Building relationships between directors and movement directors

Alice Robinson, 3 October 2012

I had a genuine and enlightening conversation with John Roberts, Andrew Ness, Mark Smith, Andy Gledhill, Nerissa Cargill Thompson and bumble bee Aliki Chappel.

We discussed the preconceptions that directors may have about what a movement director can offer and how they are likely to want a movement specialist for a specific reason for example choreography. We went on the discuss how important it is to define the skills that you can offer so that they can choose to hire you or not. How relationships must be established naturally and through a process of discussion and exchange of ideas, wants and needs with directors. In this climate it seems the movement director can be considered a bonus rather than an integral part of the creative team so their purpose must be clearly stated and passionately made. The option could be to align yourself with companies that have a physical training and may need a designated movement director to work on the project. Or you may want to make contact with directors that work with less of a physical knowledge to add a movement language to their work. This may involve working for free for a limited period of time to prove yourself and your work or proposing ideas in a more formal way. It may be a good idea to arrange to shadow movement directors that you like for a period of time and learn from them on the job. Approaching literary festivals to work with directors that are very text driven such as 24:7 Manchester and New Work Liverpool. It may be that for a period of time after re training in a new specialism one has to extend their training with shadowing and voluntary work to get your name out there and prove that you can offer movement in specific ways. One of the directors in the group said that he realised the other day that a movement vocabulary was missing from his work. This was a interesting idea and made me think that running movement workshops for directors may introduce an awareness of movement that would in time build the awareness to the benefit of collaborations.


directors, shadowing, text, workshops, specialism, Movement directors, Movement

Comments: 1

Edward Barrett, 4 October 2012

Given the fact that, whatever technical support there may be, theatre at its heart relies largely on what actors can do with their bodies and voices, it is a little surprising how few productions take movement into account beyond blocking.

Movement direction can add a whole extra dimension: Frantic Assembly's Pool No Water for example, would have been half the show it was without Steven Hoggett's input.