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Sat, 02 Apr


Postlip Hall

Poetry and Movement Workshop at Postlip Hall and grounds, Cheltenham

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Poetry and Movement Workshop at Postlip Hall and grounds, Cheltenham
Poetry and Movement Workshop at Postlip Hall and grounds, Cheltenham

Time & Location

02 Apr 2022, 10:00 – 20:30

Postlip Hall, Winchcombe, Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL54 5AQ, UK

About the event

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POETRY AND MOVEMENT a day-workshop at Postlip Hall in memory of Jess O’Keeffe, member of the Postlip Community

 About this event 


This day-long workshop is an opportunity to explore the ways in which the practices of dance movement and the writing of poetry can form and inform one another. Together we will discover how words can arise from movement and how movement can animate text. We will use different approaches to develop, perform and hone both our written and physical explorations. Shifting between the moving body, speaking and writing, we will find new ways of working towards performance. This workshop is for those interested in language and communication who wish to explore it from a new angle. Participants will be willing to move, speak, play and write to fully explore language in relation to, and through the moving body. By looking at elements of space, dynamic, quality and sensorial experiences, this workshop invites us to explore how improvising with words can improve our perception of language and our ability to articulate.


The workshop takes place in the impressive setting of the grounds and house of Postlip Hall in the Cotswolds, located on the road between Cheltenham and Winchcombe in Gloucestershire. There has been a house on the site since before the Norman Conquest and the Chapel, built c.1145, is the oldest of the present buildings. A Grade 1 listed medieval Hall House, probably dating from the fifteenth century, is concealed inside the northeast corner of the Hall, whilst the grand Jacobean frontage was built in 1614 by entrepreneurial Giles Broadway. The rest of the house was added gradually thereafter around a central courtyard, and the Postlip Housing Association – the UK’s first co-housing community and our hosts for the workshop – divided it into eight separate units between 1970 and 1985. The workshop will take place in rooms within the Hall itself, and, weather permitting, participants will also be able to make use of the beautiful landscaped grounds as a source of inspiration.


10:00 am - Arrival and welcome with refreshments

11:00 am - Part one: Resourcing - body and site

1-1:45 pm - Light lunch provide by the Postlip Community

1:45 pm - Part two: Scores for devising

4:00 pm - Part three: Sharing and reflecting

6:00 pm - Performances by Scott Thurston and Gemma Collard-Stokes, followed by discussion

7:00 pm - Dinner provided by the Postlip Community and departures


Scott Thurston is a poet, mover and educator working in higher education in Manchester, UK. He has published sixteen books and chapbooks of poetry, including three full-length collections with Shearsman: Hold (2006), Momentum (2008) and Internal Rhyme (2010). More recent work includes Poems for the Dance (Aquifer, 2017), Draft Vicinity (Knives Forks and Spoons, 2018), We Must Betray Our Potential (The Red Ceilings, 2018) and Phrases towards a Kinepoetics (2020). Scott is founding co-editor of open access Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry and co-organized the long-running poetry reading series The Other Room in Manchester (2008-2018). Since 2004, he has been developing a poetics integrating dance and poetry which has seen him collaborating with dancers in Berlin and New York as well as in the UK.

Gemma Collard-Stokes is an interdisciplinary performance artist, researcher and educator. She studied contemporary performance, dance, and somatic practices at Coventry University, graduating with a first-class bachelor’s degree and distinction for her master’s degree. Gemma then went on to secure a funded PhD opportunity at the University of Wolverhampton, completing her thesis, Dissolving Borders: The Integration of Writing into a Movement Practice in 2017. Her ecologically informed practice extends form her work with Helen Poynor through the Walk of Life Training and the principles of this underpin her approach to teaching, making, and living. Gemma's research is concerned with dance in its therapeutic capacity, examining the function of dance as a route to prevention and management of conditions affecting physical and mental health conditions. Since 2010, Gemma has been developing an ecologically conscious interdisciplinary approach to outdoor dance and is known for her on-going enquiry into the ways dance supports meaningful relationships with the more-than-human world.

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