As the end of the residency draws near, my focus has also shifted to the presentation of the research. I have generated choreographic material through the GPS location process as well as the filmed improvisations, but a straight forward presentation of these does not feel appropriate. My thinking has gone beyond just the making of dance material and physical investigation. I have also been thinking a lot about how different modes and the ‘framing’ of performance can affect the performer-audience relationship and how it is experienced as a consequence.
The dances that I have created require further physical investigation and development in the studio; time that I do not have in this particular residency. However, I wanted to find a way that I could share my physical research, and how I arrived at this point, whilst also touching on my wider interests in the art form of dance and performance. Could I do both? Perhaps I could set the whole showing or artist talk up as a performance, trying to operate on both levels? Once this thought insinuated itself, I realised I could no longer un-think it.
In the reality television industry, I read recently that they refer to their work and genre as ‘structured reality’. Performances can be a form of this. I am attempting to frame the upcoming event in a particular way and I’m aware that the choices I make regarding the of wording around what it is/what it will be will be very important. Presentation? Showing? Demonstration? Performance? Lecture? The most approximate description I have is that it will simultaneously be a presentation of my process and research, and a performance called insituation (working title), with both being a pretext for the other.
I am not very interested in the “what is performance?” type questions or assertions like “everything is a performance”, but I am interested in the shifts between the poles of what might be seen as performative vs non-performative or authentic vs non-authentic, the grey areas, and how these are experienced by myself as a performer and by the audience. Can these shifts occur within the unfolding of the work? Can it operate on multiple levels at once? To quote the choreographer Xavier Le Roy “I am not so interested in what it is, but what it does”, and this has really underpinned a lot of my thoughts.
I was unsure how much around these ideas I should disclose, not wanting to affect any readers of this blog and their experience, should they choose to come on Thursday. I realised however, that there will probably already be different audiences present: blog readers, people who I have sought advice from, people who have seen parts of the work in progress etc, and I am more interested in how these different groups come into contact with this situation. It will be a collage of thoughts, murky and unclear. I am not really sure how it will go, but I am looking forward to experiencing it together with the audience.
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