Crit Group C - April 9, 2015

I’m still churning out this meditative, score-based, improvisation practice, and doing it mostly alone. It produces an inner dialogue/words, helps me abandon my identity, and changes the way I inhabit my body. I’m thinking about improvisation as a ‘mode of production’, and the moments when I arrive at ‘identification’ (or words/images that indicate what I’m doing come out) as ‘vectors’. These vectors point at words, they point towards signifiers, they are my subconscious pushing through my skin, and they form allusions that can catalyze the viewer to find multiple meanings.

My questions at this point are:

  1. What is the work of perception?
  2. How can I inhabit my body differently? How do other people inhabit their bodies? What affects this?
  3. How do you hold an opening? (I’m considering improvisation an opening, so how do you hold the improv space?


Here’s my latest process video.

Some things I’m playing with are:

1) Always step ‘too far’:

In this movement improv, I’m trying to take steps that are uncomfortably too big.

This was inspired by the idea that an emotion always has an object (ex/ I’m afraid of ‘you’, I love this ‘beer’, I’m proud of ‘myself’) and therefore has a vector that points at something. I then imagined the emotion-vector of a person who, for example, desires closeness: a close-talker, or someone who is overly confident of him/herself, and therefore always steps ‘too far’. There are lots of ways to interpret this.  

I’m trying to take emotion into space as a physical action or trajectory.

I’m thinking about it in relationship to my definition of ‘social space’ as the space ‘between’ people.

If I were to do this dance with another person, I would try giving her an opposing emotion-vector task, like 'repeat each step twice, the second time retreating'. This may be indicative of a person fearful of close proximities, for example. There are still lots of ways to interpret this.

In short, I’m thinking about emotion-vectors that establish spatial relationships as a way of setting up dramatic action between dancers. I need to test this.

2) Sound: Where is the centre?

My score is:

Sing a note.

Sing another note, higher or lower.

Sing the note at the exact centre between the higher and lower notes.


3) Shadows:

How do they play, how do they alter images? What are the shadows of my mind? Are they represented by the text that comes through?

4) Face score:

Follow the sensations of the face like a pen dragging across paper.


Stop when you notice a face that has a Name, a Feeling, a State, a Mood, or an Attitude.

Just notice this face, don’t judge it.


This score makes me aware of facial movements, and at the same time it makes me aware of how I think they could be perceived, or what they might look like from the exterior. It is a study on representation, and can be transmitted to include the whole body, whereby iconic positions come through. This score helps build a lexicon of images that each dancer can produce him/herself.

This score can be extremely subtle. I tried it out on the streetcar home. I almost missed my stop…

4) Reconfiguring existence by reconfiguring the camera position:

The wall starts to look like the edge of the earth. The corner starts to look like a doorway. I’m thinking of this approach as an alternative to the GoPro footage I shot in the fall.

Questions for you:

  1. What do you notice?
  2. What was your experience watching the video?


In continuation from NYC, I’m still working on Emptying Perception and Activating Projection. The score on emptying projection is almost finished. I extended it to include emptying all of the physical catergories I could think of (I shared an audio recording of this with you in the fall. It is long. It included skin, fluids, muscles, and briefly bones. Honi tried it with me in NYC. She exclaimed “I feel like I have a different body!” afterward and I smiled. I interpreted her response as success).

Here are photos of the scores written out. I thought this would be faster to communicate than the audio versions. They are provocations that lead to improvised movement. The premise is to render these physical categories ‘mute,’ or to ‘exhaust' them and thus enable a different experience of the body to emerge. Something beyond the familiar. Something projected from a formless form.

There are some drawings here too. I'm interested in how they were made. I used an improv task:

Move the pen until something I can identify emerges. 

Keep going.

There’s something about ‘waiting for the moment of identification’ that is registering strongly for me in all of this work.

I talked to my friend Irvin, a dance artist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor. He said some of the words I was using like “calcification” and “drying out” made him think about mummification and death rituals. I’ve done some Buddhist death visualization exercises. Perhaps more on this. However, the purpose of all of this emptying is what happens AFTER, and how the doer proceeds to 'rebuild' life through an expanded sensorial experience/ projection exercise/ utopian consciousness. What kind of dance can come from THIS state, this mode of operation? Can the dancer become more responsive to stimuli, more empathic, more aware of how she interacts?

This was a lot. Sorry friends. I hope it was somewhat clear. I’d love any suggestions, insights, or references, you might have.