Arts Council of Wales | Case Study: Beth Powlesland

Case Study: Beth Powlesland

‘Adrift’ – Beth Powlesland. A Research and Development grant for Creative Professionals.

Why the grant was made

The aim of this award was to research a new idea for outdoor performance, to design and build an appropriate set and to begin a long term collaboration with the dance artist Eithne Kane.

What happened during the Research and Development period?

The first two weeks were full of trying ideas and improvisations, creating even more questions and searching for answers.

Due to a stress fracture to her foot in the second week, a period of time was used to improvise and research -things that were less physical but at this stage of research extremely important.

Despite this, by the third week of research Beth and Ethine they managed to answer some of these questions for themselves, deciding upon characters, ideas for scenes, direction choreographical direction and on the story they wanted to share.

In week four, they felt they could produce material that had potential. Sharing that work has opened up new questions for them.

Noting that she is happy with their progress, Beth said:

"There is still a lot of work to do but we feel inspired and ready to step forwards and create our show. It is fantastic to spend time working creatively during R&D without the pressure on the final outcome and this has had benefits both for the work and for us as artists/teachers".

How did the artist benefit?

Beth and her collaborators found that spending time paying attention to how we create best - and to what our bodies need to be open, strong and available - has been invaluable.

Following the research and development period Beth felt they had found methods which make them confident they could create and deliver a fully produced work within a 4 week creation period and be able to hone and mould it into a clear, intelligent piece of work.

The period allowed them to ask a lot of questions of themselves. They now feel that they have methods which strengthen them as makers; and methods which can be shared and taught to people they’ll come into contact with through arts and education in the future.

During this period they also established and nurtured numerous connections with organisations such as Theatr Harlech, Theatr Iolo, The Dance Centre, Earthfall and Chapter Arts Centre.

What Next?

Beth now feels she has developed an ethos for the company - to create high quality work which is accessible to a wide audience, using themes and characters with which people can connect in a very human way.

The legacy of this research is the beginning of an exciting collaboration, a new company, something they hope will keep growing and growing. Having this time has helped them approach their new work inspired and energised and will help them to carry that work on into a creation and then a tour.
Case Study: Beth Powlesland
Research and Development

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