This project has been made possible by a grant from the Creative Arts Council of Brown University.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Reflections, continuing

In talking about the piece, I have had to try and articulate what it is in the choreography I created and directed that is interesting to me. Frequently I have described these moments to the dancers as being "a litte bit weird" or having a "weirdness" about them. In trying to unpack exactly what I mean when I say this, and to get at the essence of what it is that appeals to me, I would say the following: I am interested in exploring moments where the physical relationships between performers (those relationships created spatially between two or bodies) do not line up with the psychological (which could also be described as emotional, or social) relationships suggested by the movement; the disconnect between the two accounts for the "weirdness" and my interest in these moments.

To put this in a less abstract form, take as an example the vignette in "An Arcade Project" shown below (this footage was shot during rehearsal, hence Kelli and Natasha sitting down early and then leaving again):

Nadia and Timmy climb over each other repeatedly, and in between the climbing sequences they sit next to each other and stare straight ahead, deadpan. Their close proximity- their bodies physically impose on and interrupt one another- are at odds with the psychological distance of their detached stares. The physical interactions are entirely out of place in a social, physical space when two people might end up sitting near one another (such as waiting for a train, or sitting on the Arcade steps during a lunch break) but where their psychological, emotional, or social relationship is that of distance, of two strangers.

It is important to note that I do not want to make the infinite ways in which bodies can relate to one another into an essentualised binary; rather, these two categories (physical/spatial and psychological/emotional) are two ways of many in which relationships between bodies could be categorised and understood. Perhaps you could also say that they are two categories I am interesting in creating, setting them up in order to then create the disconnect between them that I find interesting.

Something else I have been reflecting on is that, ultimately, I am interested in creating experiences. These are inherently going to be different for everyone- for creator, performer, audience, and also different between audience members, between performers; it is not the creation of one universal experience, but the presenting of a situation in which one might have an experience. Taking a step back, ultimately, the creation of any piece of performance is the creation of an experience- or even the creation of anything. But I would like to make this experiential aspect more conscious, thinking of creating dance as primarily creating, or facilitating, experiences.

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