Friday, 26 October 2012

No Strings

No Strings Q&A by Shakera Ahad

What is ‘No Strings’?
No Strings is an Open Space for creative people to create. Put simply, a place to ‘Do’, where the agenda is set by whoever turns up on the night.

Why ‘No Strings’?
No Strings is not a co-operative, it is not a Company or a class. All of these things require commitment – No Strings does not. All of these things require formality – No Strings does not.
We wanted to send the message that this space is a place for you to get together with some like-minded people (meaning people who want to ‘Do’) for just a couple of hours, at the end of which you all leave with no obligation to stay in touch, come back, sign up for anything. No Strings is very much about being in the moment.

Who is it for?                                                     
No Strings is not an exclusive club. We believe that whoever comes are the right people, and they shape the creative journey by their presence. There is only one prescriptive rule at No Strings, anyone who comes must be willing to Do, to Try, to Share. That means different things to different people and can be scary – and No Strings aims to provide a safe space in which to challenge yourself.

How does it work?
Using an Open Space format, attendees call sessions, and then use the ‘Law of Two Feet’ to travel to, and if they want, between sessions. These sessions could be anything, as they are up to the attendees to call, or not call.
There is a collective responsibility shared with every member of the group that night, to create a space, an environment of mutual support and challenge between the other artists.
All No Strings are therefore a mystery until people come and ‘create’.
* You do not have to come with ideas, some people call sessions and some do not – it all contributes to the balance of the group on the night

What do you ‘Do’?

At the most recent No Strings, the following sessions were called:
Shakespeare Mash-up
Pretty much what it says on the tin. Lots of Shakey Plays, lots of confusion, lots of being okay with not making sense, lots of hilarity when lines from different plays made curiously perfect sense.
Warm-up Swap
No Strings by its nature will add to an artist’s toolkit. But you can guarantee it by calling a session to share/learn techniques.
From the Mouths of Others
A particular idea someone wanted to test out with the group. Verbatim story meets movement interpretation (or, as we were in this session and not really dancers... comedy character mime)
Ideas, really
All the ideas in your head, challenge your fear of them being nicked or feeling exposed and get them out, it might help to hear other’s thoughts on them.

Who is invited?
A semi-professional wanting to keep in practise
An amateur wanting to learn new techniques
A professional wanting to learn new techniques
A director in need of a break from their own show, to play with something else for a change
An actor wanting to learn how they explore their very first idea for a performance
A writer wishing to challenge themselves to create with other collaborative people
An absolute beginner with no ideas but enthusiasm and adventurous spirit, happy to try
A choreographer with an idea, but nothing solid enough for an application
A dancer interested in how acting could inform their practice
A facilitator wanting to try a new technique from book before teaching
A practitioner interested in facilitating an Open Space session
We repeat. Anyone!

What’s the point?
The answer to this question is unique to every person when they come to No Strings, for their own personal reasons.
Our reason is that we care about Yorkshire and about the creative work that is happening here.
All creative work feeds and filters into other work, regionally, nationally, internationally. Be it amateur, semi-professional, experimental, classical, contemporary, scripted, everything!
 Activity which generates creative ideas and energies is symptomatic of a healthy theatre ecology. And creative activity can, in turn, boost that ecology.
We do want to contribute on a larger scale, but we are also artists just wanting to get in a bit of regular practice. Shakera directs and enjoys acting, but isn’t an actor, she just wants a chance to play with no obligation or commitment. Joanne writes and feels performing and directing feeds her understanding of a piece.

Where does No Strings happen?
At whatever space is offered to us. We avoid any commitments to buildings or building owners. The spirit of No Strings is one of no obligation or political ties. (Big Up to Iain Bloomfield who lends us space and doesn’t insist on us wearing ‘we love Theatre in the Mill’ T-shirts...that said we do love it *personal views*)
Be prepared to be surprised, it may be a studio, an office space, a disused warehouse, an in use office floor... All we can guarantee is that you’ll need to wrap up warm! 

When does No Strings happen?
We are in a pilot phase at the moment (which makes it no less real so please don’t be put off – we need experience and feedback to feed into its development) this means dates are fluid.
The next date is Monday 29th October.
7.30pm – 9.30pm.
Theatre in the Mill
You don’t have to stay the whole time, whenever it starts is the right time and when it’s over for you, it is over.

How to find Theatre in the Mill 

How do I get involved?
It’s pretty simple. Come to a session!
It is quite scary, we know. That’s part of the point – to be challenged.
But you do need basic info, like the address (we are not challenging you to wander Bradford in the later hours), so please email and we are the facilitators.
Hello! Welcome to No Strings. 
Shakera & Joanne

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