• Last scratch at Rich Mix

    Great night last night at Free to Fall scratch - Rich Mix.

    Thanks to all the artists who took part, the wonderful Matthais Sperling as Compere and to the audience for their genrous feedback.

    Lee x





    FtF Festival 2013 is an all day event looking back and re – connecting with passed participating scratch artists and an opportunity to look forward with new artists, producers, programmers and audiences. Taking over the top floor Gallery and Theatre spaces at Rich Mix this will be a fresh and opportune chance to take part in fun and informative networking sessions and chance to share, discuss and watch a diverse range of scratch and finished performance work.

    This is not a performance platform but an opportunity to explore the choreographic & collaborative process and idea of scratching new and unfinished work.


    If you are a professional artist interested in taking part in the event as a company, choreographer, musician, designer, film maker, visual artist, producer, programmer, compere etc and would like to present a scratch, idea, installation, lead a talk please submit a proposal to Lee Smikle via the Free to Fall website submission page.



  • Free to Fall Sao Paulo to London

    After attending the 3rd addition of Free to Fall Sao Paulo last night in Brazil i'm waiting at the airport ready and inspired to head to London. I should land around 7.30am and will head straight to Rich Mix to set up

    for our 10th addition of Free to Fall 'London' and the culmination of our first 'Trip-Over' Exchange with Malmo, Sweden. Can't wait to see what all the artists have been up to this week and to see how their ideas have developed.

    I'm still buzzing from last night and it was great to see Paula Pi at work, I'm lucky to have an artistic

    director like her in Sao Paula who shares my vision and passion in this now international artists proramme. It's interesting as we share notes, I see her having the same early issues and joys that I had in the

    beginning back in London. I feel her exhaustion and share in her celebration.

    I'm looking forward to going back in the Autumn for the 5th Sao Paulo FtF scratch until then we have a lot

    of work to do defining what we do while we get to support and work with all these brilliant and brave artists.

    Lee Smikle



  • I’m writing this as we started workshop 2

    I’m writing this as we started workshop 2 , we were going to go to the park and play on the equipment , but rain stopped play, so we are back in the studio, trying to see if we can find the play immediately. I’ve got cardboard boxes, to see how we can play on our own – the games we play have been about the inter relations ships – and they are only real when they are played together.

    Today I would like to

    1. Play with boxes – so that we have something to do one ones own

    2. Look at the movement tag- I’m thinking that there are some great ways of shifting acrsoo the floor – I am very attracted to the idea of having that shaped into travels in differnet directions – all on the verge of falling over,

    3. Playing with a shift between the games, and see how that ends up

    4. Can we keep that curiosity and do some set material? i.e.e can we play the games for the mindset and keep it?

    5. Ask questions about the high middle low game

    Moves invented

    Lame starfish



    Duck, roly poly, jazz

    Spiderbum, pigeon, pigeonpoo


    We did a relay race, having to do all 9, but in any order chosen, did 2 next to each other , looks as interesting as I thought – it is definitely something there, that essence of play, looking to see if we can put in stops with movement sequences.

    The first play of 3 including sleeping lions felt like it makes a nice warm up- a way in, a way to

    encourage r=play and mischief, and abandon, and a bit of competition…

    Cardboard boxes, play – different things coming out – needing to mature, shape , taste, things are

    coming out as nice in unison – will we have time to rehearse that?

    Mari Frogner



  • The second and last day of rehearsals of the residency was very productive.

    The second and last day of rehearsals of the residency was very productive.

    We went to take the gaga-warmup, then worked on our individual compositions from after lunch til about 6 o'clock. I finished my structure and did a quick sketch of the soundtrack. It is.. well, let's say it is really sketchy so far!

    Maria worked intensely during the whole afternoon, perfecting her soundtrack and the movement.

    Torbjörn made recordings of his text, worked on his structure and tried to remember his moves, just like everyone else!

    By coincidence, we are all working with sound of people talking, so maybe one way of presenting friday would be everbody at the same time! (Just kidding...)

    After the rehearsal, we went for chinese food nearby, very good and authentic. Then we made our way down to Greenwich park, walked past Cutty Sark, walked under the river to Island Park, watched the boats from the other bank, went for a walk in the park there, watched a class of irish clog dancing for children in a community center there, and went home by metro and bus.

    Marito Olsson-Forsberg



  • Rehearsals/workshops London .... it was tempting to fall back into old habits

    It was lovely to be back in London – so lovely that it was tempting to fall back into old habits, but I am pleased to say that I stuck to my idea and concentrated on play.

    We started with tag again, and them played different versions… and as we did each version, we

    realised that it was something very different coming out of each game, we played open ended

    games ,and games that had a defined ending ( for instance you were out after a certain amount of hits)

    Jenny realised how much she prefers to play when she could just concentrate on each individual element, once we had a defined winner, she immediately started with that sense of competence and not wanting to be embarrassed by loosing, seen as the worst. How quickly we fall back into that pattern, whereas Harriet positively blossomed with the idea of winning and competition!

