Get to Know: Lucia Kickham (Part 2)

Performance and Development

When you teach for DI your classes are often based in Flying Low.
How did you first come across this technique and how has it influenced your movement practice?

Flying Low and Passing Through, the techniques developed by David Zambrano are really special and inspiring to me. They have a fantastic mix of being creative and energetic while also being very philosophical and grounded in practicality. Function. I connected initially to the speed and energy, the pure joy of dancing at high energy with a large group of people, and over the course of training in the techniques I became more intrigued by the function and sense of it all. The connection and awareness embedded in these techniques is a key part of how I dance now. I don’t use the movement patterns of these approaches when I create work but the methodologies, yes.

I was first introduced to Flying Low by a guest teacher in college and have since trained in London with Leila McMillan, in DanceHouse with Cristina Planas Leitao and, with the assistance of Travel and Training awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, in Thailand, Amsterdam and Brussels with David Zambrano.

Has there been any one person or training that has influenced your approach to movement?

I’m not sure if there’s one person or training specifically, but there are many people who have influenced me. We had good student discounts to the theatres in Tilburg so I tried to see as much performance work as I could and there was a lot of variety. Seeing bold raw physical shows influenced my movement aesthetic at the time I was training; TRASH, Panama Pictures/Pia Meuthen, Jelena Kostic, Jens Van Daele, Jan Maartens to name a few. And Eddy Becquart, my dance theatre teacher. He inspired me greatly. We didn’t converse a huge amount but his mind was visible through his body and I found that fascinating. He appeared ageless.

I think I’m influenced by nearly everyone I work with, carrying a memory of each project and creative process along with me, some more knowingly than others. The movement material, the tone, the sensations, the relationship to weight, are tied into the dance history of my body now. And the influences that those dance artists hold have filtered down in turn to me.

Working with Liz Roche Company, the year after I graduated, had a big influence on my movement I think. The intricacy of Liz’s material and the points of connection in the ensemble work were really enjoyable to dive into. Katherine O’Malley was working with the company then and I was in awe of how she moved, I still am. So that was an adventure for me in the early stage of my career.

Peer learning is really important to me. As dancers we all have different backgrounds and expertise, and while we might be employed at the same level within a project there can be plenty to gather and learn from fellow castmates. Observing how someone else engages with movement material or creates phrases differently to me, their use the space or tension or simply how they talk about a task or interpret instructions. There’s endless learning from each other if you can pay attention to it.

I really enjoy working with choreographers whose styles vary greatly. The challenge of figuring out what is needed of you on any given day as a dance performer or maker is exciting.
Working with Junk Ensemble for example I know I would warm up differently than if I’m working with Jessie Keenan. That is also what attracted me to the idea of warm up for my work INIT, the question of how can I best prepare myself to serve this creative process, regardless of the role I have within it (dancer or choreographer) to make myself ready and available to bring to the table something fitting/interesting/exciting…

In your professional development, what opportunities have stood out to you the most and had the most influence or given further direction?

The HATCH residency at DanceHouse in 2018 certainly stands out to me as a point of shift or growth in my work. That time to incubate not only with the development of a piece of work but with my relationship to dance performance and making and my process of communicating with collaborators in the studio, was hugely beneficial. Having a fully funded month of studio research time to play and experiment was amazing particularly as it was not burdened by having a finished product at the end of that phase.

Continue to Part 3: What's Next & Learnings

Lucia Kickham Dance Ireland HATCH Residency 2018 from Lucia Kickham on Vimeo.

Images: Steve O'Connor, Micheline Santiago, Abigail Denniston and Luca Truffarelli

Go Back to read Part 1: Training and Post-Graduation