Dance and museums: some works, some doesn’t and how ‘services management’ thinking can help

I’m currently contributing to work by a partnership of museums and dance agencies to develop a project that will test different models for dance residencies in museums. The idea is to compare the approaches that work in two very different localities and to embed good practice.

So, I’m putting some time into supporting the group to shape their project and secure investment in it, and this is prompting me to think about on the dance/museum collaborations I’ve had contact with recently and to reflect on what works and what doesn’t.

In the past year, via events, blog posts and social media, I have showcased a range of dance/museum collaborations in my work to encourage South East museums to work cross-culturally. At the Dance and Museums conversation in Southampton in June 2016 I attempted to classify some of the different opportunities:


As an audience member I have greatly enjoyed the diversity of approaches. From figurative, accessible interpretation of collections personified by Made by Katie Green’s ‘Imagination Museum’ to more abstract creative responses to collections themes such as Bethan Peters’ and Stacie Lee Bennett’s National Maritime Museum dance film installation  ‘Who is the Land’ or more tangental relationships between museum collections and dance like Akram Khan’s Giselle Takeover of the Whitworth Art Gallery or the ballet Children of the Mantic Stain presented in conjunction with British Art Show 8.

And I loved all of it. In every case, I felt my own experience of the museum was improved and saw evidence of positive engagement from other audience members. I have been utterly convinced by the evidence of audience development benefits generated through museum-dance collaborations.

In short, I’d become a bit of a fanatic.

In my mind, I had framed my weekend visit last November to see the Dancing Museums residency at the National Gallery as a zenith of museum/dance experiences. This is, after all, a major international project of strategic significance. My expectations were high.

I had shared my excitement with others and persuaded family members S and B to come along with me. They are lifelong culture vultures, keen supporters of both museums and the performing arts, early investors in what is now one of the leading independent dance companies and former committee members of theatres and museums. So they were bound to love this – weren’t they?

As it turned out, not so much.   And so this Sunday visit to the National Gallery became one of the most valuable lessons in museum/dance partnership working that I’ve had this year.

What became clear to us during the visit was that we were not seeing activity aimed at the visiting museum audience but a piece of research in progress. S and B are intellectually curious (case in point: S’s current bedtime reading is ‘100 Artists’ Manifestos: From the Futurists to the Stuckists’) and would probably have entered into the project of observing research being carried out with some enthusiasm, had they understood this to be the situation. However, the understanding that we were watching research, rather than performance, was hard come by.

The web information about the event stated: ‘Following a week of research and workshops at the National Gallery, the Dancing Museums artists share ideas developed during the residency in the gallery spaces.’  On arrival at the museum, on enquiring at the Information Desk staff gladly provided folding stools for S and B and we were helpfully signposted to Gallery 32.

Once there, we saw that there were three people dancing in the gallery. In every day dress, they moved around the space, always connected, one of them always looking at the paintings on the wall. They were discussing and developing the movements as they moved around.

S and B were keen to discern whether there was any link between the poses and shapes being created by the dancers and the paintings in the gallery. Sometimes they thought they saw an echo, sometimes not. I said not all dance/museum collaborations are about that, the approach could be something completely different. ‘Like what?’ asked S. I said I’d go and ask.

At this point, we bumped into C, a museum sector friend and admired colleague who knows her stuff. Also visiting with relatives. I was relieved to find that she was also unclear about what we were seeing. Her teenager was enjoying it very much, and of the opinion that not having context was fine. C was probably at the ‘curious and confused’ stage with me. B and S were beginning to get fed up. B was getting tangled up in his folding stool every time the action moved.

A number of Gallery staff in green tops were around. I asked one of them if there was any information about what was happening. ‘No,’ she said, ‘But there is an evaluation form, please can you fill it in?’ She offered me a pen. It seemed a little early to complete the form, given that I had only just arrived and didn’t know what I was looking at. So I offered to take 3 forms, one for each of us, and promised that we would return them later on.  S, B and I scrutinised the blank evaluation form for clues. There were four questions:

  • Why have you chosen to attend this event today?
  • Can you describe the event for us in three words (just words – not a sentence)?
  • Has the presence of dance artists in the Gallery today changed or enhanced your visit, and if so, how?
  • Do you think that choreography can offer an interesting alternative to written or verbal explanations as a means to engage with a painting?