    We also discovered that when we were playing it was the slight sense of danger – that you could get caught that kept you interested, we set versions where you couldn’t, and the attention went really quickly.

    Jenny admitted to generally just wanting to slap people, and playing the hand game allowing the

    slapping of hands got her very excited.

    We had a lovely moment – where Harriet who has a major mind, just let go and played, and it was so mice to see, at one point the games subverted themselves into cheekiness and slight cheating and laughter, so much laughter they were literally falling over, and somehow that was EXACTLY the right thing- it was a simplicity of playing the game on the verge of collapse.

    An example when we first played tag Harriet realised that she could just pass the tag straight

    back on, if she wasn’t worried about being caught, and this really frustrated the other two, a very

    strategic and analytical way to play, but later she completely forgot about being strategic, and was shuffling about on the verge of nose diving.

    t’s about playing the game, but just being spontaneous and allowing the going outside to happen, tomake it interesting and not academic. I was in tears of laughter watching them – it was so infectious.

    Mari Frogner



  • .....trying to avoid twisting ankles dancing on a pile of bricks!

    Following on from my first part of the research which started a couple of weeks ago in Malmö! A bit more dangerous this time, trying to avoid twisting ankles dancing on a pile of bricks. Great dancer Aaron Vickers is joining me for this experience. The ideas are developing nicely and can't wait to get audience feedback on Friday at Free to Fall scratch.

    Renaud Wiser



  • Tuesday 18 june 'We fell even more in love with the space'

    Today, we took a bus from Peckham and arrived at GDA Greenwich at 10.15, in time for the daily training, which was in Gaga-style. Took class which lasted approx. one hour, socialized a bit with the other dancers and went for lunch. In the afternoon Maria worked mainly on the soundtrack for her solo, Torbjörn started to choreograph on some ideas and I also worked on some ideas of gestures for a solo. We fell even more in love with the space, which is great to work in albeit a little cold on the floor, probably due to the season. At 5h30 we packed our things and went back to the appartment and had dinner at the Ganapate restaurant.

    Marito Olsson-Forsberg



  • London - Free to Fall Trip Over Exchange at GDA this week '...what a hall that is!'

    17/6 At London bridge station, Marito and Joana met up with Maria and Torbjörn directly from the airport. From their, after getting further (dis-)oriented we persued our way to Greenwich where we made our way to GDA, where we arrived at 15.30. Unfortunately we didn't meet with Kat Bridge from GDA, since we got behind schedule already from the airport. But we were directed to the hall and, boy, what a hall that is! We are using this residency to explore, develop and work on individual ideas for pieces. Everybody had a good stretch after the travelling until 6pm, when the cab came and brought us to camberwell and the apartment. We had a long talk about the esthetic viewpoints of our different works over some Indian food that I had prepared. We went for a stroll in the park and developed further on the subject, and watched the foxes that live there. Then we went to rest after the first day of residency.

    Marito Olsson-Forsberg



  • Choreography on the verge of collapse...

    ..I'm back in London - after an intense week of thinking and challenges in Sweden.

    It was really interesting having to share an idea in such a raw form, throwing some intentions and ideals out into a room, with little chance to shape and control it.

    I've battled with the dichotomy between spontaneity and non- performance, my love of putting work out there for people to come across, to make their own choices on how to engage with it on one hand and the pressure (maybe I just perceive it) to create something that conforms to the ideals of excellence, virtuosity, refinement and devlopment.

    My ambivalence in Sweden about whether I wanted people to watch the play or join in, feels like it is still a very open question, I will continue to look for the answer before the next scratch.

    I am finding myself in a slightly unusual situation - normally the topic I choose, it's nature and it's exploration dictates to form in which the final work takes, however here I am aware that what I am working on is meant to be part of a work for the stage- so audience involvement may not be possible - but I have decided that I should not let that define what I do now, this is research.. .. and I want to continue to challenge myself in that I should not start to think of the final piece to soon, and present research at free to fall.

    There is another dichotomy, setting work and having it be spontaneous, watching play it is obvious that it often doesn't have a focus, that it is unpredictable, unperformed, done for the immediate satisfaction of the performer, all that is normally not part of work,

    .. focus, consistency, repeatability, consideration of the audicence's experience... being so much of what goes on in my head, I think these 2 weeks will be about how little of this can we impose on the play... can we keep it at the edge of being choreographed. I think it will be an interesting challenge for me and the performers.

    Questions are

    1. Can I use space to shape ( set or suggest interesting spacial patterns and use) and will this still be truly free?

    2. Can we partially set material and still find that complete freedom ( maybe setting material in a different way, what is the setting, or is finding rather than setting? and what can we find?)

    3. Can free play within rules still be given a sense of development and dynamic variation? How much does the rules start to dictate?

    4. Is it interesting to simply watch someone enjoy themselves? and if so for how long?

    There were answers that started to form in Malmo, certainly i got a clearer idea of what I am after, although somehow it is also harder to describe..

    I look forward to sharing the outcomes in 2 weeks time

    Mari Frogner



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