Melanie Thompson m.a
46 Archers Way
Dartington College of Arts, Totnes, Devon Diploma in Drama and Dance.
Rolle College – Exmouth, Devon Certificate in Education (Drama Major) Distinction.
M.A. in ’Fine Art in Context’ University of the West of England, Bristol
2007 Started PhD at U.W.E Bristol (the act of negotiation – personal arts practice)
February – Organiseing a weekend Seminar in Aarhus about collaborative practice in the UK and Denmark with the Scenet .DK
May – weekend of events, talks and performances at orchard as a result of a years research with Wildedges,
September / October – playing Forgetting and Remembering in Aarhus for a week and then bringing it over for a short tour of the UK.
February to November – observed and documented and led workshops in reflexive research practice over 6 visits and made 3 short films about the work of the PAA project.
February to August – Created Forgetting and Remembering( 2 solo shows, one I performed in one I directed) which premiered in August in Aarhus Denmark as part of the European City of Culture 2017.
Created Wildedges a 3 year public art project, based in a walled orchard in Somerset in collaboration with the Alfred Gillett Trust.
January – Directed and workshoped large site – specific collaborative project ‘Shaking hands with Ghosts 2 ‘ at Teater Refleksion over 4 day, culminating in a 30 mins travelling performance.
Continued directing solo performance and working on own solo performance over a week.
February – Invited to attend workshop with Agnes Limbos from France, exploring object work.
Teaching interdisciplinary practice at Den Danske Scenekunstskole Odsherred Teaterskole. February/September.
Taught 3 day Performance Writing workshop at Teater Refleksion in Aarhus Denmark, February.
Facilitating creative process for solo performance at Teater Refleksion February/March.
Started work on my new solo performance, residency at Mols. ‘Secret Hotel’ in February.
3 day residency at Teater Refleksion in March for my solo performance.
1 week visit to Athens . Taught P.W workshop as part of a mini residency at Kinitiras studio. May
Invited to Denmark, Mols to give paper on my site-specific practice at a 3 day conference ‘Landscape Dialogues’ exploring Landscape /Sustainability / Collaboration.
Teaching weekly inmprovisation workshops in Somerset.
Setting up workshops and auditions for Falmouth University in Denmark.
Created WAITING FOR THE FLOOD a short film in collaboration with Deadbeat Films. See review.
Collaborated with Kim Van Coels on ‘sitting,running,lying,standing’ a time lapse short film in Zigzag building Somerset.
Taught Writing & Control workshop weekend at the Arnolfini Bristol with Jerome Fletcher as part of ( Writing &)
Invited to The Teatro ARKA (H.C.E.) Intermedial Cultural Association in Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy), part of the XXVI Anniversary of annual InterActions Project Festival to present solo performance. April/May
Created 2nd film of series Scaping the Land – January 2012
Created 3rd film of series Scaping the Land – April 2012
Research projects Falmouth University College – January to July
Teaching Pilot BTEC performance course – January to July
Teaching Body Language / how to teach a workshop /mentoring /public speaking
workshops for the Student Ambassador programme at U.F.C.
Film intervention – Glastonbury Abbey June 30th – July 1st
Charles Hazlewood ‘Orchestra in the Field’ 3 day music Festival
Site –Specific Film and Performance Residency – September 2012
at the Rural Life Museum Glastonbury Somerset
Created Writing & with Barbra Bridger and Jerome Fletcher – www. writingand.org
2010 – 2011
‘Shaking hands with ghosts’ – a 3 part installation /performance project celebrating the history and demise of Dartington college. Culminating in the curation of 10 artists creating site specific works in the Dartington estate and a final event as part of Dartington campus festival in June 2010.
Commissioned by the B-side festival to create a series of sites specific works in Portland Dorset 17th– 26th. September 2010. www.b-side.org.uk See Cut Here……… Film on YouTube.