Now, I know a bit about evaluation and one of the things that I know is that, if it’s done well, it will link strongly to the objectives of the activity being evaluated. This being the case, we considered that that we could take a hint from the form that the presence of dance artists in the Gallery today was intended to change or enhance the visit and to offer an interesting alternative to written or verbal explanations as a means to engage with a painting. Re-energised by this possibility, B and S continued to scrutinise the activity, looking for links to the paintings.

Then something happened that momentarily created a positive buzz. The three dancers moved alongside either side of the row of benches. their arms linked over the seated visitors. Adults and small children moved to accommodate the passing of the dancers, there was laughter.

Then that bit had finished. S was getting more vocal about her fedupness. Not finding the dance satisfying in itself, nor finding that it was shedding any light on the works in the gallery. Didn’t think all of the dancers were actually very good. ‘I think I’ve seen enough,’ she said.

At this point, I noticed that C was chatting to someone with an NG bag. Maybe she could help? We went over and were introduced – and indeed she could. It turned to that this was Gill Hart, the National Gallery’s Head of Education. Gill helpfully and cogently explained what we were watching. Not a performance designed to enrich our experience of the pictures but something more complex. Not a group of three professional dancers. One of the ‘dancers’ was actually a member of the public, she explained. By being involved in the dance, his position and perspective were being changed.

This was an ‘Aha!’ moment for me. I could now understand that what I was observing was an approach not yet captured on my tentative model, nor explored in any of the dance/museum collaborations I had previously showcased. For S, B and me, our position was not as audience members whose experience of the visit was being changed. Rather, we were observing an audience member for whom this was happening.   This was fascinating stuff for me.

And, had it been clear from the outset to S and B it probably would have been fascinating to them too.  But by this point, they had frankly lost the will. A sign was put in place interpreting a dance piece by Lucy Suggate, which she now performed in the gallery. I encouraged S and B to give it one last shot. S read the sign and harrumphed. Reluctantly, they unfolded their stools and sat down to watch. After a few minutes, B was fiddling with his mobile phone. B is not a teenager, he is 88. S said ‘I think I’ve had enough. Can we go now?’


We walked through to another gallery where we sat down to complete the evaluation forms. ‘I’d rather not fill it in, I don’t want to be unkind to them,’ said S. ‘They are researching,’ I said. ‘It would be unkind not to respond to their request for feedback. Best to be honest.’   If any of the Dancing Museums team read this, please be aware that S is someone of strong opinions, not ashamed of the fact that in her professional life she was more than once referred to as The Dragon. I hope you had a cup of tea to hand when you read the form.


So, what are my takeaways from this experience, relevant to shaping the residencies project I’m involved in now? Several.

Firstly, it’s reinforced and expanded my understanding that dance/museum collaborations can change perceptions in a range of ways. I’ve now added this one to my model. SEMDPmodel2At the outset of a collaboration, it’s worth the partners bottoming out which of these approaches – or others not yet captured here – are being talked about.

Secondly, that for our professional practice to move forward, we need bold experiments and that these will not be comfortable or enjoyable or interesting to everyone. So we need to consider the impact on other users. Not everybody will want to understand what is going on or to engage with it. But in the right circumstances, an experiment can benefit not just those involved in it, but others who happen to come across it.

Thirdly, that for such experiments to be effective, their interface with the visiting public needs to be carefully managed. The visitor has an active role to play, if only to provide the feedback that will be used in evaluation. The visitor can only play this role if their involvement is suitably structured and supported. When unexpected things are happening in your museum, it’s worth thinking about how these things are explained or illuminated for visitors who might not expect them. There are lots of practical things that museums can do to help visitors to have a positive experience of changes and experiments. Museums can signpost that there is a gallery closed for redevelopment, and provide helpful images or information about the change to come. Likewise, museums can helpfully guide the audience’s expectations of experiments, so that their visit is enhanced.

This third point rang a bell with me, and brought to mind insight from my business school days. To use the management jargon, a museum visit is a ‘Service experience’ – in contrast, for example, to a purchase of tangible goods. It has long been recognised in business schools that service experiences are the result of interactions between the customer and the service organisation, with customers frequently having an active contribution to the success of the interaction. This being the case, a museum should be thinking not just managing the ways that the displays/facilities/volunteers/staff contribute – but also managing the ways that visitors contribute. If you’d like to explore these ideas in more detail, you will find this International Journal of Service Industry Management article from 1997 a good place to start.


