KENYON, Simone

Simone Kenyon is an Edinburgh based artist, choreographer, performer, Feldenkrais practitioner and academic. For the past 20 years she has worked across performance and dance with a focus on environment related arts. Her practice encompasses movement, ecology of place, walking arts and participatory events for both urban and rural contexts. Her work considers walking as a shared choreographic practice and our sensory perception of environments in relation to people, place and performance. Her acclaimed 2006 work with Tamara Ashley in which they walked and created performance events on the UK’s 270 mile route, the Pennine Way, paved the way for national and international invitations to develop her unique practice.

Simone’s interdisciplinary approach to creating work often invites collaboration with other practitioners and specialists to create performance projects, including her longstanding collaboration with dance artist Neil Callaghan. Simone’s work has been shown within and for specific sites in the UK, for numerous performance festivals and venues including The Tramway, Somerset House, The Hayward Gallery and Sadlers Wells in London among others, going on to tour across Europe and Asia.

For the past 6 years, Simone’s work in Scotland has mainly taken place in the North East including work for Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Dance North, Moray Walking Festival and Deveron Arts. She was the recipient of a Jerwood funded summer residency at Cove Park to develop research relating to her larger and most recent acclaimed project, Into The Mountain.

In 2017/18 she was an associate artist at The Tramway, Glasgow and is currently a Dance North Associate artist.

FIELDWORK Q&A – May 2020

How is fieldwork part of your practice?
It forms part of a wide ranging process to engage with the physical and cultural geographies. I spend a lot of time in the field gathering embodied experiences and thoughts through being in place. I often record my physical and tacit knowledge of environments through a combination of observational notes/drawing, documented improvisations and writing. I also work with the dance training and philosophy of Body Weather, which mostly involves moving in relation to developing ecological and environmental awareness.

How would you describe your fieldwork activity?
Through walking and mountaineering in all weathers, foregrounding embodied, tacit knowledge to begin exploring relationships to place. Through participating or organising residential research workshops with and for other dancers/artists, particularly through the lens of Body Weather research. I’m interested in collective and individual approaches to field work. Conversation and collaboration with others is also an important aspect to the practice. This includes working with or learning from specialist and local residents connected to particular ecologies and environments.

How are you currently sharing your fieldwork?
Through creating performance works and participatory events that explore human and more-then-human engagement and interaction with environments. The latest work Into the Mountain has been my main focus for a number of years and presenting numerous contexts to share field work elements. This artistic research continues through my PhD research entitled, Walking out of the Body and Into the Mountain: dancing, mountaineering and embodied ways of knowing. A new performance event will take the form of an overnight expedition in the Cairngorms mountains, Scotland in Autumn 2020.

Into the Mountain