MAKE: Our MAKE workshops are based on a model that has been developed from Christine's research project of the same name (supported by a Creative Scotland Artists Bursary and a residency at Lyra). To date, this research has involved working with young people in Craigmillar (Edinburgh) and in Gent (Belgium) and has focused on the question: how will young people respond creatively when they are given the opportunity to make choices as the dance 'maker' with professional dancers as their 'raw material' to work with?
Back2School – GO!: A creative residency where the artists move into a school, enabling them to literally ‘go back to school’; setting up an artistic and creative ‘hub’ within the school, following the timetable of the children and interacting at various points throughout the day in their familiar environments (classrooms, playground, dinner hall). Having the company within the school allows the young people, staff and artists to engage on the same level, stimulating mutual curiosity about their creative processes and one another. As the residency progresses, the focus shifts to the artists working more directly with the children and teachers to create work together in multiple mediums including movement, visual art and music.
The pilot project took place in September 2016 in partnership with Niddrie Mill Primary School. Joined by some of the company’s long-standing creative collaborators (Luke Sutherland, Andrew Gardiner and Yvonne Buskie), the company were in residence at the school for 2 weeks, culminating in an invited showing for pupils, teachers and parents.
‘Such a project had never been undertaken at Niddrie Mill before and it was an outstanding success! Pupils were enthused and still talk about their experiences today. Experiences like our project with Curious Seed introduce them to a new world outside of their immediate community. It inspires and allows potential to be realised, nurtured and developed. The children were at the heart of this project.’
Jennifer Goodall, Acting DHT at Niddrie Mill Primary School
Starting from a different place: Led by Artistic Director Christine Devaney and joined by some of the company’s long-standing creative collaborators, these intensive weekend workshops are aimed at creative professionals from a range of disciplines who are keen to delve more deeply into their practice through starting from a different place. It provides a unique opportunity to venture out of comfort zones and develop new approaches in a playful and structured space. Over two days, Christine shares aspects of her creative practice, considering the various ways that she initiates and unlocks ideas which become the basis to create work from, with a focus on exploring collaborative and experimental methods of working between movement, music, imagery and text.
‘The weekend was a wonderful opportunity to be sharing and collaborating with artists from various specialties, to collectively push us outwith our own conventional practices.’ A participant on the Starting from a different place workshop
BackChat: A facilitated series of open table discussions for arts practitioners. The format of these begins with one invited 'speaker' who shares their personal creative journey and inspirations; they will then pose one question to those attending to open the discussion. Speakers are invited from diverse backgrounds and disciplines; attendees are drawn from a range of creative fields and networks.
Mentoring: We are committed to sharing our extensive collective experience through mentoring. Christine has been sought after as a mentor on diverse projects including The Young Irish Choreographers Workshop, Breakin’ Convention's Open Art Surgery and Dance Base's DEBS scheme, as well as providing mentoring support to individual artists and choreographers. Our Producers are both currently engaged with the Federation of Scottish Theatre Step Up mentoring programme, supporting creative professionals in their career development.
For more information about our Curious work, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org