Enabling a Culture of Innovation

Another day, another grand day out – this time to speak at the Risk and Reward: Enabling a Culture of Innovation conference organised by Oxford Museums Partnership at the glorious Pitt Rivers Museum/Museum of Natural History and to hear a fantastic suite of innovation stories, many involving Universities.

Having secured the after-coffee-mid-afternoon-graveyard slot it seemed sensible to ensure some energy in the room through a game of Better Business Bingo – and I’m delighted to say that the fabulous group of delegates came up with some brilliant ideas to improve our beloved (and entirely fictional) Bugsley Museum and secure a more sustainable future for its important collection of military widgets. The point being, of course, that creating an environment of playfulness and fun is one of the important things that leaders can do to create a culture of innovation in their organisations. It was a point that reverberated through several of the presentations.
I was also there to fly the flag for the South East Museum Development Programme and museum development generally – a valuable source of support, ideas and seed-funding for innovation that not all museums make the most of!
After a thoughtful opening message from convenor Lucy Shaw @LVShaw, first up was Paul Smith @museumsmithery, Director of our host Museum of Natural History, who shared his personal viewpoint as a leader, responsible for enabling a culture of innovation in a University museum. Paul shared a series of case studies from the delightful 2015 ‘Dodo Roadshow’ a successful profile-raising exercise that went from conception to completion in 22 days with a total budget of £3,000 – to a series of significant exhibitions experimenting with new ways of connecting contemporary science and society. Start small, make the most of the assets you already have (in their case a van, a dodo, enthusiastic staff and warm links with museums from Land’s End to John O’Groats) and don’t assume senior staff have all the best ideas. Be playful, to get ideas flowing but don’t neglect the need for serious, useable data to underpin decision making and evaluation. Paul’s personal leadership journey has required him to dig deep, to maintain energy and momentum, and to be resilient in resolving problems when experimentation goes wrong. Which it sometimes will if you are trying new still. Paul and his team try to keep these occasions to a minimum by identifying a ‘risk envelope’ – an area of unexplored potential for new activity but within manageable risk parameters. How do you identify that risk envelope? By knowing your operating environment really well – that calls on data, data, data again.
Next speaker was Liz Hide @themuseumofliz who shared a fascinating series of stories from her experience of facilitating the cross-disciplinary University of Cambridge museum consortium. Original support from the former MLA and more recently the carrot of MPM funding and encouragement from Arts Council England have created the environment for museums that in the past had minimal contact to work together at a strategic level to create a joined up cultural offer. This level of collaboration doesn’t just happen and Liz set out the menu of joint activities that have progressively deepened the partnership and enriched its outputs: joint programming; capacity building (e.g. creating shared posts); organisational development (creating networks and communication mechanisms; collective audience/non-user research; partnership and workforce development. Through this thought-through, strategic approach the museums now, together, have a much stronger voice in the locality’s cultural sector and are creating projects and opportunities that benefit a wider range of cultural partnerships. Lovely stuff.
We then had a great example of smart use of a national investment mechanism from outside the cultural sector to drive innovation. Alice Purkiss @alicepurk is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate, funded by AHRC to enable knowledge exchange between University of Oxford and the National Trust. Alice presented jointly with Oliver Cox, Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University. They gave examples of how partnership is helping to channel the deep understanding of academic research to be shared with staff, volunteers and visitors to historic properties and landscapes, enriching audience engagement and understanding. It was fascinating to hear how much work is involved in enabling the two disciplines of ‘academic’ and ‘curator’ to talk to one another. To the average museum visitor or non-visitor the academic historian and museum curator may appear much of a muchness. But Alice and Oliver have discovered, through their work with curators and academics, that these two groups often feel that they come from very different worlds and speak different languages. Fortunately, through initiatives like the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Knowledge Exchange, Share AcademyOxford University Museum Partnership and a number of Museum Development-facilitated Higher Education/Museum link-ups there are plenty of valuable ‘Babel fish’ being created and shared to smooth communications. This was possibly the presentation that prompted the most heated discussion. How diverse are the perspectives when two not-so-dissimilar worlds meet? Do collaborations with people we get on with offer as much grit for our oysters as dialogues with people we don’t get on with? How can we expand the diversity of voices, to prompt more innovation?