Started teaching at University College Falmouth part time in all Departments
‘Shaking hands with Ghosts’ finale – Falmouth University festival – June
Handbag – Lead dancer in performance created by Geraldine Pilgrim commissed by RSC at the Arnolfini – July
Leading sites specific workshop residency in Italy for Sherman Youth Theatre students from Cardiff – August
Creating first of a series of site-specific dance events in Somerset entitled Scaping the Land – August
Teaching at Falmouth University College – piloting performance BTEC and doing research looking at Performance education in Cornwall – September – December 2011
2005 – 2010
Appointed Artistic Director of Tor Dance Festival – Somerset, supported by the Arts Council of Great Britain. 2005
2005 – 2006 Funded by CCEP based at Dartington College to be the lead artist in the ‘Harbourside’ regeneration project, to commission artwork for Beacon Quay in Torquay, Devon. Opening October 2006.
Invited to symposium at Exeter University to teach workshop on site specifity Returning to Wimbledon Art College for summer site-specific project. 2006
2005 -2006 Performance of Slippage (solo performance) at Dance Edition, British Dance Leeds, and performance of Slippage – Made in Somerset, showcase.
2006- 2008 Arts Consultant for the National Wildlife Conservation Park Opening outside Bristol in 2011.
2006 – 2008 Created ‘Palace Intrusions” see www.palaceintrusions.org.uk for archive A collaboration with composer Helen Ottaway and Wells Palace for a year long series of 12 public art commissioned events in Wells, Somerset.
2009- 2010 Studied VTCT level 3 Massage and Anatomy
2001 – 2004
10-day residency as part of French Arts Festival “ L’ete des Arts’ in Cote d’Or en Bourgogne.
4-day residency as part of the ‘Wide Open’ Exhibition Artspace, Cambridge.
Guest workshop leader for 5-day introduction to site-specific art practice Wimbledon Art College, London.
Commissioned to create a site specific performance as part of a tour of the city ‘Tourist of the Heart’ – Arhus Theatre Festival Denmark 2001.
Slumber weekend – 24-hour workshop exploring collaborative practice, Devon. April 2002
Invited to symposium organised by C.R.A.N.E – French artists networking internationally, France July 2002 (created new site specific performance work).
Created one to one installation/ performance work – Blood works – for ‘crossing time’ international artists Festival – Dartington November 2002
Collaboration – with 5 artists, exhibition, Dartington Gallery January – February 2003
The Party – installation with video and slides, Somerset – August 2003
Invited to International Visual Artists Festival – Montreal Canada Autumn 2003 Presented solo installation Performance “Whose journey is it anyway”
Invited to the Sortland New music week, Norway, Spring 2004 Presented solo performance, “Slippage” taught workshops and gave lecture on Interdisciplinary practice in the arts.
2003 – 2004 Created series of 4 interactive workshops to support sound art work in booklet form for the Education Dept of Living Coasts Torquay, Devon.
2000 – 2004
Site-specific collaboration project with the Jerusalem school of visual theatre – Israel Feb. 2000 – based in Jerusalem Railway.
Scallop project – 1 year residency in small Somerset village and collaboration with artist /doctor Jane Hazlewood. Received local and Millennium funding. Final event Sept 2000 – Chillington, Somerset.
Artist in Residence in ‘Living Coasts’ Project – large public conservation/ visitor centre built in Torquay, Devon. Funding from Dartington College of Arts, R.A.L P and Paignton Zoo. 2001 – 2003.
Teaching Interdisciplinary practice using the body, site and installation at Dartington college of Arts in the theatre and music and visual schools.
1992 – 2000
Formed The Zwillinge Project with Kirsten Lavers (1992)
In July 1992 Melanie began working with Kirsten Lavers (Installation artist) on a series of site-specific Live Art works. Their collaboration was called The Zwillinge Project. Zwillinge is the German word for twins.
The Zwillinge Project has made 10 episodes / performances in response to a variety of sites, ranging from a hotel in Hull (episode 6) to a week long walk around the city of Bristol examining the issue of homelessness (episode 10).
Episode 11 – May 1997 – Presented 3 hour slide / lecture of all episodes and overview of whole project at Leicester University and Crewe and Alsager University – entitled Conversing with Sites.
