Saturday, December 1, 2007

Reflections on a November

November is over. This means that National Novel Writing Month is over. I managed to write 50,000 words in a month. So I am a winner! Got the certificate and a novel called By Association. I will post it, and other writings soon. I have begun rehearsals with Laura Hicks for a new dance work. This piece concentrates on physicality. Through our movement expression and our verbal dialogue we are exploring and refining our understanding of authentic communication through movement. Back to the body as the means to a language. This requires that we balance intuitive response, with disciplined investigation. What does our impulse look like? Where does it take us? Following the essence of the impulse - what is its expression? This work is an exploration of dynamic potential to create meaning. I usually work from a title and the piece unfolds formally and conceptually around the title. While this might be a useful process, and has proved successful for me in the past, I now feel that I need to pay attention to the extremeties of my work. In order to generate ideas, I am providing single, specific tasks through which we both create movement. I would normally juxtapose or layer these ideas to create the work and be content that because the work was about the title and the structure was about the title, the piece would be about the title. I realise now that this is a safe process. I got results but they were almost pre-determined results. There is a sophistication to my previous work. I think it is fair to say that there are elements of restrained chaos in each of the works that I have created up to now. Restrain and chaos. By separating these contrapuntal elements I can began to investigate the extremities of my choreographic language, and reveal the dynamic potential. This is a necessary direction for me now. Follow through. A longer bungee chord.

I want the content of my work to inform what the piece will become. I will be relying more strongly on my own imagination and my own connections to create the structure of the work rather than treating the structure of the work as a formal process. In our first rehearsal I found myself already staging our investigations. As Laura knows that I am working to prevent this she is able to pull me back to the task. As I am very intense and interested in the details of movement, I am able to encourage Laura to investigate the movement more deeply. Together we are discovering overwhelming possibilities for a single movement, word, limb.

At this early stage of the work, we are releasing ourselves from the pressures of selection. In our first few rehearsals we will experiment without setting anything. We will continue to explore potential movement through set tasks, and then release ourselves from one idea to explore another. Later in our process after a few rehearsals we will revisit the tasks and see if any of the old ideas return...

There are themes- wide open themes- these serve to limit but also to free the mind and body from habitual movement- hopefully ...eventually...

Into December, and it's snowing. Footprints in the snow. New snow falls. Clean slate.

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