After lunch, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust’s Director of Operations Traci Dix-Williams @dix_traci gave a very real picture of the leadership graft involved in nurturing a culture in which volunteers and staff are empowered to innovate. In a gloriously visual presentation, The examples of workforce engagement initiatives Traci shared included: a project to involve people in making the organisation’s vision statement clearer and more concise; smart use of support from West Midlands Bridge organisation Arts Connect to bring creative practice into the organisation, communication days involving the whole workforce and campaigns raising the profile of customer service. Traci’s presentation showed just why it’s worth organisations investing in leadership development as she acknowledged the Oxford Cultural Leaders Programme as the source of many of the approaches and techniques that she has implemented with her teams.
Next up were Rachel MacFarlane @MacfRachel, Projects Development Officer at Colchester and Ipswich Museums and Scott Collins, Museum Trainee, talking about the Arts Council England Museum Resilience-funded Training Museum. What a great way to invest in a future workforce more representative of the community the museum serves. As well as learning a strong range of skills (both museum-specific and transferable) the trainees are clearly making strong networks, contributing valuable capability, capacity and insight to the museums and having a great time. Many of the trainees had not previously considered museums as a career. They are now actively involved in communicating the idea of working in the sector to school students, through meeting school groups in the museums and going back to their own schools to make presentations.
The next presentation was also about an exciting workforce development project, this time Jo-Anne Sutherland of Heritec Limited on the Erasmus+-funded Creative Museum involving partners in seven European countries in enriching museum practice by expanding professionals’ sphere of experience through links with other sectors – including creatives, universities, hackers, grassroots groups and makers. Making this kind of thing work well means: connecting activity strongly to your core purpose, says Jo-Anne – who are you doing it for and why?; opening up to explore new friendships, partnerships and funding streams; be brave and persistent; prototype and learn from mistakes. Discussion of the challenges of European funding bids that followed this presentation gave me a welcome opportunity to plug the useful EU funding ‘top tips’ and ‘jargon buster’ that we’ve recently commissioned through one of our projects.
After the break it was my turn and I was delighted to find that in spite of a very filling lunch the promise of chocolate worked its magic as an incentive to creativity. As well as introducing a creativity matrix as a simple tool to involve people in generating ideas that address a museum’s key challenges and maximise its assets and opportunities, through my session I showcased just a few of the great examples of how museums in the South East have used our support programmes as a springboard to experiment, innovate and take risk. I specifically mentioned the Hampshire Cultural Trust museums that took part in our Lean Systems Thinking project, the Mary Rose Museum’s current Young Museums Shapers project and the Bloxham Museum’s use of a Development Grant to introduce low energy LED lighting to its displays. Loads more case studies on our website. Of course I also took the opportunity to promote our Business Innovation Grants scheme, which museums to experiment and take risks to create new business services and products, drawing on learning from an approach developed at Oxford University Museums Partnership.
One of the innovation approaches I’d included in my creativity matrix was ‘fresh eyes’ and the final speaker, Elvin Turner of DPA, @elvinturner came from outside our museum/University bubble to share valuable approaches from the world of business, in particular the idea of ‘Minimal Viable Product’ drawn from the Lean Startup suite of methods. He showed how Sony has been using MVPs to test new ideas in low-cost experiments. Keeping the experiments quick and cheap and extracting the maximum learning from them means risk is reduced, senior decision maker confidence maximised and more staff are able to get involved in developing innovations. For Sony, low-cost means doing pilots that cost £500 instead of £50,000 but the same idea can be scaled for the skint museums sector – by asking yourself ‘what can you learn for £50?’Elvin also referenced the powerful Business Model Canvas by Osterwalder and Pigneur that also informs the very useful report by we’ve just published on how museums can learn from other arts organisations.
One of the recurring motifs was about evaluation. How can you measure the success of your innovations? So now I’m curious to see how the event organisers will evaluate this energising event? What new things will happen down the line, because we were part of this conversation?

What can museums learn from other successful arts organisations’ business models?

We’ve long believed that there was much for museums to learn from looking at how other culture sector organisations do business. In particular, the idea that a cultural product should be offered to the public for free has persisted longer in the museums sector than in many other areas of the arts. People don’t expect to be given free theatre tickets, do they? But there is a widespread idea that museum entry should be free. Other art forms seem to have got a grip sooner on how to demonstrate value and generate income from consumers.

