Friday, May 02, 2003

Giving the choreographic practice and research a big push lately, after attending the following conferences: The Research/Practice/Practice/Research at University of Cambridge, The CADE (Computers in Art and Design Education) at Hull Timebased Arts and the Conference for Research in Dance and Drama at University of Leeds. I just mention these because I think that the experience of watching others struggle to solidify their ideas has allowed me to reach the discovery that maybe I never find the answers. I desperately want to develop new choreographic methods that let the dancer be seen as the person that they really are, but in working on my own body lately I discover that maybe me, doing just plain and simple ‘me’ stuff isn’t that exciting. Me standing and letting thoughts roll through my head or even trying to speak these thoughts as they roll through my head somehow doesn’t strike me as the thing that sells loads of tickets. I’m scared that you always need a concept in making dance – that you just can’t ‘be’ because it’s too boring to watch. If you’re not a virtuoso technically then you had better have a damn strong idea. But I’m so tired of watching dancers be something other than themselves…over-performing, symbolising, glazed eyes – not present, not anything I can relate to. I want to see the person, the real person whose had a shitty day, who can’t get their leg up high, but who makes me feel empathy because of their bravery to be themselves.
Now, I’ve been investigating some of the work of some of the hard-cores in performance like Franco B and Orlan, both of whom do some pretty extreme stuff like plastic surgery for arts sake and cutting oneself to create a provocative image (if you can stomach it, it’s worth checking them out on the web). The only reason I’ve been looking into their work is because (although I find utterly grotesque) -- it is real. There is some debate about how ‘real’ it actually is because devil’s advocate says they are performing for a reaction and in fact not really showing who they are…. I need some more time to think on this before hashing out this debate but at the moment, the subject takes my interest.
Needless to say, the idea of blood and surgery has always terrified me so I don’t plan on embarking on this style of performance art. My work (I think) will always aim to increase the relationship that exists between the audience and performer.


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