Background

Josh Pether

Name: Josh Pether

Creative practice/s: Dancer, Choreographer, Theatre maker

Why do you do what you do?

For personal reasons, for creative reasons for reasons I don’t know – it allows me to access parts of myself that in the ‘real’ world are not necessarily acceptable or celebrated.

What’s still with you from the workshops? What do you remember?

The initial smooth facilitation of Josh’s concept, which made participants engage with our concept more readily. After the participants first taste of one aspect of ‘Transmission’ a more challenging aspect of the workshop emerged where everyone felt reluctant to move further on. The level of vocal transmission that was integral to Wei Zen’s exercise brought a level of fear, horror and terror in the participants. Everyone talked more about the reasons they were frightened and terrified and the atmosphere in room became more charged. We both explained that the purpose of our practice was about eliciting huge emotional energies and acknowledging as much from the dark side of life as we do from the more positive aspects. After the initial reluctance, tears and fear everyone took some time to reflect on the reason why and once this was acknowledged and verbalized the exercise could begin. As a result of this, this aspect of the workshop became a powerful part of the whole process and to this day certain members in that workshop still talk about it from conversing with them.

What’s the legacy for you - creatively or with contacts?

From the initial reluctance to engage in this aspect of the workshop, what we have found is the need for in depth preparation to really investigate and slowly build these aspects of the more difficult concepts around Transmission. Some participants have expressed interest in this – we are looking now at potentially delving deeper into these concepts with those interested as well as allowing us as practitioners to understand the need for a more nuanced facilitation when working with more diverse groups.

What makes a good workshop for you?

To really and engage and embody the exercise that is given during the workshop allowing for a more embodied and visceral understanding of what it is that we are exploring. This also allows for a more disciplined approach in which to build focus and concentration.

The arts industry and you - how do you feel about where you are professionally? Where would you like to be?

We both feel we are on the periphery of industry and on the edges of our performing arts and performance art industries/disciplines.

We both feel we are in the place we should be. We would like to continue the vigor of research and questioning within the process of the vernacular that has been developed around performing arts and performance art.

– Josh Pether, Wei-Zen Ho