so, just because i can’t help but be influenced by these two… here’s my next 2 sec flips that also moves away from the single frame or 2 frame rule. the thing i started playing with here though is the use of blank frames. will try to get back to my own more rigid experiments as soon as i can.

icon for podpress  flip duet [0:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Trialling my first 2 sec flip. With audio and (embedded) text. And like Paea, I did not limit myself to 2 frame grabs, but unlike Paea, I kept it to 2 seconds total.

icon for podpress  folding [0:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

simon really is able to pump out those posts, eh? *grin*

this morning paea and played with a simple dance task in improvisation. we looked at the terms initiate and respond. this began as an alternating solo task – with the each of us responding to the previous. after four 5 minute solos we stopped and discussed the situation. the structure we established allowed an accumulation, so that in each succeeding solo there were traces and remenants of the previous solos. one of the words i wrote while watching paea dance was repurpose. in responding there is, amongst other things, a range from the simple mimetic to the complex reinterpret – the word repurpose seemed to fit somewhere in between those two end points. the idea being that to repurpose a movement or phrase was to retain the essence of the material but imbue it with the interest or influence of your own dance. in watching it seemed clear to both paea and i how there were threads coming through from each subsequent solo.

we also discussed how broad the term respond is. there’s such a wide variety of elements that this term could cover and how you could implement it.

we then shifted into dueting keeping a focus on the modes of initating or responding. for me this immediately opened up a whole new range of questions. the distinct modes become more and more blurred through dueting. an initiation becomes a response becomes an initiation and i think you get the idea…
we also decided to video this dueting for use in the flips. look out, there’ll be some up here later today i’m sure.

finally, there was a moment of experimenting with using a tripod as a mini crane and also as a simple steadicam. paea and i are planning on making a little dance film and, after watching Fearless on the weekend i was inspired by those sweeping overhead crane shots and wanted to find a small scale version for us to use! the clip is below, tripod angles, and is a little dark.

icon for podpress  tripod angles [0:42m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

day one. week three. moving this morning – first through yoga (some deep deep early morning backbends – regroup, try again, maybe tomorrow. Too much dance training – helping as it gets in the way!) followed up by some responding and initiating with david – considering what this means as a ‘solo’ dancer and in a duet.

David danced first and I responded. 5 minute interchanges – repeated- no discussion between each swap. The thing I find most compelling when improvising and the ‘thing’ I find hardest to find by myself – is a sense of ‘newness’. Simon and I have discussed this before. ‘Newness’ is different to what I imagine ‘authentic movement’ to be. It feels more investigative than ‘raw’. It resides in a purely physical state – in that I do not have any emotional repercussion or resonance. It is as though my pathways are being re – reouted, or, as David said, ‘re – purposed’. This ‘re – purposing’ happening beacuse of the information/history/fact of the other.

I recognise newness at once as I feel excited about information that feels like it is being fed into me from ‘another place’ – and i am aware of another kind of freedom in my body. In this case this was possible when entering a task that required a response to another (body) as the primary aim. Instead of getting in my own way (as is often the case), I am able to let my methods of idiosyncratic and habitual moving add a richness to my physical/visceral/structural experience and response toward my dancing partner.

The coversation is alive and interactive. I like that. It is rich territory for a beginning.

On another note – I am reading about Forsythe and Vera Mantero. An odd couple – but I get the sense that there are similar structural concerns, different but present incorporations of memory and emotion (I use ‘emotion’ very broadly here) and a cultivation of the democratic as works are made. I agree that there is a need for foundations based in research that includes histories – of bodies/cultures/and aesthetics – and an inquisition into how the research may bleed into and inform, support and carry the choreography. They are both proposing – on some level I think – what Andre Lepecki calls “A body ‘yet to be heard’, a body ‘yet to be thought out’….an unheard of body”.
A further thought on what part history plays through our bodies. dancing…or not?

“ to articulate the past historically does not mean to recognise it ‘the way it really was’. It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger” – – Walter Benjamin ‘Thesis on the philosophy of history’

With this idea of history in mind I wonder how far can we go (back – informed by ourselves), what are we limited by? and can or does our history both inform and reduce us to stoppages and brick walls. How can we open up a potential that encompasses anatomical, spatial, imaginative and emotional spaces. A healthy and considered portion of each? Enough to be enough. Not so much that the task latches onto one point of investigation. How necessary is it (this may be applicable for or originally derived from living itself) that we shift between modalities or potentials to offer oursleves what James Gibson calls affordance? (I use this in a different context but am interested in how we affford ourselves potential).

Departing and resonating quotes from the week before…

“(Or) we’re trying to understand the how the body thinks about its own presence, how it reacts to the situations it can put itself in. And so what happens is really not so much the result of a conscious aesthetic attempt but really a proposal; if left to its own devices and rigorously trained enough then the thinking body is capable of quite a number of amazing things”. Forsythe : interview ABC Radio National
What makes me afraid of a space is fearing what can happen in it. In fact, this space of action is my affordance, my potential for movement. This is often limited by all I’ve spoken of before. But in fact what is also limited is my potential for action and imagination”. Bernard Hubbard – Contact Quarterly – Summer/fall 2006, Vol 31 number 2. p34.
OK. Things are shifting. How will this feed back into my dancing? Time. Distilling and patience will tell.

