Q&A with Performer, Choreographer and BA Dance Programme
Leader Alice Marshall


What’s your starting process for creating new choreography?

When starting on a new piece of work the direction I take often depends on the brief I have been set, or the expectation I have set myself. Often I will take time in the studio on my own and start to improvise with the movement concept I have. From there thoughts and ideas will emerge which I will then go and research into, either by reading books, watching videos or interviewing people. This will quickly move to a similar process with my experienced dancers. I will provide them with ‘buzz words’ and they respond, and often so differently to how I did that we are then presented with a wealth of material immediately.

Which dancers and choreographers have most influenced your practice?

So many! It is hard to pin down a select few, but having initially come from the Ballet world Carlos Acosta was a great inspiration to me due to his unique way of performing but also his passion for his art form on and off the stage. But in terms of the Contemporary world the practitioners that have influenced my practice include, and are not limited to; Jasmin Vardimon, Luca Silvestrini, Rafael Bonachela, Amit Lahav and Tom & Pete from New Art Club.

What is your favourite piece created by a female choreographer?

I think of recent years it has to be ‘Safe’ by Zoie Golding (ZoieLogic) It is a very physical piece that involves an intricate set and props, and although at times the movement could have been more compelling I really enjoyed the rawness of it, and the emotion being portrayed. I also enjoyed that a female choreographer was tackling ‘masculinity’ within her choreography.

What advice or top tips would you suggest to young dancers hoping to improve their choreography and dance practice?

Watch as much work as you can! Watching and learning from others is key to your choreographic journey. Also take chances, and take risks. Not everything you create will work, and that is all part of the journey. Every moment moulds the next. In terms of your own dance practice, you must do exactly that, practice! The more your body moves, the more it can achieve.  

Can you recommend any resources available for anyone looking into a career in dance and/or choreography?

A quick internet search will provide you with a wealth of information, but I would suggest you go to venues, meet choreographers, performers and ask them. They are in the career path you want to look into and they are the best to give you advice. My main advice would be to find a course that allows you to dance every day. If you are not moving, then you cannot expand your physicality. And if you cannot expand that, how are you able to be creative if you are limited by your physicality?


For further information on our BA Dance (Hons) Degree in partnership with the University of Derby please click here to visit the course page



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