Laura Dannequin talks about her Ferment show Hardy Animal

Performer and choreographer Laura Dannequin returns to Ferment Fortnight with a solo piece that discusses chronic pain and human resilience. We caught up with her to find out a bit more of what we have in store.

What is the show about?
It’s about chronic pain, dance, and human resilience

Describe the show in three words.
Raw, simple, tender

How, when and why did the company make the decision to tackle this story?
I decided to make Hardy Animal to help make meaning of my experience of chronic pain, and to find a way to keep engaging with my dance practice, albeit from a different body / perspective.  I was lucky to be offered a week-long residency by Ferment last year during which I began looking into this. Coming across David Rakoff’s The Invisible Made Visible convinced me that I wanted to create something out of my experience.

How did you approach the events in the rehearsal room?
I started with the various bits of texts I had accumulated and things started to unfold from there.

What does the story of Hardy Animal mean to you?
Hardy animal is about my own (his)story – I hope it talks about the human experience in a wider sense

What has been your favourite part of this process?
I’ve enjoyed the writing process – which is a fairly new thing for me.

What’s next for you and the company?
I’m learning how to make pots, and working as a choreographer on other people’s projects, currently on the Mechanical Animal Corporation’s Death and the Ploughman (to open at Arnos Vale Cemetery on 20th March); and assisting Dan Canham to remount Ours Was The Fen Country for an upcoming tour and with the beginnings of Running a Horses.

You can catch Hardy Animal this Thursday 30 Jan at 6.30pm as part of Ferment Fortnight.
Photography by Paul Blakemore


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