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Collaborations

#IANDMEstories x Holly Blakey

08.01.2018

#IANDMEstories is a collaborative series exploring the work of our favourite creatives.

Second is Holly Blakey; an award-winning choreographer and dancer.

Describe what you do in a short few sentences.

I’m a choreographer and director, making work for stage and screen.

Tell us about the place you work (Islington Arts Factory). What is it about this place that works for you? How does it facilitate your creative process?

It feels like home to me here, I’ve been coming here for a long time and have made a lot of work in these walls. It’s totally unpretentious, full of kids and different artists across different spectrums. I guess I find it a safe space to really explore ideas.

How do you find your way here, and from where?

253 door to door from Stamford Hill.

How much does life in London play a part in the work you create?

Massively, it’s the every day that influences me the most.

I can safely say that London is my favourite place in the world. I travel a lot with work, across America, Asia and Europe and every time I land my feet back on London ground I take a deep exhale. This city just feels ahead of everywhere else, it’s rich with amazing artists and incredible culture, amazing restaurants and late night dancing. I LOVE to travel, but there’s nothing like coming home.

What do you like to wear when you dance? How important is what you wear and why?

I need to be free, I like loose clothing and I prefer having my arms covered as I do a lot of floor work and otherwise would burn my skin. What I wear to dance is vital, like what we choose to wear in the morning… it can change your mood, your confidence, how the world perceives you. Even if it’s just me in the studio, and even if it’s an old pair of joggers I’ve been working in for years, there’s a reason I wear them.

You once described your work as “how things look when it’s 4AM…” what methods do you draw upon to reach a state where everything is loose and open and uninhibited?

An hour of meditative/breath movement, followed by rigorous improvisation and loud music.

Further, describe to us your battle with (and against) ‘inherent movement’.

I love this question. The battle is seeing the mind and trying to ignore ones (my) ego. It’s about being true to the task at hand and respecting it genuinely.

I know there are things that look pretty/powerful/whatever that would be my inherent movement, the stuff I reply on to impress, but the question I want to ask myself is, what is it I’m trying to achieve?? So in order to get there I want to ignore what looks good, and find gestures that bring me to the truth.

Finally, what has been your favourite year so far and why. Ours is 2012…

Sugar, no idea… I don’t even know what day it is.