Tea with Flo and Jessica

Candoco Dance Company, January 9th, 2018
This week get to know Assistant Learning Producer Jessica.

Time for Tea With Flo, second edition! Same questions, different answers. This week I met with Jessica, our Assistant Producer (Learning).

Q1: How do you like your tea?

A: I like my tea quite milky with two sugars but if I’m being good, one. And soy milk. Oh, and decaf. Should I do this one again? Tea with soy milk but decaf, there you go. There we go indeed!

Q2: What is the most stressful task you have had to do in this job recently?

A: I have recently worked on a project where we had a few issues with transportation. Being able to get everyone to the venue safely has made me aware of just how many challenges there can be for people who are disabled and also how we really need to improve certain services to become more accessible to people who need wheelchair / power wheelchair access.

Q3: What is the most satisfying thing you have had to do in the last two weeks?

A: I’ve got two things. The first was a project with One Dance UK and the National Orchestra for All over a weekend at Cecil Sharp House. It was an intensive weekend where a selection of Cando2 members worked with choreographer Sarah Dowling and Candoco Artist Anne-Gaëlle. It was about working with music really thoroughly, making sure that we understood what an orchestral sound feels like through our body and being able to play with that with choreographic devices and different dynamics and really building a company atmosphere. It was really great, it ended with a sharing. It was one of those projects where you get lots of unexpected outcomes. We’re going to perform the piece in Sheffield in April so I’m really looking forward to supporting the dancers between now and then and making sure they feel comfortable with the choreography. We also had two Cando2 sharings to celebrate the end of the term and the dancers’ achievements. It was also an opportunity for their family and people interested in the work of Cando2 to come and visit and see what they have been up to. It’s always a lovely experience to see the dancers interact with an audience because they don’t normally really get to do that this early on. It was just wonderful to see them so dedicated and giving so much energy, and I hope they’ll be able to develop on it next term.

Q4: Savoury or sweet?

A: Savoury, only because of pastry and I love sausage rolls, even though I’m dairy-free, and croissants. I’m sorry, pastry and croissants, savoury? CROISSANTS? Do not tell a French person that those are savoury!

Q5: How long have you been doing your job?

A: I’ve only been here for about three months and it has been going very well so far.

Q6: What is your favourite colour?

A: Ohhh, I want to say like, forest green at the moment? Because I’m liking lots of velvet hahaha. And I’m still feeling quite festive. reallyyy. We hadn’t noticed at the office at all, especially not during your Christmas Quiz a couple of weeks back.

Q7: If you could try out another role in the company, which one would you choose?

A: I think there would be two. I would quite like to see what Gareth’s job is like, just to get that front-lineunderstanding. –Well it seems to me that Gareth’s role seems to raise a lot of interest in the office!

Also, I love being in the mix of things, so just having to make those quick decisions that you have to make on tour. I also think it’s really exciting to be near the stagehelping out. I also like Marianne’s role…planning touring, working with artists etc. but I guess that’s quite in sync with my role anyway, maybe just the progression of going up to a Producer is what interests me, but I am learning!

Q8: Television or Books?

A: Television.

Q9: 17 words explaining your role and what is takes to do it.

A: Okay I can do this: Dedicated. Enthusiastic. Knowledgeable. High Energy. Logistics. Adaptable. Choice. Fun. Spontaneous. People. Engaging. Dynamic. Passion. On Call. Detail.

Should I put them into a sentence now Do you remember the whole list? Oh no, let’s move on then haha.

Q10: If you could be any dancer in any work ever done by Candoco, who would you be?

A: Mmm. I saw Candoco when I was doing my masters in choreography at Laban and they were doing a double bill of Studies for C and Set and Reset/ Reset. So, I guess I could be very cheeky and say Dan Daw because he was in both pieces. Studies for C is really energetic, with aggression behind it, it’s intricate and feisty and it’s about wrestling and I just think it would be such a fun piece to perform, especially with the wrestling mask. And it’s a duet, which I think is really important and it’s really dynamic. My favourite Candoco piece though, choreographically, would have to be Set and Reset/Reset. As a maker myself, I just really enjoy the idea of playing with a tool or a role and taking that to the extreme and that’s what they do in that piece, they look at memories and resonances, and bring things back. It’s just a really enjoyable piece of dance, very playful, and I really like the cohesion between the dancers and the mood of the work and I think that choreographically it’s a piece that speaks to me.

Q11: What is your favourite season?

A: Autumn. Do I need to say more? Erm, because I love the colours. I do like summer though because I really like the heat. There you go. – Should we call it a mixture then? A mixture, Summer going into Autumn, because I like the heat of summer and the colours of Autumn.

Q12: What did you enjoy doing the most recently?

A: I’ve been working on a project with an artist called Fin Walker and I’ve been fortunate enough to go into the studio and watch her working with a bunch of selected artists, including a young dancer who is 13 years old and a former Candoco dancer. It’s going to be a piece of film work. At the moment, it’s within its creation period and the filming will take place in February. It’s exciting because it’s a new kind of project for Candoco and it’s something I’m supporting outside of the learning programme. It’s given me a chance to work more closely with an artist and looking at what they need and how I can support them. I just enjoy being in the studio andexciting work and new material and potential.

Q13: What are three things people remember you for?

A: Constantly smiling which hopefully is a good thing. I don’t really realise it but I get told all the time. Always enthusiastic and striving for positivity especially on project days to make sure everyone feels welcome. I don’t know... What else? I’ll answer this one. Bubbly. Merry but all year long. Okay go for merry. I’m also kind of a sucker for detail. I think in my real life I’m not a perfectionist but in my work, I am.

Q14: Christmas or your birthday?

A: My birthday all the way. You deserve harder one so we’ll make a slight change. Christmas or Halloween? Oh. That is sooooo hard. I think… I have to go forHalloween, because I like dressing up and making costumes, being an extrovert. I always make sure that I have silly plans. My friends always rely on me to make wacky plans and I never disappoint! Which is one of your best qualities in your job, you do indeed never disappoint!

Q15: Dancing at a ball or dancing the night away?

A: Dancing the night away. Because it’s funner.

Q16: Who do you work with the most at the office?

Ellie, our Learning Producer. We work on the learning programme together. But I guess you could say that we all work together. You and me have been working together quite a lot on projects, which has been really nice because we’ve both been new at Candoco together so I feel like I’ve been wanting to learn with you. – Aw. You always have a nice word for everyone.

Q17: Can you speak any other languages?

A: Like simple words? If you want nice greeting and goodbyes, I can speak a little French. Don’t test me. – I will eventually. And a tiny bit of German. Minimal. I could get myself to a train station. Or a pub. – Those are the essentials, right?

That’s it for this week, I will see you all soon for some more exclusive interviews!

Happy New Year!

Flo x