Posts By: Lauren Wagland

Session with Ben Duke

Looking back on the year of Next Choreography, numerous sessions stood out to me but one which I found particularly eye opening was a session with Ben Duke in December 2015. The session explored a kind of journey and path way to choreography. Through the session we used different stimuli to trigger others, first we looked though books and magazines and picked out a photo/image that personally stood out to us. From that image we wrote a series of poems and words that captured it. The final poem was a longer more detailed one with the instructions of having to be written in the first person and to include a feel for the five senses. This then became the information that was used to create a piece of choreography.

What I found interesting and captivating was the process in which the choreography was produced and that by the end there were so any different options and ways of looking at it. The fact that the poems were not written with a purpose of producing another piece of work from but just what you saw or interpreted from your chosen image made it easier in some ways and more meaningful to then use the material to create a piece of choreography.

One Poem produced from the session:

(I)
Spell, Hear, Touch, Taste, See

I capture the traveling journey
full of representation and sectors of life
documenting it in irregular black and white squares
hearing the silent stare
watching the tension of pen to paper
touching the cold, solid object
tasting the warm-hearted movement
continuously doing, watching, hearing, tasting, feeling

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Vertical by Le Patin Libre

Watching Le Patin Libre perform was an incredible experience one much like encountering a flock of birds glide into the the freedom of the sky. The 5 performers each bringing an individual presence when entering the clean slate of ice, seeming to act as one moving effortlessly around the ice like a pendulum clock arms swinging from side to side with refined seamless speed.

Filling the surface with patterns and designs, bringing an aspects of playing or competing with the audience each one reacting off each other inviting the audience to feel included. Introducing themselves though their skating, individually showing there character and style. Even though the ice and weather was cold they keep your full attention, eyes dazed at the swiftness of their performance so much that it makes you want to watch it all over again.

There are some humorous parts, bits wear you are filled with nervous tension as they leap, turn and dance across the ice. By the end of the piece the once clean slate of ice now consists of many configurations and trails, sliced, slashed segments of ice. The blue and pink lights enhance the amazing surrounding architecture of Somerset House contrasting with the white, grey and yellow of the costumes. The lighting making the piece sometimes unreal, bold, dark, cold faced figures advancing towards you then a delicate skater drifting across the surface of the ice. The sounds created by the skates cutting and slicing though the ice creating percussion as well as movement and the patterns curved into the ice each aspect brought something to an inspiration for performance.

The performance length was just right, suiting the weather perfectly on the day I happened to watch it. However the only criticism I might have for future performances is the length, which I think should be extended or stretch out when being performed in inside spaces or warmer temperatures. Apart from this there is nothing I disliked about the performance and I would highly recommend it to anyone. From watching the Vertical it gave me a completely different idea of how two art forms can be made into one seamless piece not even that the ice – skating and dancing came out at different parts but they seemed to combine the two so well that it created a new art form. What also interested me and inspired me was the use of personality that came though with in the performance from each artist. How they portrayed themselves though out the dance is something that I really want to look into and bring into my work a so feel it brings the audience so much closer to the piece and leaves them feeling like they actually know who was on the stage not just a butch of artists performing a piece to entertain an audience.

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