Lizz Fort

artist : educator : researcher

The seriousness of being silly

When you find yourself tightly rolled up in a yoga mat, with tinsel in your hair and holding a pair of maracas. Yes, that. Obvs.

img_6369At the Artist Exchange Programme in December 2017, Danielle Teale had laid out a wonderful jumble sale of delightful, intentional bits and pieces in the studio. Permission to play for 30 minutes was granted. This was like Christmas coming early for me. Some time into the improvisation I ended up in the photographed position. I lay there for a bit like a sausage roll, in my creative cocoon of a happy place, giggling. Someone placed a card on me, to signpost “what is the most you can possibly contribute today?” I was definitely contributing something. I am thinking about:

What does unstructured play enable?

How do we host activities that support/unleash improvisation?

How do we hold this space so that its accessible and productive for everyone?

What is the seriousness of silliness? What is the silliness of seriousness?
Photo: Olivia Norris

Cake, Communitas and Contact

Was really pleased to contribute an article to the Winter 2017/18 edition of Animated.

Wending through inclusion

Some personal musings and reflections on inclusion in an opinion piece for Focus on Education Issue 18

Jaynee & Mickel’s duet

More snapshots from Amici Dance Theatre rehearsals of 35 Amici Drive

Circus Amici’s Strong Men in rehearsal for Tightrope





And so it continues…

Come and see the most useless…urm I mean talented Strong Men in action in Tightrope at The Lyric Hammersmith, Friday 26 and Saturday 27 May 2017.

Send in The Clowns – Circus Amici’s Tightrope in rehearsal

And so it begins…

‪As the chaos ensues, Wolfgang (left) takes control … !

The end…well kind of!

Come and see us on 26/27 May 2017

The Lyric Hammersmith


Late reflections on MATERIAL / REARRANGED / TO / BE: BARBICAN 

A pointing finger suspended from the ceiling in a metal frame beckons me in as if to suggest ‘this way please’. I stop at the top of the stairs to admire the gesture, but am distracted by a performance at the bottom of the stairs, just beyond a long hanging pendulum. Ignoring the finger I sit on the stairs with others. I watch for a while. I watch others watching too. Familiar Roehampton dance faces pass through the space. Warm hellos embrace. We continue to watch.  Another performance begins. It appears to be a mapping or measuring of the space by two people in white canvas pumps. It’s methodical. A device I’ve never seen before is unwound as one person pulls a string from its bobbin. 

Placed on the floor, the string is pinged and a fluorescent pink line is chalked on the grey surface, followed by a puff of pink smoke. I’m distracted by the mess it’s making on their white shoes. 

As I journey away from the stairs into the mapped out curve I see 2 sets of headphones. I’m too short for one pair. I just about fit the others. I place my feet in the shoe shaped markers provided. I’m listening to one half of a conversation. I find myself making up the bits I can’t hear. Then a man puts on the headphones opposite. That changes the missing dialogue. The mapping has continued round the curve but there is less of a pink puff on the ping now. 

I’ve come to see Efrosini Protopapa’s work. I helped in a small way to photograph collections of images at the Warburg Institute for her research.  So I’m interested to see what she has selected to include, and how the images are used. Torsos have been cut out & pasted in opposition to other torsos, creating unlikely dialogues that appear and disappear on a projection. A little bit like the headphones, I find myself thinking of captions for these brief, unlikely pairings. The images dance on and off the screen.  A simple entrance and exit. It’s a dance of many halves. 

Other work captures my attention as I take a couple more laps of the curve. When leaving, I notice the hanging pendulum has been secured to the wall. 


20–28 JAN 2017

A slice of Amici magic

Pictures don’t do this duet justice. But they might give you a little window into the beauty that unfolds as Gurpreet and Rosie duet in Amici Dance Theatre’s production 35 Amici Drive. We are in rehearsals at the moment, thrilled to be bringing this critically acclaimed repertoire to The Lyric Hammersmith for the second time in May 2017.

In this scene, Rosie Leak, an art student, is consoling Gurpreet Dosanjh, the resident’s association spokesperson, as his pleas to the council to save people’s homes from imminent demolition are scoffed at and rejected by ruthless developers and arrogant councillors. The duet’s intimacy and sensitivity grabs you by the heart and draws you in. I’m completely lost in its tenderness, its complexity, it’s simplicity. 

In the corner of some of the photos you can see Artistic Director Wolfgang Stange skilfully guiding the work. 

Reviewed by Luke Jennings in The Observer in 2015 with four stars, and highlighted in its top ten dance productions of the year, 35 Amici Drive is at The Lyric Hammersmith, Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 May, 2017. Not only that, but Tightrope, another piece of company repertoire (from 2010) is also being shown on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th May. This is a company first! Impossible some might say…watch our promo film to help us make the impossible, possible.

I’m now in my third year with the company and can’t imagine life without it. This duet is a slice of the company’s magic…come and breathe it in. 

35 Amici Drive

Tues 23 Evening (7.30pm)

Weds 24 Matinee (1.30pm), Evening (7.30pm)


Fri 26 Matinee (1.30pm), Evening (7.30pm)

Sat 27 Evening (7.30pm)

Get your geek on

Drawing responses to performance

As I  walk into a bright, industrial space that used to be an old fire station workshop, I am immediately hit by groups of children and their parents immersed in coding, robotics, crafting outfits from cardboard boxes, generating noises, doodling and redoodling and doing dance and maths puzzles. The energy was electric. 

RAD students performing

This was ‘recode’, an event organised on 11 Feb 2017 by the Institute of Imagination that saw the coming together of geeks from arts, science & technology into a melting pot of participatory activity in the old fire station workshop building on Lambeth High Street. 

A chance meeting at an arts event hosted at The Lyric Hammersmith in September 2016, led to being introduced Emma Callow from the IOI. After chatting and exchanging ideas about what you could do with a cardboard box and masking tape (I think that was the sign we should work together!) we swapped emails and Emma then visited our experimental choreographic project that takes place at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) for BA(Hons) Ballet Education students who are training to be dance teachers. 

Taking inspiration from drawings

We were thrilled when Emma invited us to perform & deliver a workshop at recode. My colleague Dennie Wilson and I worked with our students to design a participatory dance experience around our new dance work ‘All plastic bags deserved to be loved’. We retraced our creative process back to: plastic bags being blown across the studio by fans; games of plastic bag keepy uppy; watching the American Beauty plastic bag dancing in the wind scene; and student Georgia’s sketches of us working through creative tasks.

Doodleman doodles movement

On the day, after the 10 minute performance where audience and the Doodleman (see doodle image above) were asked to draw responses to the movement, our fully booked workshops engaged 80 children and adults in a beautifully chaotic and creative mahem. The joy on the children’s (and adults!) faces as they had ‘permission’ to chase a flying plastic bag across the blue carpet made my heart soar. They flew, they span, they jumped, they twisted and tumbled…and when the plastic bag was removed, the movement qualities that emerged were magical. This paved the way for small group creative tasks that took inspiration from the performance drawings. A final sharing of group dances presented a recoding of our earlier performance. 

Recoding movement
Selecting drawings to embody

I left with a huge sense of pride in how the students worked so sensitively and artistically with the participants. They truely embraced everything that is at the heart of inclusive, creative practice: art & people. 

Happy face.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