So last year we started shaping an intervention to help museums to learn from other successful arts business models through a peer-to-peer learning approach. By ‘business models’, we mean the model by which an arts organisation operates as a business, including its value proposition, sources of revenue, customer base, services or products, operating systems and processes, financial arrangements, relationships with suppliers and partners, workforce arrangements and organisational culture.

We realised pretty soon that to  make this work well, we would need to invest in some pretty robust groundwork.

We needed to make sure that our identification of ‘successful’ arts business models was up to date. The cultural economy is undergoing rapid change with many organisations under significant pressure. Reductions in public subsidy mean that some arts organisations considered beacons of effectiveness are now struggling. So ‘successful’ organisations we might have identified a couple of years ago might not be in that place now.

Additionally, reduced capacity means that some organisations once willing to commit time and effort to collaboration and to peer support via networks and mentoring are withdrawing from such activities in order to focus on internal core delivery.

We commissioned arts business experts Alchemy Research & Consultancy to undertake a significant piece of research to identify 6 case study arts organisations with successful business models, willing to share their learning with museums. And we asked them to do an important, up to date report answering some key questions:

  • Why are museums thinking about business models?
  • What do we mean by business models?
  • What are other cultural organisations doing?
  • What do museums need to do?

The results of their work have now been produced and they are very exciting. The case studies and reports are now available on our website and the opportunity for museums to bid to be partnered with a successful arts organisation for peer learning is now open, closing on 20 June.

Through the research project, six case studies have been written and warm contacts brokered with the case study organisations:

Alchemy’s powerful and insightful report is really important and timely, outlining key business models found in the cultural sector: what are established and new approaches, which models are emerging as ‘successful’ in the sense of enabling organisations to continue to deliver on their missions in a sustainable way? How can museums improve their own sustainability by learning from other arts organisations’ business models?

They demonstrate a really diverse range of approaches to success in the arts. But some key messages emerge. The arts organisations that have achieved continuous innovation have a range of characteristics: strong leadership; a clear vision; appropriate values; a dynamic board; strong teamwork; access to external resources; and active inter-organisational networks. Whilst museums face some specific challenges in implementing new business models, they also have a number of advantages over arts organisations that can be exploited, not least their collections which provide a rich source of content for creative work.

We are publishing this report to provide valuable learning to the wider museums sector, along with the case studies.

As the next stage of the project, we are now offering the opportunity for six museums to each be paired with one of the case study organisations, in order to embark on an 8-month partnership of peer learning. Details of how to apply are available here:

‘The restrictions a site offers are the key to finding original solutions and developing one’s practice in ways we wouldn’t have if they were no constraints.’ Inspiration from Tara D’Arquian’s Quests at Borough Hall, Greenwich – an interview with the choreographer

February 2016

Interested in site specific performance in your museum?

Increasingly, museums are embracing the opportunities of partnership with performing arts – including theatre and dance. Sometimes the partnership projects are fairly simple – for example a theatre company is touring a production and is looking for a venue, the museum can provide a suitable space and facilities. But other projects are more complex and require deep commitment on both sides to collaborative development.

In most cases, site specific performances fit at the latter end of the partnership scale. This is performance (such as dance, theatre, music or opera) that is specifically created to take place in a particular space – a different kind of space from a theatre or performance hall. Typically, this kind of work responds to, exploits and illuminates the physical features, meanings and stories of the site. All kinds of spaces have been used from sports fields to railway stations to factories to prisons. And, of course, museums.

Like many forms of cross-cultural practice, site specific performance offers fantastic opportunities to engage with new audiences as well as to interpret collections and sites in new ways.

My half term family break took me to two very different immersive performance pieces. The first, ‘The Wedding Reception’, performed in a West End hotel, was a light hearted theatre piece by Interactive Theatre International, the Australian company behind ‘Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience.’ It’s immersive (in the sense that you become one of the guests – including being served a 3-course chicken dinner) and site-sensitive in the sense that it works in a place where a wedding might be held. The interaction between the play and its setting is at times hilarious – as when passers by on the street outside started filming on their mobile phones, thinking that they were seeing a real wedding going wrong – but not truly site specific. It’s designed to be performed in any venue that could host a wedding reception and so tours to hotels, social clubs and sporting clubs around the world. It would be great in a museum that hosts weddings.

