Lucy Thane cv
Documentary and Dance Filmmaker; Performer; Dancer; Improviser; Event, Procession, Site specific and interactive performance creator; Drawer; Cultural Activist:
In the beginning there was curiosity, then amazement, and a desire to share: “Hey You! Look how amazing people can be even when shit is fucked Up!” I borrowed and bartered for cameras and edit suites: RecordrecordrecordEditeditedit. Couldn’t handle the idea of people just sitting in a darkened room staring up at my projected thoughts so screenings had to become live events, performances, audiences turning to face each other, to create the show themselves. I first started putting on shows in 1991. Teaching taught me how much I love to elicit and encourage the creativity of others. Dancers showed me how to become the work myself and I knew I had to elicit my own creativity: dance, perform, improvise myself; to not always have a lens or screen between me and the outside world. I also have an ongoing fascination with how the steps we create and the way we move can transmit and literally move culture and social interactions forward. Growing up in inner London, and living and working in Hackney, lower east side NYC and the Mission in San Francisco taught me how much diversity and creativity there can be in daily life and the importance and possibilities of community and how often the most brilliant are the least rewarded and the most undermined.
During the time that live performance and the primary importance of the current moment became increasingly important to me the whole world became as addicted to screens and lenses as I had been. The urban spaces I’d never sought but always found were discovered by international property interests and became increasingly expensive for the people I care for. We vainly fought against eviction after eviction and soon my time in this now fashionable part of east London is up.. 100% rent increase in November 2016. My work is currently very informed by these situations.
In I am not a Village I am both performing and directing, working in close collaboration with a choreographer and cinematographer as well as with a variety of other performers, choreographers, artists, activists and “the General Public”. We use dance (in it’s broader definition), improvisation, interaction, and digital (often domestic) technology and words to explore and alter how we move through specific environments and how we move around and relate to each other. Our interventions exist as live events in themselves, responsive to their environments, shooting is part of the action; I want my cake and eat it: to record for the future without belittling the present. Events have been commissioned by Chisenhale dance space, Yellow Fish Epic Seattle durational performance festival and Hackney Wicked festival, other events have been produced by ourselves.
I experiment with different ways of negotiating the city and how strangers interact with each other and their environment. With a different kind of urgency I love to welcome and bring diverse people together. I want art in real life, I want to expand the parameters of what real life can be, to explore and create codes of interaction and behaviour. How we walk or dance down the street, how we inhabit a train, how and who we communicate with. I am not overly interested in black boxes and galleries, though they can be great sites for experiment and play. I also want audiences and passersby to be fully able to ignore us if they want to. I want to present an open invitation rather than a demand. I am more interested in presenting than closing down possibilities while believing in the necessity of protest. I think it’s important to reflect that the most successful have a vision of what they want as well as what they don’t want: e.g. Women’s suffrage, Civil rights, Anti-apartheid (though in some ways, all of these are still a work in progress!). With my work (which has strong overlaps with play, parties and community building) I want to shift atmospheres and expand possibilities. I endeavour to find new ways to have political discourse, to experiment with how to co-exist in the city, or the new arenas we will be forced to inhabit. To celebrate and question how a vast diversity of humans negotiate these crazy times.
Other projects include interactive live consciousness raising events about the “Motherfication of everything” in collaboration with Oriana Fox with the support of Home Live Art. We have completed our first pilot event, a Pilgrimage and Motherhood and Childlessness. I also co-host the Drawing and Dancing Society and a variety of one off events and performances at venues such as Yinka Shonibare’s guest projects, House of illustration as well as at my own studio space in east London.
In addition I make and devise character and information based interactive, Site-Specific, Promenade and Theatrical, Solo and Ensemble, Performance. Notable works include 7000 Year Old Woman, 2009; A Sailor went to Sea, 2010; and I am not a Village, 2011; the Voyage of the Dead, 2012. Venues have included Tate Modern, the A Foundation, the Italian Cultural Institute, Park Road Pilot, the Woodmill, Basement Art Projects, The Others, Battersea Arts Centre, Apiary London, Coachwerks Brighton, Toihaus Teatr Saltzburg, Schloss Broellin Germany, Kulturhuset Stockholm and Amsterdam Rijksmuseum. I have also worked as a performer for a variety of other artists and choreographers such as Amaara Raheem, Luca Bonomo, Oriana Fox, Marina Sossi, Inga Cholmogorova, Elena Bajo and the Apiary Hackney.
When I first set out I studied History and Film in Norwich and Sheffield, made a lot of Super 8 films such as Salome’s Story and edited a women’s magazine Judy’s Punch; I worked variously for the production companies such as Working Title and BlackRod, and as an assistant to film director Midge Mackenzie on a variety of projects, and as a researcher for professor Anthony Seldon at the Institute of Contemporary British History. In 1993 I was lured by the bright lights of Punk Rock club toilets and excited fifteen year olds in Brownie uniforms to make a film about the U.S. Riot Girl band Bikini Kill It changed my life (1993). A screening at the Kitchen gave me the excuse to move to New York, and then to San Francisco where I remained for 5 years, making She’s Real, Worse than Queer(1997). I regularly performed in and curated Live Performance/ Screenings under the Umbrella Shoot the Women first at a range of venues in London, NYC and San Francisco, from CBGBs to SFMOMA with a variety of collaborators including Miranda July, Tina Spangler/ FemmeFlicke Zine and Sara Valentine. I also worked as a freelance camera operator and editor, was highly active as a programmer and board member of Cinema/Gallery/ Cultural Hub, Artists Television Access as well as teaching at the Academy of Art College.
In 1998 I returned to London to manage Sidecar Ltd., a Video Access and Production company in Hoxton. We provided Production facilitation, equipment and operators and devised, managed and taught Video Production courses for educators and also for school excluded groups, young offenders, refugees and other people with access challenges. I made Documentaries including As Is your Due (1999), Breaking the boundaries (2001), The Experimental Playground (2000 and 2003) and The Pool of London (2006), There ain’t no Black in the Union Jack (2008), and other videos such as Laga Beach (2010).
Since 2006 I have been studying and practicing Dance, Improvisation and Performance; including Ballet and contemporary dance, Flamenco, Capoeira and AfroBrazilian Dance, Action Theatre, Commedia Dell’arte, Singing, Viewpoints, Bodyweather, Feldenkreis and Butoh. I curated and performed at monthly Mixed Media “Happenings” at Red Shoe Space in East London from 2006-2010. In October 2011 I received an M.A. in Performance and Creative Research at Roehampton University, London.
“You’re really weird” Lynn BreedLove, Tribe 8, 1995
“You are a very eccentric person Lucy” Guillermo Gomez-Pena, 2008
“I just want to add that I think that you are an extraordinary and amazing person” Geraldine Pilgrim 2009