Mapping a process, mapping a dance, mapping the world

The first phase of rehearsals for The Nature of Things is over and I have been in a little bit of a haze ever since, reflecting and absorbing what happened. Wondering how to draw those experiences together into a piece of text that has some 2D logic for people to read who haven’t been in the studio with us, and how to draw it together physically in the final weeks of rehearsal which are in April.

There is too much to try and squeeze into one post, so I hope to let a range of aspects of the process and the new piece that is emerging to unfold in the next sequence of posts over the coming week(s).

In preparation for the rehearsals, I created a mind map which for me contains the interests and connections of the whole work. I like that it comes across as a map, because the project itself looks at mapping, webs and the interconnections that are found there.

For me this presents a more holistic, global representation of The Nature of Things and it was something that I sent to my collaborators as information about my intentions ahead of meeting in studio time.

I have been trying endlessly to find a way that I can import this map as an image file onto the blog – this is not super clear, but I think gives the idea…

Mind map - rehearsal prep: The Nature of Things

I then used the connecting lines of this mind map together with physical maps of the ocean current conveyor belt and bird migration patterns and placed them together on one page – to create a new world. For me this new map is a clear visual presentation of the work: the juxtaposition of physical universal patterns against the arrangement of connections and ideas that my brain has towards the those patterns. In this way the absolutely macro/global and the details of the micro – my particular engagement with those ideas come and sit together. It is both deeply personal and completely universal.

So here is the map of the world, the map of The Nature of Things:

Map of the world

We used this map as a spatial choreographic score, and it fed into working physically with ideas about ‘homing’ and creating ‘landmarks’ – returning to a single defined place, if and when certain conditions in the web of relations between the dancers and the sound makers present themselves.

In this way, the maps present visual information which have been used to devise choreographic frameworks for the new work and provide an insight into some of the choreographic methodologies which are being followed.

One thought on “Mapping a process, mapping a dance, mapping the world

  1. Hi Charlotte,

    I have a thought and a question.

    Here’s the thought: Reading through your posts, I’m reminded more and more of John Conway’s Game of Life. Three simple rules govern the “movements” of cells on a grid, leading to evolving, emergent patterns in a way that mimics natural processes.

    And the question: Your notes and maps seem to point towards both the idea of emergent structures in nature, ie patterns that develop out of the working out of rules that are hardwired into living things (the rule of survival being key here) and the active playing out of structures ( or games) by thinking rational beings. How do you reconcile the two?


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