Sunday, 25 September 2011

Week 4: Thoughts from Katie

Now that the piece is coming together, it seems harder to find time to write thoughts for the blog, because I am caught up in the doing of everything I'm reflecting about.

So it was very helpful for Kate Flatt, the choreographic mentor with whom I'm fortunate to be working for this project, to come and talk to the dancers and I last Friday. The outside perspective brought us a welcome opportunity to reassess the impulses at the heart of the piece and the Matters of Life and Death project as a whole. By continually rediscovering those impulses, as Kate encouraged us to do, we will ensure that the work never becomes tired or predictable. Anne Bogart, as Kate told me, calls the moment of beginning to set choreography having improvised for a long time a 'brutal act', because it can cause the performers to begin to repeat rather than to revisit and develop. Now we're entering into the final stages of realising the piece we need to continually find ways of revisiting our source material.

Some other gems that Kate encouraged me to think about:
  • What does the activity of repeating and/or rewinding signify in the work?
It is a deliberate, desperate act, which indicates the characters trying to escape from a reality that is too difficult to accept, or hoping with all their hearts that something will have changed when they come back to the original starting point.
No matter how much the characters try to resist going forwards in the piece, they ultimately cannot do so, and later in the piece it gets even more difficult to go backwards.
  • The characters are individuals throughout the work.
Even when performing as a 'chorus', collectively embodying something about the state of mind of one of the other characters, or creating/contributing to a particular atmosphere, they still have their own intentions, and their own experience of the movement impulses being articulated.
  • We have to always take care when handling the objects in the work, even when carrying out an ostensibly simple transition. It is never quite that simple.
  • We have to acknowledge the many qualities of contact in the work that are appropriate at different moments, so the contact never becomes uniform throughout the piece.
And finally for now, I have begun to notice the recurring importance of the ideas of:
  • 'home', or of what is known
  • truth, or the real version of events
  • water
and the continually shifting sense of these ideas throughout the piece, represented by the characters' movement towards and away from all of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment