work in motion, 2 weeks in, from Charlotte

work in motion, patterned, non-linear thinking

There are many threads emerging, lines drawing together physically, and conceptually and it is hard to hold them all simultaneously – I’d probably feel more relaxed if I didn’t try to. Although I also think it’s quite normal to feel that I aught to have a hold/handle on both the big picture and the small details because this project is after all my responsibility.

As we dive further into Cycle Stories, however, I am reminded that this project always proposed something different. It proposed an emergent choreographic system, less fixated on ‘product’ and more responsive to opportunity, and experiences. Part of it’s strategy relies on chance and encounters and even within the most ‘product’ focused part of it we are devising a piece of choreographic work where we agree to hand over considerable control and agency to the general public.

and so my (understandable) desire to have a handle on things must loosen…

this is not an advocation for laziness or being soupy in my direction, but rather affording myself the license for things not always developing like clockwork. Perhaps it is ok to be lost – in fact i could rant about time and technology not allowing space for getting lost – deeming it not useful and wasteful. I’m culprit of this also – getting lost is a frustrating, waste of time, indicating that I have either not planned sufficiently or paid enough attention. but how often is it that we discover something new and useful through the process of being lost – about ourselves, about the land, about ourselves in relation to the land. And surely this makes the lostness both useful and necessary…

So, I meandered away…

we left Brighton just over two weeks ago. our time in Caen was certainly a dive into the deep end – on your marks get set and go go GO (not fast enough) GO FASTER! We thought we’d prepared quite a lot in advance, but as the week whizzed by, Tristan and I realised there would be at least one all nighter to get a draft together of Walking Stories in French in time for our sharings on thursday 16th and friday 17th May. A bus load of adults and 2 bus loads of 8-10 year olds. A beautiful smiling elderly woman who’d never worn headphones in her life, an extraordinary site of cranes, huge piles or metal, boats loading and unloading, the river, and a path winding into wasteland. And then there were these flocks of birds delicate and light amidst the noise, the dust, the machines, they caught my eye most vividly. drawn so much to the scale of the site, it probably blinkered my eyes a little bit to its limitations. And I feel this limitation ran true. A long spiney stretch of land which didn’t afford the complex set of patterned physical and spatial relationships we haf devised, This in combination with perhaps some cultural/linguistic crossings in communication let to a series of sharings where mostly instructions were not followed. I realised that in this eventuality the choreographic aspects of the audio walk quickly become a fictional landscape – there are no people ahead, no line or circle forming etc. Did I mind? Was the experience still rich or endlessly ambiguous and confusing? Lots of new considerations. What about control? What about tone of instruction? what about permission for disobedience?

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