John Auty swung his body
round in a graceful, controlled circle, arms outstretched, legs bent and
taut. He gathered himself and swept into the air and his shadow flitted
across the studio wall. John is a dancer. A contemporary dancer with three
years’ training behind him. And now, John (21), of Stanningley Leeds, may
have the world at the tips of his agile toes. For along with members of
the Madeley Drama Group from Madeley College of Education, where John has
just qualified as a teacher, he will be teaming up with the Keele
University Drama Group for the Edinburgh Festival later this month, where
they will stage experimental theatre production for the three weeks of the
Festival. Wide Scope.
John talked about contemporary dance, himself, and the impending festival.
“I have this fire inside me which makes me want to create and create,” he
said. “I started theatre work at Intake County Secondary School in Bramley,
Leeds, and moved on to small parts at the Civic Theatre in Leeds. The
course at college was unique, and I studied contemporary dance, drama and
film. It was hard work too, because of the wide scope.” Improvisation: “I
started movement at school, but took up contemporary dance three years
ago. Improvisation is taking any idea - maybe it’s just a word, perhaps it’s
something you read somewhere - and you deal with the idea through the
dance.” John is going to London to teach drama and dance. He will work as
a teacher by day to pay for his lessons by night at the London School of
Contemporary Dance. He hopes to become a professional dancer or
choreographer when he can. Free Movement.
Ballet: “I can appreciate the technique which goes into ballet but it
doesn’t stimulate me. Ballet is like mathematics. It can always be
repeated. Contemporary dance is complete, free movement. Ballet is drawing
from contemporary dance now.” He was warming to his subject: “It can say
things which cannot be spoken about. Therefore they can only be danced.
When man did not understand something, he danced about it, and could
accept it more easily. It is the oldest art form in the world.”