Throughout 1997 and 1998 Melanie presented the lecture within G.B, institutions visiting: University of the West of England, Nottingham Trent University, Dartington College of Arts, Cheltenham College of Arts and Cardiff Art School.
Episode 12 – February 1998 – Launched the final catalogue /documentation of the whole of the Zwillinge Project in a series of 10 limited edition books.
The Zwillinge Project received funding support from Eastern Arts, South West Arts, Hull Time Based Arts and the Arts Council Of England.
I996 invited to become a Research Associate at Dartington College of Arts for two years.
1995 – 2000 preparing major project entitled Eco-Performia in collaboration with Dr Ric Allsop of Writing Associates – meetings in Germany and Denmark.
1996 initiated ongoing collaborative project entitled 10 Studies of Human Nature.
Site- specific performance July 1997 Bristol- entitled Primary Optic practical exploration with Diana Collins Artist/ performer.
Practical exploration 1997 – 1998 with Sam Usher in dance language conversations.
Site-specific performance, May 1998 Devon Entitled ‘Still Life’ collaboration with Sam Usher/ cheographer and dancer and Jane Hazlewood Artist and doctor and video artist Toby Harewood.
Solo performance ‘The Runway ‘ Devon in collaboration with Dr Diana Theodoras 1999
Teaching a weeks workshop in site specific / installation for ‘DreamWorks’ summer school London, August 1999.
Theatre Practice 1980 – 1990
Joined Cardiff Laboratory Theatre Company, Welsh Arts Council Funded. Toured Europe and was involved in numerous foreign performance /barters (Odin Theatre) and residencies (Growtoski and his company), site- specific collaborations (Mike Westbrook band) and educational projects (Roy Hart Theatre).
Started relationship with Nordisk Theatre School in Arhus, Denmark. Taught numerous courses in Theatre and Visual Art practice over a 10-year period.
Spent one year living in Denmark which culminated in creating a professional touring company from the student group called Q.U., toured Great Britain, France and Germany with ‘Paint as you want and die happy’.
In 1983, formed ‘Intimate Strangers’ with Paul Roylance, a performance company committed to developing work in collaboration with a range of art practitioners. Received funding support from the Arts Council and South West Arts.
Ran 1 year’s performance project at the Arnolfini Bristol 1988.
Visited Poland in 1983 and France in 1987 on British Council Grants, teaching and performing and collaborating with Akademia Ruchu and The Roy Hart Theatre in France.
Taught two major Theatre Summer Projects at Bristol University Drama Dept. (1987+88)
Teaching regularly at Dartington College of Arts in both the Theatre and Visual Performance and Music schools since 1989.
Early Arts Related Practice
Choreographer and Assistant Director at Cockpit Theatre, London, for two major youth projects.
Toured production of ‘No Regrets’ with ‘Hesitate and Demonstrate’ (visual performance group) G. B and Holland.
Studied with Emil Wolk, Nola Rae, The People Show, Jeff Nuttall and Friends Roadshow, Oval House, London.
Visited West Coast of America for 3 months viewing new dance and performance work Participated in two ‘radical theatre’ school projects led by The Oval House, London (Hayward Gallery).
Worked with Community Inflatable Arts Group ‘Action Space’ – performances at I.C.A. and community venues.
Toured with ‘Salakta Balloon Band’ (Circus based Theatre Company), Holland Directed 2, two women shows, toured Great Britain, performances in Covent Garden Festival.
Toured with ‘Festival of Fools’ G.B and Holland.
Papers presented and published
Landscape and Performance project – Landscape and Performance conference June 1998 Dartington College of Arts
Article published summer 1999 in Germany Wahrehmen und Gestalten on Release movement practice within a visual art training.
The Zwillinge project – Berlin, Germany ‘Art in Context Conference’ January 2001.
‘Site Specific Performance’ article published in ‘Theatre in Social Fields’ Graz University Press Austria Spring 2004
Presented paper on Landscape and Performance at UWE
PLACE research series of talks. February 2012
Paper written ‘Writing meets Mapping’ with Christos Polymenakos 2012