Last Thursday, we were given a task to experiment with composing 5 objects we brought from home, as well as items Charlotte had brought in for us to use i.e. paper clips, post-it notes, pencils etc.
I didn’t really think about what I was composing but I knew I wanted to started from the corner and let the composition ‘grow’, after some tweaking and re-arranging I realised that this composition was a very strong reflection of me, my mind and my view on my life in recent times.
When everyone was finished composing we all looked at and discussed each others and found there was a sense of personality and an individual way of thinking and creating in everyone’s composition. Even though I found mine to be personal to me more than a reflection on how I work, I have realised that everything I create is always personal to me or something that is important to me. When creating a physical work, I like to work from the outside in, which shows from when I started working from the corners in this picture.
While looking at my composition, keywords were thrown out and there were a few that really stuck out to me: Frantic, placed, danger. I found it interesting that ‘placed’ was suggested between frantic and danger because even though I placed everything carefully down so that nothing would fall or move, I found the only objects to be purposely placed were the post-it notes and hand gel. As you can see, they are separated from everything and not connected to anything, for me this was a representation of myself. A feeling of vulnerability but also safety as it is separated from everything but cannot be harmed. The charger and lead, water bottle, and vaseline were a representation of my life, symbols for things that keep me alive, things I rely on, (the charger and lead – to stay connected and attached to people, the water bottle – health, vaseline – cleanliness, looking after myself), the paper clips being attached to the lead and clip is a representation that these are things I never want to let go of or lose. The pencils are the major thoughts and situations that invade my mind, even the green folder attachments represent the loose ends that are in the back of my mind but are still clear to me.
It’s honestly really scary to me how much the composition told me about myself because during the creative process, it was all subconscious and once I stopped and had a really good look at what I had been doing, it was only then I saw how much it related back to me. This task felt was very therapeutic and has actually helped me understand myself better surprisingly.
Le Patin Libre: Vertical At Somerset House 14th January 2016
On Thursday evening we made our way to Somerset House to watch a performance of contemporary ice skating. This was the extent of my prior knowledge. The ice rink was a smooth glossy platform lit by purples and blues surrounded by the royal like architecture of Somerset House. The five dancers (four men and one woman) entered their clear canvas in casual clothing, tones of yellow, grey and white. As they stand in stillness the outside air blows their shirts in the wind.
As the piece began it was hard to not notice the marks being made upon the ice by the blades of their shoes. Some were clear and direct, some at an angle churning up the ice like piles of dust. The ice became a conscious element of the piece evolving with the movement being performed upon it. By chance as the wind blew throughout the piece the excess fragments of ice blew swept across the floor which created a beautiful layer to the setting. The dancers, unlike your usual performance on ground, could weave seamlessly in and out of formations standing like statues. The gliding was effortless and almost hypnotising. At times the expeditious spinning and gravity defying jumps were terrifying as an audience member but they showed great skill and ability throughout the whole piece.
A clear humanity was emitted from the dancers through their focus. They gave a sense of individuality with alternating solos and differentiating qualities. Despite this they came together harmoniously in times of unison. Their connection between one another allowed them to speed up and slow down without a second glance. The fusion of contemporary and skating was structured seamlessly showing no division. Whilst watching the dancers I was curious what came first, the contemporary or the ice skating, because both were executed so well.
The connection with the audience really eradicated the fourth wall usually holding boundary between front facing audiences and performance. There was personality and playfulness and it was clear the dancers enjoyed the performance just as much as their audience.
Last Thursday, Next Choreography had a poetry workshop with Ben Duke, based on his latest work, “Paradise Lost” performance.
I’d like to share the 3 poems I wrote from the tasks:
‘The long neck behaviour
The Blues opportunity
To challenge bravery.’
‘The unwanted commitments
The innocence beneath
her naive behaviour.
The hierarchy she must follow,
the youth that never lived.
the patterns never stopped.
The known yet not assumed, Guilt
in all the conventions.’
‘There is an odd smell,
Like an amputation or a nightmare
keen into self-resignation.
I should have ran from it
instead of drowning myself into this,
this pretended protection.
And they will keep preaching
“They love me”
And they will keep trying
Trying to drag me,
drag me to their praying circle
with no logical key.’
Last week we worked on the instructions I prepared. I wanted the participants to feel free, to allow themselves to feel the space and time, and also encourage them to increase their body awareness. I divided the score in 2 sections: the first part was more focused on each individual while the second was centred on the group.
In my perspective I felt the dancers translated quite literally the instructions into movement and it made me think that more than interpreting the instructions, they reacted to them – which I also found really curious and interesting.
I found some of their choices really compelling about the setting: the use of the benches in different positions and the spoken words.
After observing their response a number of times I realised that the sense of group and belonging needed to be emphasised so I decided to adapt a few things: changing some of the dancers’ positions in space so they could finish together as a whole instead of separated in the room by the end of the piece.
I feel really grateful for having had the opportunity to work on my set of instructions. It helped me considerably to develop my choreographic understanding and it made me more conscious about editing processes.
You can find the videos here:
Clip 1 – first version from the dancers
Clip 2 – second version after editing
Please find below the pictures of the original score of instructions.