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Telling Lives and Embodying Stories - Joe Darby

"All of these stories are personal to the voices in the work but also so meaningful to me so I try to really dance ‘in tune’ with them". 


What has been your favourite part of the process?

It has been brilliant to work alongside Amy, I feel very excited about her work and about her as an emerging choreographer, so I take my role in this piece as her only dancer very seriously! I also love working with Dramaturge Nick Walker, getting his insights into how we could ‘frame’ text and how we could merge in and out of each scene of the work was truly eye opening, he is a master of his craft. As a dancer I also really enjoyed using personal memories to create inspiring movement material, it feels meaningful and fulfilling to move in this way. 


Turtle Dove tells love stories of many people of all ages. What is it like dancing to people's personal stories?  

It is an honour. Some of these stories are so beautiful, tragic, heart wrenching, funny and some just out right bizarre! You find yourself wanting to do your best by the story teller, they have given their heart to this project so we need to respect that in our performance. It’s lovely to get insights into peoples lives that I know. For example, my solo inside the work is a very personal story of a long term friend, teacher, mentor and 'mum No2’, Jackie Mortimer. It really is heart warming to move to a story where I know both people in the story, where I can really see and know their connection, so thank you Jackie.


What part of the work taps into you personal experience?

I can honestly say throughout the process of this work my personal life has been a rollercoaster. I found out my fiancee was pregnant and then I became a father, there have also been issues with my families health and everything in between, this piece has attached itself emotionally to me more than any other work. There are so many episodes throughout the work that taps into my personal experience, and I re-live these feelings in every performance. In one section we explore the experience of being next to someone through difficulties and reminding them there is a reason to move forward- watching them and supporting them to put themselves back together. Another section we call ‘seeing the world through another person's shoes’ is about understanding another person and why they are the way they are is truly something that sits home for me. In a section we call ‘mirror' we explore two people being so different with not many joint interests but underneath finding 'a shared life'. I am also very moved by a story about receiving terrible news and coping through leaning on the people around you for support. All of these stories are personal to the voices in the work but also so meaningful to me so I try to really dance ‘in tune’ with them. 

This work is truly from the hearts of everyone involved in the project. For that reason I dedicate my performance in this piece to my mother, daughter and fiancee before each show. Without them this piece wouldn't be all it is for me.


Joe Darby

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©2019 by Amy Morvell Dance.