I am Bridget Fiske
I am Bridget Fiske. I sometimes refer to myself as an Australian country girl. When I hear myself say this, I realise I mean I love the land I grew up on – I feel connected to this place. Being from a small country town and farming community, however, fostered an inner desire to see the world. There was so much I wanted to experience and, consequently, build understanding from.
I am the second youngest of seven children. When I was 15, my eldest sister introduced me to the work of Pina Bausch. Seeing this work really gave me a sense of aspiration of creative possibility. I wanted to know how to make and perform work that had the kind of creativity, expansiveness, specificity and integrity that this work did. I was inspired by dance. So, following high school, I studied dance at Queensland University of Technology. In January 1997 I took the first of several 24 hour Greyhound bus journeys from Echuca, in Victoria, to Brisbane. That would be my home for almost 12 years. I had a great career in Australia, working with artists and people I respect immensely. I also was the student of many amazing teachers and mentors – the resonance of their practice and philosophies still stay strongly with me.
I did though grow up with three incredible Northerners of England in my life. My grandfather, my grandmother and my mother, all whom immigrated to Australia in 1952, and in 2008 I decided it was time for me to take the journey across the globe, to grow in experience, as well as understanding… So, I moved to Manchester. Although this was connected to having extended family here, I soon understood this was a place of aspiration, that there were artists and organisations wanting to grow the culture of dance in this city. I decided to base myself here, to connect with and contribute to the existing and growing culture of the arts.
Since being based here I have been able to be a part of projects that have taken me to Italy, France, Spain, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, Sweden, Nigeria, Belarus & Germany – as well as many places in the UK. Three of the most privileged moments that have come from throwing my arms open to possibilities include; working with the resilient Belarus Free Theatre, performing at the Opera House in Venice (as part of work with Out of the Blue Productions collaborators), and finding support & opportunity to realise some of my solo work visions, and perform these in various festival and event contexts. So I am seeing the world, whilst very much feeling a part of the dance culture in Manchester as a performer, choreographer, facilitator and advocate. I have met, and worked with people in Manchester and across Europe, that I couldn’t now imagine my life without. Some things definitely feel like they are meant to be.
Applying for the Moving Dance Forward associates scheme came from having a desire for a framework that would support – within my practice, both questioning (questioning everything from how I create, to why I create and what I create about) and vision (vision for works I had curiosity and desire to explore making). Applying for MDF was all about growth and becoming a better artist. It was also an opportunity for supporting profile, network and partnership development. It feels so important for my career development to have times such as this – where I can work overtime with consideration of concepts that are present in my spiritual, social and political awareness; to become a better contributor.
To date, as part of the MDF scheme I have made a new work, ‘We Closed Our Eyes To The Sun’, with second and third year dance and dance theatre students from the University of Salford. This process offered me the opportunity to ask many questions of process, performance development and subject. My next steps as part of MDF includes working with a group of artistic peers to explore the development of new modules of choreographic ideas. I will also start exploring & testing a new solo, that works with interactive digital technologies. Via both these processes, I will get to ask more and more questions of why and how.