As part of The Vision Project we took time to talk to our wonderful participants. In this series which we have called PEOPLE OF VISION, we explore how they came to join in with The Vision Project and what they have taken away from it.
Today we speak to the winning Marina Beck who became our Star Creator in 2021 with the A-Z Challenge.
- How did you hear about The Vision Project?
Emma told me about her submission for funding to the Arts Council just after she’d submitted it. At that point details were very general – there was going to music/ song inspiring dance and art. It’s been interesting to see how the various elements have unfolded and developed as the project has taken shape over the last few months. I’ve been able to keep up with developments through taking part in the dance element and through the regular postings about events and activities on the Creative Community Facebook page and Instagram.
- What elements of it did you choose to take part in?
I was disappointed that, due to travels, I was only able to take part in the dance element. I would really have liked to have tried my hand at acrylics and at working with clay. Hopefully if there is a Vision Project ‘Take 2’ I’ll be able to take part in more of the elements.
- What appealed to you most about the dance aspect?
The fact that we were dancing to a piece of newly created music which had never been danced to before.
- You won "Star Creator" in the original A-Z challenge in 2021 - what was your favourite part of the whole 8 week challenge?
Although Emma shared the various submissions on Zoom on a Monday and people did comment, it wasn’t really the same as experiencing people appreciate what you had done. So I think my favourite part was seeing the little boy who lives next door have so much fun with the ‘X marks the spot’ challenge. At the time we got to X it was close to the Easter weekend. With lockdown there were no Easter activities for children so I devised a challenge where X marked the spot of an Easter Egg that he had to find through a number of clues and letters dotted around my garden. I couldn’t do the challenge with him so his family did with me watching through the window. It was heart warming to see how much he enjoyed it. I had as much fun putting the challenge together as he had in finding the egg and the bottle of bubbly for his parents for doing it with him!
5. What creative skills are you working on now/trying out next?
I’ve just finished sewing up a number of beanies for prem babies that I knitted when I had the delight of spending 5 days in a quarantine hotel last year, and am now finishing a baby blanket to use up some spare wool I have. The next project on the cards is to complete a cross stitch advent calendar that my late mother started and that I want to finish – hopefully before Christmas!
In terms of new skills, earlier this year I did an online course in free style embroidery. It’s quite challenging if you’re not used to using your sewing machine to embroider with the material not held down by the sewing foot. I need a lot more practice before I attempt to make anything using this type of embroidery. I have some needle felting kits that I was given for Christmas last year so need to get stuck into those at some point and finally I really want to learn to crochet – maybe that needs to wait until next year!
6. What do you enjoy most about the dancing element of The Vision Project?
Doing a contemporary/ lyrical piece – not a style I normally dance in.
7. How did you find filming on location compared to on stage?
The location was stunning but dancing on grass provided some challenges – avoiding rabbit holes, trying to balance on one leg on a slope and attempt to spin around on grass! Hearing the music in the open air was also tricky, with Emma running around trying to place speakers where we could hear the music but where the speakers weren’t likely to appear in the film. And we won’t talk about the rather noisy tractor on a nearby farm!
Despite these challenges, the dancing felt less constrained and more liberating than on stage. You’re out in the open, no ceiling above you and no curtains or walls around you. I felt I could reach up towards the sky, stretch out into the space around me. Very uplifting and liberating.
8. A little Nightingale has told me that you dealt with a lot of the costumes for the First Dance Studios show in April 2022, how do you feel costume is important to such a film piece?
A costume can make or break a dance for both the dancers and the audience. As a dancer you have to feel comfortable in what you are wearing and also feel that it ‘fits’ with the music, movement and the message/ feeling/ emotion the choreographer wants you to convey to the audience. For the film, we needed a costume which in terms of both material and structure was light, ethereal and lent itself to the fluid movement of the dance moves – and that’s what we had.
9. What would you say to others interested in taking part in the dancing next time?
Go for it! Emma’s choreography is inspired and inspiring so always a pleasure to dance to. It is also inclusive so people of all ages and all dance abilities can take part.
10. What would you like to see next for The Vision Project?
The A – Z Creative Challenge highlighted a large number of very talented creative people – some who we at the studio already knew, some who had kept their talent under wraps and some who discovered new talents through taking part in the challenges. While music for the current project inspired people to engage with clay, acrylics and watercolour, it would be great if the next one could involve people being inspired to engage with other artistic media such as textiles/ stitching/ embroidery etc.
There are some good ideas there, thank you so much for these Marina as well as your time.
Emma and The Vision Project Team,