Thursday, March 31, 2005

I have been introduced to the wonderful views of Sanford Meisner ( who trained actors to be ‘truthful’. One of his exercises looks to repetition, where students of his technique work to acknowledge the real behaviour of whomever they are in dialogue with and respond to that real behaviour, as opposed to the text. I was excited to find this exercise on video, produced by Arts Archives ( called ‘Sanford Meisner: The Exercise of Repetition taught by Scott Williams’. At the moment I’m just digesting what I’m learning but there is definite applicability of his beliefs to dance.

On a personal note, I’m having a real week of ups and downs. Ups (always as a rule start with ‘ups’) include being asked to present some of my research at two conferences. The first is called: ‘Sound Moves: An International Conference on Music and Dance’. It is at Roehampton University in November and Matt and I will improvise together and then I will present a short paper on the intersubjective nature of the relationship between sound and movement and moreover musician and dancer). Check out the website if you want to register to go:
The second conference is called: ‘The Changing Body in Training and Performance’ and is at University of Exeter in January 2006. At this I’m giving a paper which at the moment I’m calling, ‘The You in Me: Practical Discoveries Towards the Intersubjectivities in Performance’.

I think eventually I’ll drive myself mad by thinking about intersubjectivity so much. It is now infiltrating every aspect of my life…here’s a classic example: last night, out for a few beers, then of course I decided to go to karaoke (my evil weakness) so just a friend and I went but I ended up just trying to focus on her whilst I was singing, I just kept trying to absorb myself in her movements, facial expressions, energy in general and then I could remotely observe the changes in my own behaviour (way of being) as a result of this little exercise. I’m loosin’ it.

I have heard that this is what happens to people when they do PhDs for a long time. I already suffer from an obsessive personality and now this – Intersubjectivity. I can’t stop.
Whhhaaaaa Haaaaa Haaaaaa!

Oh yeah, the ‘downs’. I didn’t get Choreodrome. I’m totally bummed. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve now been labelled as an academic and so therefore my art is shit, or if I’m just too old? (This is another down – I turn 33 tomorrow. I’ve had go out and buy the ‘very expensive’ eye cream as opposed to the ‘expensive’ eye cream I used to buy…totally depressing!) Yeah, so who knows why they didn’t accept my proposal…maybe they were put off by my candid website when I directed them there to read the images from the chicken dance….the possibilities are endless really.

My other down (just to finish winging) is that I’ve managed to pull a hamstring by letting my big fat ego take over in a yoga class a couple weeks ago. I’m still paying for it and have had to keep dancing on it. Looks like another visit to Timo is in order (Timo is the best physio / masseur in the world and surprisingly he works at Pineapple!) If you’re a dancer and need someone good look him up! You can find his info via the Pineapple Dance Studios website.

I’ve gotta stop there. More before too long, I promise!

Thursday, March 03, 2005


If you missed my chicken dance (as I have fondly renamed Dismantle Map) the first time round or if you loved it so much that you fancy seeing it again (albeit a new and improved version) then I have a date for you diaries…April 10th at about 4pm (time still to be confirmed) at Chisenhale Dance Space, 64 – 84 Chisenhale Road, London E3. It will be part of a ‘Field’ event that Matt Davis (musician / my trumpet player and co-performer) organises at the venue on a regular basis. Check the Chisenhale website: for more information.

I’ve also just recently applied for Choreodrome which happens every two years at The Place (London Contemporary Dance School). Choreodrome is a scheme for dance artists to research work without the pressure of having to create a final product. To check it out visit The Place website:

Anyway, I’ve proposed to research the idea of what it would be like to give the chicken dance images (see previous posting) to other people and see how they interpret them in terms of movement/dance. I think this would be really interesting because the chicken dance was made from looking at the uniqueness of my own body. In fact, here’s the old programme note from the first performance of Dismantle Map:

“April Nunes uses the idea that everyone's body contains within it a map of their past experiences which manifest themselves as physical characteristics. She explores the concepts of individuality and adaptation as images between the raw and the refined question the experience of habitation in our human form.”

Admittedly, this programme note makes little sense but I’ve already analysed the reason for that in a previous posting (October 8th 2004) if you’re interested…

Right, back to the point….what I’m really interested in is:

How then do the past experiences of others (which give them their unique physical forms) change the way the images are translated into movement?

The more I perform Dismantle Map the more important the relationship between Matt and myself becomes and the more important the relationship between the sound and movement becomes. So, this would also be interesting to explore…what relationships develop between Matt and the others (the ‘others’ being my Choreodrome project participants --- provided they accept my proposal) and also how does the sound/movement relationship unfold for each different person?

Hope I get the chance to find out!

We shall see…