Background

Leisa Prowd

Name: Leisa Prowd

Creative practice/s: Dancer, Physical Theatre Performer, Spoken Word, Life Model

Postcode: 3072

Suburb or city: Melbourne

Do you identify as disabled and/or Deaf and/or with disability?

YES

Other identity/ies? Intersectionalities you may like to declare (not compulsory) eg, POC, queer etc

Queer

Why do you do what you do?

Born in a “non-normative” body, throughout my life I have viewed it for its imperfections and disproportion, trying to make it fit in.

My practice involves “landing in my skin” – connecting with my body and how it interacts in an environment that is not built for me and with people who are so proportionally different. I have become fascinated by movements my body performs every day simply to exist – movements that the “average body” wouldn’t even have to think about.

These movements, although complex, have become instinctual – performed without thought, like breathing.

What is it to be truly mindful of these movements; to study them intimately and explore them? To create a dance; a celebration of a body that has learned to adapt to a world not made for it?

What is it to change aspects of inherent movements that I have been ashamed of and embarrassed to show and choreograph them into a dance – a duet between body and environment/body and mobility aides/body and equipment?

I have started to incorporate Spoken Word into my practice and written text to accompany different elements of my performance. I would use my time to explore both text and movement and how they both fit into both devised and improvised frameworks.

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

Being in a space where disability was seen, celebrated and a place where we could all simply be in all our complexities.

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

My name is kind of known in a lot more spaces.
Great conversations happening afterwards. I feel more bold in openly saying who I am and what I’m about.
Creatively I am exploring what it is to be in this body more. I am curious about it, being honest with myself about how I REALLY feel. Moving towards greater understanding and acceptance of myself.

What makes a good workshop for you?

A place that challenges me.
A place where I don’t have to put on a façade to appear that I have it all together.
Content that inspires further investigation.

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

Argh! I feel as though I am dabbling around the edges. I have all these creative ideas and don’t know where to go with them. I know I need funding. Money is a necessary evil to do what I want to do . I want to travel and perform elsewhere where looking different isn’t the first and biggest hurdle for an audience to get over.
I want to do internships and residencies with other inclusive dance companies and yet these are far and few between in this backwater country. I have to go overseas to do it. (which is fine by me). But I want to bring back new knowledge and inspiration to get things happening here.