The Princess Alice- R&D

Those of you who have been following the progress of DFDC over the past few months, will know that we are embarking upon an exciting new project called The Princess Alice. Earlier this month, I spent a fantastic morning in the studio with three of the dancers from DFDC: Laura, Hannah and Holly. This extended rehearsal allowed us to delve much deeper into the research for the project.

I started by sharing with the dancers the mood board I am working on for the project. I find that this is a really effective way for me to process my research and ideas. When in the studio, I enjoy working collaboratively with the dancers; the board works as a visual tool for both myself and the dancers to be able to work from. At the beginning of the creative process, when ideas are buzzing around, I find having a creative output helps me to order my thoughts and clarify the roots of the idea.


It is impossible to tell the story of The Princess Alice without portraying the devastating effect of the water; hundreds of passengers died fighting for their life in the Thames. When working with such a tragic narrative, I am conscious of portraying this in a way that captures the magnitude of what happened but with sensitivity.

We experimented with how we can capture the effect water would have on the body. Starting with experiential group improvisation, using contact to achieve a sense of movement happening to us rather then being initiated by us. We then worked towards re-capturing these sensations individually. These tasks were really challenging and presented a lot of ideas for future explorations.

We then moved on to using props to give the impression of water. We began looking at how the visual effect of water can be achieved using props and finished by experimenting with how the sound of water can be recreated using different materials. I wonder if you can guess how this mini score was created?…

This morning of R&D gave us the opportunity to be highly experimental and tackle the research in a number of different ways. Working through several tasks has thrown up ideas for development and exploration of material. I am so excited to get back into the studio again and see what the next instalment brings.