‘Figuring’ was the prototype project for Soma that took place at the University of Bristol in September 2018. It was developed with project collaborators through Lisa’s PhD research and with the funding support of Arts Council England before later evolving into ‘Soma’.
Soma presents an opportunity for diverse audiences to experience her most recent work.
They collaborate with other organisations and artists from a variety of backgrounds and industries to explore the possibilities emerging technology can bring to more traditional forms of storytelling, installation, performance and location-based experience.
All Seeing Eye have been responsible for developing the multi-person VR networking framework for SOMA, the show-runner UI and the framework for supporting the visual and sonic interactions.
Clarice is responsible for creating the visual virtual world of Soma.
Ania brings her experience both as a performer and a facilitator to Soma, helping people experience the work. She is especially interested in exploring how being open to our senses could bring a different sense of togetherness between people and the world surrounding them, as well as meeting others inside an attentive space full of possibilities.
Anne-Gaëlle met Lisa in 2011 and has been involved in a number of her projects including Grassblades, Shipwreck (revisited), The Touch Diaries, Figuring and now Soma.
Ben is one of the guides/facilitators for the participants in Soma and was part of the team that researched and created the project.
Bryn Trained at London Contemporary Dance School, winning the charlotte Kirkpatrick scholarship for exceptional potential. He then joined VERVE, the postgraduate performance company that toured internationally. He then completed an MA in dance performance, entitled: “The Complicit Virtuoso-Analysing the relationship between virtuosity and neoliberal ideology, and the implications of this for the contemporary dance artist” through the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in partnership with the University of Kent. Since completing This, Bryn has worked with Julia Thorneycroft dance, Humannah productions, About NOWish, Bitter Suite, Luca Silvistrini’s Protein, Lisa May Thomas and Travelling Light Theatre Company And has Choreographed for Tessa Bide, Myrtle Theatre Company and Vic Llewellyn & Kid Carpet.
Laila is also an educator within the university and vocational sectors, as well as with emerging artists and peers. Recent commissions include: SOMETHING ABOUT WILDERNESS and several attempts at taming beauty for Skanes Dansteater (Sweden, 2017), Husk for Candoco Dance Company (UK, 2018), All my Song for Joyce Theatre (USA, 2019). The recipient of a Rayne Fellowship for Choreographers in 2006, Laïla also was Associate Artist at ROH2, Royal Opera House, between 2009 and 2012, and recipient of a 2018 Leverhulme Art Scholarship through Bristol Old Vic Ferment.
Laila was invited to work on Soma for her experience as a dancer and performance maker as well as her interest in collaborative processes.
Will comes to Soma with an interest in sensitive body work and co-creative practice.
Sound and composition:
In Soma, Mitchell is developing interactive data sonification tools that create a seamless and immersive connection between physical and virtual worlds.
Joseph is working on the sound design/music for Soma with Tom Mitchell focusing on software development, aesthetics and sound design.
Documentation and cinematography:
Razaka’s role on SOMA is lighting cameraman and editor. Specifically, he is documenting a study on sight and depth perception in and out of VR focusing on the experience of a visually impaired dancer.
Jonathan has been responsible for documenting the development of the Soma project on camera as well as assisting with the production of a trailer and doing some Foley work and sound editing.
For Soma she has been a consultant on the developmental process, and been on hand to share ideas, movement, imagery (photo/film), material and insights.
Through his company, Mercurial Wrestler, he has been resident at Bristol Pervasive Media Studio, Academy of Innovation and Research at Falmouth University and is currently a resident artist and Production Manager for Kaleider.
After completing a BA honours degree, she went on to work in the performing arts and chose to specialise in dance. She has worked extensively with visually impaired people in the arts and education.
Currently a City Fellow at Arnolfini, Holly is working with PECo Theatre‘s Rachel Aspinwall and co-creators from the visually impaired community on 'Could this be the place..?' exploring how the organisation and design of Bristol impacts our relationship to the City.
Holly has worked with Touchdown Dance, Sadlers Wells, Northern Ballet, KARAS, Natural Theatre Company, The Velcro Collective and the Royal National Institute for Blind People.
Soma Project Participant Co-ordinator, she has been working with Lisa exploring visual perception and the felt experience relative to the VR environment by supporting sighted and visually impaired participants to experience and inform the work during its development.
Some of my personal projects are about the individual in public spaces while others explore the private and intimate space of an individual.
In both cases movement, music, mirrors, objects and clothes, are some of my “materials” of choice when looking for lyricism and subjectivity, when looking for the self.
My work has featured in a number of group and solo shows in the UK and abroad and together with my reportage work has been published in various magazines such as the Sunday Times, The Independent, Telegraph, Marie Clarie, Colors and others. She has received various awards and grants for her work among them the Ian Parry Award, Arts Council Grants for the Arts and an IPRN fellowship.
My socially engaged work with Brazilian street girls was published in a book - 'Invisible Lives' (Vision On, UK, 2000). Work has been included on books on the history of Latin America and Brazilian photography among others.
Working with Lisa, the dancers and participants of Soma was a perfect fit for me and an enjoyable experience. From early on Lisa was open to see what we could achieve in terms of images and how we could translate, even if in small ways as a still image, the sensations and physicality of being part of the Soma experience. As an enthusiast of somatic experiencing and other forms of body work, I felt completely free to explore the boundaries of mine and others bodies. Not minding if a photograph was "imperfect", dark or unfocused. I hoped to make the camera an extension of my body and the images a consequence of the interactions of all bodies in the room.