Watching David wielding the camera (nervous for its integrity). Elongated point of view.

Low-tech. Quasi-steadicam.
Alternating, twisting perspectives.


Various strands of this residency/R&D opening up – shrinking established forms. Looking within the known, expanding these spaces, underlining them.

I walked in on David and Paea dancing (I was late, caught in academic mode) … private space. Not mine. Intruder?

Hidden links, relationships. A smile, dropped, picked up. Extended arm, then the other arm. Accidental provocations, taken on, drifted, relaxed.


Gently aware – of a whole – but in looking for the ways in. Multiple. Subtle.

Catching images of each other – a drop, a twist, a shunt, fallings, rescuing imagined and real moments.


Tonight (Thursday) we went to improv performance evening at King St Arts Centre. Molly Tipping presented some ideas/materials. At the end we had a brief chat about things that we had noticed/experienced as an ‘audience’. We all talked about issues related to narrative and character. It was interesting simply because all developed a strong sense of Molly presenting a “character” in the work. I wondered what it is about what we see in the body that lends itself (or evokes) a character.

We talked about posture, gesture, degree of pedestrian activity. And also the development of narrative. But which comes first? Does the presence of an implied (or real?) narrative expose or reveal a character – or vice-versa? Or are they developed in tandem?

David mentioned Nancy Stark-Smith‘s notion of “precharacter” in improvisation work. The idea (correct me here David/Nany?) being that as an improviser, when you begin to notice a charactered series or range of actions that you “pull back” to a precharacter place – in which the sense of embodiment is toned or levelled back to the ‘place before character’. Does this imply a particular type of neutrality in the bodyspace?

Changing topic here, I also  had a question about the idea (expressed by Molly) of actions/movements “choosing to reveal themselves”. I wondered how one’s volition impacts on this kind of uncontrolled fate?

Had a second session with Strut improvisation community this morning. Working on sighted/unsighted work once again – but this time with an eye
to increasing the “independence” of the duetting individuals.

We completed two iterations:

1. Baseline – locating/relocating the sighted person. Initially with sighted dancer “passive”, and then introducing tone for the second part of the improvisation. (some tone, some action, some “teasing” of the relationship).
2. Keeping “sight” of the other. A longer  improvisation focusing on the following:

i) increasing activity/dynamic level.

ii) teasing and pushing separation.

iii) independence/interdependence – particularly by considering degree of physical proximity.
iv) For the sighted person there was a reminder to keep electing to “assist”, “resist” and “rupture” (or contaminate) the situation.

Some questions:

What can you find out about this person’s state & body?

Does their location always have to make sense?

Are they safe?

What comes in and out of the field of view ?

How are you locomoting – beside, around and next to this person?

How do you “find” them?

At the end of the session, David asked, “Are you looking to stimulate risk?”. It resonated strongly with me, and now I think that it is both perceived and real risk that I am drawn to in this work – in searching/provoking for moments of the unknown or of extreme surprise.

tonight i went to the contact jam in the church space.  what a beautiful little space it is.  bloody cold though. today was a little bit of a mishmash for me, and i was incredibly pleased to end it with dancing and a return to a form that has kept me interested and inspired for the last decade.

there’s almost too much for me to get through now.  i’ve got so many things i want to keep exploring and developing and i worry that when i get back to Melbourne I won’t get the time i’d like.

the flickbooks that Simon and I have been working on has been delayed for so long by all the other things we’ve been doing.  and now i’ve started getting stuck into it again i’m remembering the sparks that got me excited.  it’s surprising how some of the thoughts about the flickbooks are present in many of the posts in this blog.  all the talk about Siegal’s complex community networks is very much a part of the flickbooks in terms of opening up the project to participation from anyone.  also, the tiny experiments with the flips that I been doing and paea has taken to hand also has a link through the shifting of the relationship with the body and time.  and of course now i’m thinking about space and the discussions brought about by the interview with Godard and the representation of space and topos in these tiny scrapbooks.

god, it’s really a bit of a worry when you start referencing your own thoughts and explorations. partcularly only a week and a half in.  although, very early on i was thinking about recursive processes, so maybe it’s all ok after all. (that’s another thing i want to try and get back to/on to before the end of the residency).

so, back to the dancing. i managed to have a dance with everyone at the jam except for a guy that left early.  each dance was so different.  remarkably different in fact.  and this reminds me of the openess of this form.  that despite all the definitions and guidelines and instructions and hierarchy and vernacular and socialisation, at it’s base level the form is about an inquiry into movement and body.  and this in and of itself is accessible to anyone who might be interested.

so much more to do. time to rest.

OK. Spent a few hours today inside Final Cut Pro. The result being a flip that was supposed to be a brief 2 seconds, but due to my preoccupation with all the great things possible, I slipped a little in relation to the task at hand!
What began as a simple task of rearranging images of myself became choreographing a ‘dance’. Looking for impulse, some kind of odd flow and obscure forms, then playing with my real momentum versus an enforced shift of direction and speed. Fascinating. Of course I have seen dance on film, and this task is of little interest to anyone bar me, but it spoke loudly to me of engaging in other modalities of performance and performance making. I am learning. That is all I haev to say about it.

No real life fesh and blood dancing today. A shame.

icon for podpress  Paea's flip [0:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

« Previous PageNext Page »