Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Start of Something New?

Managed to ferret away into Toyenbee Studios for a few hours with Nicola Gibbons recently. We hadn’t danced together since Fran Barbe’s work in 2003. We’re both working full-time in dance education now and find that our luxurious days of experimenting with movement and reflecting back on it are few and far between. So we started our time together in the studio with the aim of improvising with an image, reflecting back on our improvisations (through discussion) and then improvising again.

Coincidentally, we started out working with the same image, that of being filled with sand. We moved, then chatted. Sand was too heavy on its own so we added air. Sand and air was too dry so we substituted air for water. This was better. Like oil and water the two substances as images could shift around in our bodies and we moved easier. We’d worked with the idea of image a lot together from our days dancing with Fran and in our butoh work with Atsushi Takenouchi. After each of our improvisations when we were meant to be strictly reflecting on the practice we stopped, and instead reflected on our lives.

We agreed that working in dance education had taken us out of our own practice as artists and into a cycle of giving, giving, giving to our students. I realised I’d come to a gradual halt in my own dancing with Living La Pedrera in 2006. Had two years already passed? We vowed to book studio time more frequently in order to work together – maybe with the aim of making a new work? We’ll see where it goes…