- Business / Project: Made By Katie Green
- Category: Contemporary Dance
- College: London Contemporary Dance School
Made By Katie Green is committed to the creation of high quality contemporary dance work that is: driven by narrative ideas, site responsive, devised through collaborative practice with a range of artists, able to develop new audiences, including those who may not have engaged with contemporary dance before
What advice would you offer to potential applicants?
"Manage your budget carefully: consider using the Award as partnership for applications to other funding bodies in order to maximise the value of that Award. Plan carefully and think strategically: consider working with a producer who will enable you to access a greater range of opportunities (I have worked with Morton Bates Arts Services and now Claire Morton Projects since 2008 and this has been invaluable to me). Be kind to your collaborators and (of course) pay them properly. Be highly organised and prepared to go the extra mile. Learn to be resilient and resourceful (and if those resources start to wane, think about how you can replenish them through continuous professional development)." - Katie Green
Katie Green Case Study
What was your winning business/project idea?
I used the Pyramid Award to:
- set up my own contemporary dance company (originally called 'green bean dance' but now called 'Made By Katie Green')
- begin making work for that company
- showcasing that work at professional platforms across the country
- developing a programme of associated dance workshops for primary schools
What did winning the Award mean to you and how did it help launch your career?
Winning the Award:
• bought me some time to try things out and figure out what I wanted to do
• enabled me to be proactive and to begin to shape my future during a challenging bridging period between training and the profession
It gave me:
• access to business training/a mentor – this helped me begin to think of myself as a business; it also encouraged me to know the value of what I do, and helped me to understand the importance of research and taking time to plan in my work
• experience in application-writing – being able to articulate what I want to do (concisely) and why
My understanding of budget management really came later, through experience of managing larger budgets, but it was useful to have an opportunity to lay it all out in my original application to Deutsche Bank.
• experience making work – time to learn about working collaboratively; managing a rehearsal environment; working with a choreographic mentor; developing my choreographic signature
• access to opportunities to share my work - networking and getting work out there; maintaining a database; working with other Award winners (e.g. Sinta Tantra); working cross-regionally
• an understanding of how important it is to work with a mentor
• an understanding of how important it is to me to involve my audience
• experience developing a portfolio of work, working in a range of contexts and places and therefore building my CV
What skills did you develop as a result of DBACE?
- Creativity / innovation
- Presenting your work / ideas
- Developing business plans / funding applications
- Articulating your ideas / creative vision
- Applying creativity / innovation within a professional setting
- Understanding client needs
- Responding to client needs
- Research skills
- Critical thinking
- Collaborating with others
- Flexibility / adaptibility
- Self management
- Problem solving
- Self confidence
- Initiative / risk taking
- Project management
- Written communication
- Cashflow / budgets
What have been your greatest achievements since winning the Award?
Follow-on awards/grants I have received such as the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award (2008), the St Hugh's Foundation Fellowship Award (2009), and 6 Grants from the Arts Council England Grants for the Arts scheme since 2008
Opportunities to work with a range of increasingly high profile partners e.g. the Royal Academy of Arts and the British Museum
Developing the experience to be able to manage larger budgets, and to work on complex projects with multiple strands and many partners
The work I made in 2010, 'Matters of Life and Death' (http://madebykatiegreen.co.uk/matters.htm) - this was the first piece I made which clarified for me my choreographic signature, including the way I work with character/intention; shaping of space on stage and my personal way of structuring material
The Dancing in Museums project (http://madebykatiegreen.co.uk/museums.htm) Following on from Clore Leadership training, becoming the Chair of the St Hugh's Foundation for the Arts
Have your objectives and long-term goals changed since winning the Award? If so, how?
There are some things that have remained constant for me throughout my 9 years running a contemporary dance company:
• Narrative starting points
• Stories that connect us
• Participation (particularly with children and young people)
However, my company has also undergone a great deal of development and clarification since I began, due, for example to:
• experience gained through delivery of several complex, multi-phased projects with many partners
• increased experience in sited choreographic practice
• opportunities to work with an expanded creative team including a writer, designer and costume designer, which
increased the interdisciplinary nature of my practice
• opportunities to work with more experienced mentors such as Anna Williams, Kate Flatt, Niki McCretton and Enrique
• my completion of cultural leadership training through the Clore Leadership Programme
• opportunities to test out new ways of working, including with children and young people e.g. delivery of the Made By
YOU young choreographer commission in 2011 (http://madebykatiegreen.co.uk/madebyyou.htm)
In 2012 I issued a new Mission Statement:
Made By Katie Green is committed to the creation of high quality contemporary dance work that is:
• driven by narrative ideas
• site responsive
• devised through collaborative practice with a range of artists
• able to develop new audiences, including those who may not have engaged with contemporary dance before
Working closely with key partners across the UK, we actively seek to engage our audiences through presenting dance in traditional as well as unique settings and developing dance projects that are bespoke to each area or context. We believe in ongoing learning and rigorous, transparent practice. Through the company’s education strand, green bean dance, we seek to nurture the creativity and autonomy of young people who are the dance audiences, makers and leaders of the future.
This statement continues to be representative of my overall objectives for the work I do, however most recently my Dancing in Museums project (and the substantial interest it has received) has encouraged me to reconsider my long term goals and to focus particularly on developing my practice working with dance in heritage environments:
• It has inspired me to continue moving my work out of theatres and into unconventional spaces.
• It has encouraged me to consider other opportunities to create new experiences of spaces that have ‘old rules’ i.e. to reintroduce the tactile sense into heritage environments in which artefacts or the specific architecture of a site may be out of bounds, sometimes behind glass, or only accessible with a specialist guide for example.
• The promenade nature of the work I have made in museums and heritage sites has opened up new questions for me around the audience’s ownership of a work and ways to facilitate this.
• My collaboration with writer Anna Selby has expanded my understanding of ways to tell stories through dance, and encouraged me to continue finding ways of integrating text and movement in my choreographic work.