Learning Through Art

Anna Pearce blogs for Cloud Dance Festival and in her latest post she discusses how art can make learning easier. We were really flattered to find out that she used Meeting Place as one of her examples (alongside DV8’s Can We Talk About this? and War Horse). Thanks Anna!

Another subject I was never particularly enthralled with in my younger years was Maths. I can’t say that much has changed since then, although watching Hamish McPherson and Martine Painter’s ‘Meeting Place’ at Resolution! 2012 encouraged me to take a tentative step towards finding an interest in numbers and scientific patterns. Hamish and Martine play with visually unfolding an algorithmic formula: a series of instructions, a mathematical way of describing a sequence, used in computing, the stock market and other such seemingly alien contexts. However, seeing these things embodied on a stage made me interested, and encouraged me to think on something I’d never have considered relevant to my life. And of course it is: this laptop is using algorithms as I type, and yours as you read.


The post touches on an interesting issues and would be well worth a read even if we weren’t mentioned!

New Scientist coverage

Meeting Place was covered by Culture Lab, the section of New Scientist where ‘books, art and science collide’.

“(…) As the duo danced, they gradually deviated from the formula, letting the algorithm descend into chaos before building it back up again. Surprisingly, the dance looked unrehearsed and nearly improvised, as if it evolved naturally on stage. Even though their movements were largely predetermined and their faces carefully kept blank, the dancers often looked like they were responding to each other and having a conversation. The audience was left with a sense that, no matter how automated, dance is still a human endeavour.”

Lisa Grossman (New Scientist)

Dance production tips

Ideas Tap asked us to share some of our experiences of Resolution!

The support of individuals and institutions is critical. As Resolution! artists, we were lucky enough to be able to sign up for professional development workshops run by The Place, in everything from project management to lighting design. People working outside of this environment can find courses and workshops through organisations such as Creative Choices.   Continue reading

Resolution! reviews

Here are the first reviews of Meeting Place:

Mathematics and dance seem to be unlikely bedfellows, yet Hamish MacPherson and Martine Painter’s duet has found a Meeting Place for the two. The piece reflected a thoroughly considered approach, building up a number of simple movements in a formulaic way. In spite of the seemingly rigid structure it is based on, Meeting Place had a certain refreshing, unrehearsed quality. The choreographers-turned-performers were delightfully unpredictable as they engaged in playful dialogue with each other, boldly sustaining moments of stillness and amplifying the humour in the occasional and apparently coincidental moments with their deadpan faces and absolute conviction.

Germaine Cheng (Resolution! Review)

An algorithmic formula is behind Hamish MacPherson and Martine Painter’s Meeting Place. You know, algorithms, like the complex formulae that investment banks’ computers use to drive us into financial meltdown. This one, however, has a far more benign and entertaining purpose, and results in a moderately charming game of repetition, accumulation and amusing absurdity. As a pair of performers, MacPherson and Painter have a nice connection and they string together simple units of movement – an arm swing, a raised leg, a vocal yelp – in a manner that manages to keep our attention for almost the full twenty minutes. Some genuine laughs out loud and a nice visible logic at play.

Lyndsey Winship (Time Out dance editor)