We have just completed the final two weeks of rehearsals for this current research project. I have a strong feeling that this is just the beginning of a much larger body of work. We seem to have stumbled across several areas of work that I am interested to investigate in much further depth in relation to choreographic processes and this continuing curiosity around presence, time, and journey. The more we work, the more work there is to do – of course. I have become increasingly interested in ideas around feedback loops and creating choreographic systems and cycles which will consistently and continuously produce a dance that is present, fresh and immediate.
Whilst I acknowledge that I have aesthetic preferences, I am realising with increasing clarity that our task in developing this current work is to refine, re-define, distill the tasks that the performers need to attend to in any one moment. The challenge is to fully attend to the task, and in doing this, the outcomes that I am looking for in terms of shape, form and timing will unfold. For example, rather than trying to reproduce the sensation of the last time Rohanna does the ‘flocking’ section – which tends to lead to the flocking feeling superficial and a little fake; her concern is to attend to the rules/tasks that govern the flocking. And in fully concentrating on and engaging with those tasks, the flocking will be real and the aesthetic I’m looking for in that will also be present. And so, our job in rehearsal is to constantly refine exactly what the principles are that govern the flocking and bring about the outcomes we are looking for.
In this way, I see that my current work is driven by ideas rather than shape and form. Yes the ideas are realised through moving bodies – shape and form, but the idea itself is the foreground of importance. This may seem obvious and simple. But until last week towards the end of our residency at Dance House, Dublin, I hadn’t realised this fully.
During the last two weeks of rehearsals we had showings both in London and in Dublin. These proved to be incredibly useful both to see clearly what worked and what didn’t. The feedback that I received revealed where my ideas matched closely to what people saw, and where they didn’t, and whether that mattered or not. Of course, we haven’t found all the solutions to moments that don’t quite sit ‘right’, and went through waves of seeing clearly and feeling that I had no critical distance at all from the work any longer. Luckily for me, in the times of total confusion, I was amazingly well supported by all my collaborators…and together we scrabbled through the mud until something clearer emerged.
I am still gathering together my conclusions on this piece of research and my thoughts about the work and where to take it next. Over the next couple of weeks I will try to write in more detail and more concisely what I perceive the outcomes of the project so far are.
I think that Jennifer, Amy, Rohanna and Tom are all planning to offer some words about their perspective on the project. I will upload them as when they arrive with me.
more anon, Charlotte