This month in The City Culture Corner, we are celebrating International Women’s Day with seven women working in the culture sector. From dancers to composers, and singers to actresses, The City Culture Corner curator, Tessa Marchington has sought out these industry leaders, and asked them how they embrace risk taking. See below for their responses.
I embrace risk taking in my work by challenging myself to work outside my comfort zones, collaborating with artists from different cultures and disciplines and always trying to reinvent my artistic practice. Coming from a mixed cultural background (I am German-Egyptian and based in London for many years), I try and resist the comfort of belonging to conventional boxes, to make my multiple identities and felt contradictions part of my performances, by crossing styles, genres and languages, or by including, for example, unexpected – sonic, theatrical or visual – elements. – Merit Ariane, Singer and Composer
As a choreographer I use improvisation to create my work. At the beginning of my career, during the creation process, everything was decided ahead of time because I was scared to let it go. Nowadays, I use improvisation to challenge my fears. It is the moment that I look forward to the most. – Typhaine Delaup, Dancer
Committing any kind of music to paper can in many ways feel like a huge risk to me. I think all composers feel the pressure of spending many months writing a piece of music not knowing how it will be received or even whether it will work well! – Helen Grime, Composer
I think risk is essential to creativity. My music is achieved with much trial and error. I challenge myself with a variety of projects in the theatre, the concert hall, and in the pub. I also address challenging subject matter, and encourage institutions to not shy away from debate. – Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, Composer & Performer
As opera singers we take a risk every time we open our mouths! Is it so important to take risks in the rehearsal room to find new interpretations of the music and find out where our limits are. We constantly have to reach the edge of where we can go emotionally in order to connect with our characters and in turn, the audience. – Anna Patalong, Opera Singer
As a freelancer the nature of my work is so varied it feels like I am often jumping into things without much preparation, but of course it is through that very risk-taking that I then discover new interests, new skills and new strengths. And of course as a freelancer and a mother there is always the risk that family life will get in the way somehow, and that is where support from family and friends comes in – to enable those risks to be taken. – Charlotte Pyke, Actress
As a performer, I need to take risks in music making or the live performance won’t be as special. It doesn’t always work out, but I keep trying! – Wu Qian, Pianist