Sunday, 25 September 2011

Notes on Intention: more from dancer Adam Kirkham

We’re approaching our final week of rehearsals at Moving East. And the piece is certainly starting to take shape. I’m amazed at just how much material we have so far. Now comes the important task of bringing together everything we have learned both in workshops with Tom our Drama Practitioner and in rehearsals, refining qualities and intentions. Our now infamous wooden objects, Clive, Bridget and Astrid have been away at our designer James’ studio to be worked on. They’re back! and it looks as though they’ve put on a little weight since we last saw them. But they’re all the more sturdy for it... Important when you're standing on them! 

We’ve worked a lot over the past weeks on performance intentions. Particular ‘buzz’ words for me have been Disgust, Panic and Guilt. Now in a position of piecing together, how do we make sense of these varying emotions in our performance? From where do they originate not only in our physical bodies but in relation to one another? How do we convey a dramatic intention as a dancer in an abstract piece in which our relationship to the other performers is constantly changing? How do you draw a line under one intention before we move on to the next? We are at the point where we have roughly set the first 16 minutes of the piece and I am trying to come up with a linear journey for my character to make sense of these questions. It's particularly challenging when the unconscious body plays such a vital role in the production. With the abstract nature of the piece we each find ourselves ‘unconscious‘ at intermittent points throughout. We are present as performers, and an unconscious body makes a presence on stage, but an unconscious body cannot have an intention in itself. It is finding these intentions in moments of transition that will give the piece its shape. 

There is a scene when Dani wakes me up from being unconscious, the ensuing emotion seems violent, but only because I am trying to show Dani what has happened to me. How can I convey this intention without it looking like I’m simply being violent towards Dani? 

I’m sure I will find answers to all these questions as the choreography is set. I’m looking forward to where our final week will take us! 

Not wanting to give too much away, but we will soon be working in a blacked out studio at Chisenhale working with torchlight... Nothing like dark and shadows to set the scene for a murder!

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