Passage For Par – Rosemary Lee
In 2016 Rosemary Lee came to Cornwall to run a Dance Camp for us as part of the SALT 2016 Festival of Landscape/Dance. It was during this time that we started a conversation about a site specific work choreographed and directed by Rosemary Lee for SALT 2018. At that time we didn’t know exactly what shape that would take or where in Cornwall it would be but we felt very strongly that a very significant piece of work could be created.
In the summer of 2017 Antony and Rosemary spent several weekends driving around possible locations all over Cornwall, looking at rural green sites, coast paths and beaches. Godrevey and Par Sands beach were eventually shortlisted and after many weeks poring over tide timetables Par Sands beach, on the south coast near St Austell, was selected for its biodiversity, history, its dramatic contrasts – between the industry of Par Docks and the green slopes of Gribbin Head, the beauty of the tidal expanse, with its glittering deposits of quartz and mica. and the industrial background with the china clay dries and chimneys as backdrop.
At about this time Antony was also in discussion with Teresa Gleadowe from CAST (Cornubia Arts & Science Trust) about a possible performance piece for the first Groundwork – Season of Contemporary Art that Teresa was producing for the summer of 2018. Rosemary and Teresa met in London to talk ideas and a plan was born and Groundwork agreed to commission Passage for Par.
We put a call out for performers and and auditioned 157 women from all over the U.K and Europe and selected our 30 dancers. In early June the whole team made their way to Par where they stayed in BnBs and caravans and cabins for 3 weeks of intensive work to devise and rehearse Passage for Par working mostly on the beach at Par with Cornubia Hall for wet weather backup.
There were 3 performances on
– Friday 22 June 7.15pm
– Saturday 23 June 8.15pm
– Sunday 24 June 9.15am
‘At the turn of the tide 30 women will rhythmically snake their way across the tidal landscape, tracing meandering pathways through the wet sand, their outlines etched against the sea and sky. Following their movements from afar on headland or dune, viewers are invited to take time to discover the ever-changing landscape as the women slowly continue their passage through it.’
Rosemary Lee is an acclaimed choreographer who has created a range of work over the last thirty years, from large-scale site-specific works and solo works to video installations and short films. Regardless of their scale, these projects have an intimate quality and often explore our relationship with our environment.
Passage for Par was produced in partnership with CAST for Groundwork and Artsadmin with support from Falmouth University’s Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA) and including eight selected students from the BA Hons Dance and Choreography course.
Rosemary Lee and the producers of Passage for Par would particularly like to thank Karen Brown, Carolyn Boyce, Kerry Fletcher, Philip Gadd, Richard Parks, Cathy Trodd and the Friends of Par Beach.
Photo credit- Steve Tanner