By contrast, the second piece was serious in intent, truly site specific and created over time in response to a particular venue. This was Quests, the second site sensitive performance in a trilogy of work by Belgian choreographer Tara D’Arquian, performed in . the Borough Hall, Greenwich.

It’s not a museum, it’s a former municipal building with historic features and historic resonance for the local community. Built in 1939 as part of the council headquarters complex that replaced the Victorian Greenwich Town Hall, Borough Hall is Art Deco in style and Grade II listed – described by Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘the only town hall of any London borough to represent the style of our time adequately.’ It was used for municipal purposes until the 1960s when a local government reorganisation moved the headquarters to Woolwich. It’s now home to the Greenwich Dance arts agency. As such, it’s been used in much site specific work.

Experiencing Quests is different to most experience of ‘going to see’ dance. The audience is part of the piece from the beginning and as the story unfolds, we moved from space to space through the building. The rooms of the Borough Hall had each been transformed by the production designer, so that the spaces told part of the story. The piece built on the features of the original building but also changed them. The company included both professional performers and community members, who formed a bridge between the professional cast and the audience.

Reflecting on the experience of Quests, I was keen to help museums considering a site-specific performance project to understand the creator’s perspective on the experience of bringing the piece to reality. I was also interested in giving museums a picture of some of the practical considerations involved. Choreographer Tara was generous in her time in responding to my questions and I am reproducing our email interview here, so that museums can learn about the performing artist’s perspective on the process:

LM: How did the project come about?

TA: Quests was the second site-specific piece of a trilogy which was initiated by In Situ, a Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership Compass Commission.

Quests revolves around the second state of consciousness in Nietzsche’s Three Metamorphoses, the state of the lion who deconstructs all truths that he has been inculcated.

In order to support this theme and to transmit it to the audience, I wanted for it to be performed in a site which possessed a timeless feel and which could be transformed and made multiple, passing from the inside of a boat to a hotel lobby for example.

I thought of the Borough Hall of Greenwich and when I approached Greenwich Dance, they didn’t hesitate and embraced the project.

LM: How was the project funded?

TA: Quests was commissioned by Greenwich Dance and supported by Arts Council England, Trinity Laban and Dance East. In addition, I raised a part of the fund through a Kickstarter campaign and also invested in the project myself.

LM: What is special to you about developing site-specific work?

TA: I am very sensitive to space, places, buildings. I am moved by how light and textures meet to structure the space. I am the daughter of two architects and I grew up in an old water bottle factory which they transformed into our home. So I guess I understand space by creatively interacting with it. As an artist today, I like to share this with an audience and highlight the multiplicity of perception of Space. I am interested in using the identity of a site as a metaphor for human identity. It’s a sort of personification of the site.

LM: How did the setting influence this piece and the trilogy as a whole?

TA: The composers, Bruno Humberto and Philippe Lenzini, one of the performers Anne-Gaëlle Thiriot and myself carried out a few weeks of research and development at the Borough Hall of Greenwich before the beginning of rehearsals. During these weeks of R&D we did a lot of improvisations and worked a lot with memory. The simple fact of being on site for this phase of the process hugely influenced us on a subconscious level. The outcome of these R&D weeks established the mood and tone of the piece.

As for how this site influenced the trilogy as a whole… I am not sure yet. It is still a bit early to say.

LM: How do you feel Quests acts to reinterpret/bring new audiences to appreciate the historic building?

TA: I think Quests did bring quite a lot of new audience members at the Borough Hall of Greenwich. I must say that Yann Seabra, the set designer, did such a wonderful work that it was difficult for people who had never been on site before to actually experience the “real” site. What they experienced rather is the “fictive” site. The character we superimposed on the site. It might be quite an interesting experience for someone who had not been at The Borough Hall of Greenwich to return on site. I am not sure they would recognize it!

LM: What (if any) have been the challenges of working in a Grade II listed building?

TA: The challenges were technical ones such as the limitations with power for example. Lighting the many spaces demanded to be creative and Genevieve Giron, the lighting designer, did a fantastic work. This is another parameter of site-specific performance making which I love. The restrictions a site offers are the key to finding original solutions and developing one’s practice in ways we wouldn’t have if they were no constraints.