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Cautivas R&D - Week I: ’Impostor syndrome or what the f**k?’

By Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch

Week I was a hard one, for various reasons but mainly because what had been theorised and planned over several months, now had to happen. It had to become a real, palpable thing; assembling the skeleton of a dance theatre piece from scratch suddenly felt like drowning.

The first day of Week I was fun though. We dedicated the day to research clowning techniques with James Lewis-Knight, and so the weight of leadership was sort of off our shoulders; an easy, joyful beginning.

As the week went by, the amount of research that we had put together for pretty much a year before getting into the studio, became a load of pressure on my shoulders. Everyday I would wake up energetic and enthusiastic, ready to discover the face of our yet to be born baby, but as the day went on I would feel increasingly paralysed, unable to translate thoughts into movement. A persistent headache was also tormenting me that week. Like the whole of Leeds City centre, my head was being pierced then filled up with cement, getting heavier, thicker, ergo slower. Thank God, the CA of ACCA was looking lighter. Charlotte kept pulling the rope and me with it; asking questions, suggesting tasks or dynamics, or a coffee or a break.

By the end of Wednesday, I wasn’t sure anymore whether I deserved to call myself artist or a catfish. Impostor syndrome kicked in big time.

In the mist of drama however, Week I had some very nice and refreshing moments. Most of the mornings started with a ProDanceLeeds class that I had the pleasure to facilitate and that many friendly faces joined. The hot weather coming in through the massive windows of Yorkshire Dance’s studio made us sweat, glow like recently butter-creamed cupcakes. The classes were followed by artists chats; a space to converse with colleagues and fellow artists about the ups and downs of the artist’s live and the perception of the role of artists by society. Within those moments I truly felt at home, surrounded and supported by a team of rowers that, without knowing of it, helped me push the boat out of a sinking situation.

Photo credit: Sophie Thomas, Jacob Edwards, Holly Brennan, George Burton, Mason Jubb, Zoe Letellier and Ems Harries participating of the 'Artists Chats'.


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