Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Thinking more about drawing dancing… and met yesterday with artist Veronica Ashcroft to play with some ideas about the relationship between the two mediums. More to the point, I was interested in the spontaneous dialogue between artist and dancer whist each was involved in doing their “thing”. How does our conversation change my movement? How does the conversation change Veronica’s drawing? As we talked, moved and drew it emerged that the artist had to make a decision about what to draw…form or feeling/dynamic energy. We talked about Degas, who had his dancers posing at the ballet bar, holding one position for hours as he drew. How contra-intuitive for the dancer. Victor Van Kooten (an artist and yoga teacher) writes in book 2 of his “Yoga Notebooks” (these notebooks are fantastic by the way, if you have any interest in yoga) – “After holding a posture for a long time, the inner body gets blocked and the energy confused. This state leads to injuries” (Van Kooten, 2000).

If you discount the importance of the form and go for feeling or dynamic energy then what is the importance of the product that is produced? This relates back to the value of process for me and my work. Often in performance work we never see the pathway to the product. The audience that arrives to see a show never knows the collaborative dialogues, the trials and errors, the experience of play… all this is lost when product gets presented as the only thing of value.

So, for this experiment Veronica and I chatted right the way through the process of drawing and dancing. We even tried a role reversal where Veronica moved and I drew. What I think I was successful in finding was a way for someone observing movement to feel (intersubjectively) the movement performed by the dancer. To some degree, the artist has to “get inside” the movement in order to capture it. I’m not sure if this is because of the physicality involved in drawing – and we talked about what it would be like if Veronica were working on a huge canvas where she would really be moving a lot herself in order to draw the movement she was capturing….perhaps this is the next stage of development in my recent little project….


Blogger LittleIvyCakes said...

This is so awesome! I love the sketches. :)

5:28 AM  
Blogger Marina Rova said...

Hi April,

As always love your work! Have just joined the blog-world myself (you can check my page at http://livedbody.blogspot.com/ if you like) and was wondering if I could add your blog as a link (trying to develop a sort of forum/journal/resource space for integrative approaches to psychotherapy, education and performance and I think your work is highly relevant and therefore of much interest.

All the best


4:23 PM  

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