The coles notes: I’m dismantling the choreographic process to explore its expanded applications, starting with the inner experiences of the body, and taking them into social choreography. Goal = empathic change through shared kinesthetic engagement
I’m making a solo performance with extended splinter projects.
I haven’t left the studio yet, but have gotten close to the door.
So I’ve been making text and audio scores, improvised movement, guided meditations, and lots of videos from both the perspective of the dancer, and surveillance style shots reflective of me watching myself (in the spirit of meditation, self-examination, and documentation). I’m thinking about how sensuous experience can become the material for this project.
The work is situated in both the inner landscape of the dancer, and the media used to share her inner landscape. The goal is not to transmit the content of this landscape, but share its productive force: not to transmit the content of my dreams, but guide the viewer to PRODUCE her own dreams. How? I believe that starting from the body, or LOCATING perception, and then DISORIENTING this perception, is what makes for provisional scaffolding, or a state in which new ideas necessarily come to be. In this way, the performance event can become a situation where we (audience and performers) generate knowledge together. So, enter chaos, weird states, non-spaces, and a ‘utopian consciousness’ that makes us dream-up impossible alternatives to societal pathologies. The utopian production of alternatives that are so slippery we can’t remember their details. The production of hope, towards an indeterminate ‘what’.
In terms of my physical practice, I’ve been out-sourcing my choices/actions to what I consider ‘peripheral’ influences. In this way, the dances are ‘exorcised’ from the subconscious. These peripheral activities have taken shape as tasks/ scores/ritual practices whereby the more I focus on the activity, the less I’m able to orient myself within it (aka getting lost).
Here are a few examples:
1) Peripheral Sensation: Thrusting from vague points of leadership
2) Peripheral Conversation score
Two participants are handed a pen and paper. They are asked to engage in a silent conversation, and write down responses to the other person on his/her paper. This paper may be kept private or shared. Agree on this beforehand.
a) It can be turned into an interview, whereby one person only asks questions, and the other only answers. Then switch roles.
b) The linearity of language becomes skewed through writing. Writing becomes differently coherent as it soaks up body information.
c) Is it ethically problematic to have this conversation with unknowing participants? (I tried it on the way home on the streetcar. It felt a bit too invasive, but I liked wondering what my interviewees were doing, where they might be going, what their hopes for the future might be. Maybe this last question is the one that really matters)
d) This exercise is perhaps a response to one’s projection of him/herself onto the other, and a response to collectively experienced events within the conversation space. Common themes emerge however, so there may be some synchronicity going on as we read into each other's vibe.
3) I compiled a video with audio from a guided meditation I made. I’m playing a bit with locating and disorienting perception by positioning the camera from within the dance, splitting the right and left eye, and what I call ‘the line of disappearance’: what is lost between the eyes, or the camera frames, or the audio segments for example.
1) The videos were only documentation until now, but I’m starting to think the work is living within them. Did the videos transmit any kind of physical response for you? Would a live performance be more satisfying?
2) Any thoughts on how to transfer this material outside the studio, on working with collaborators, or public proposals? I’m going to try Peripheral Conversations for a large group, in a park or some other public space. I'm also coming up with a score for nightmares (step one is to eat pizza before bed).
3) Any thoughts on how to capture the inner perspective of the dancer? I’ve just rented a GoPro camera, and binaural microphones, and I’m thinking about where to place the camera
4) OR IGNORE THE ABOVE QUESTIONS AND DO THIS: If you want to try out a score, here’s the audio for a meditation on re-imagining the body, or try the Peripheral Conversation score above. They take time, only do them if you’re interested, and I’d love to know about your experience.