Testing with Dancers

The first tests I did with Alisa and myself are shown here in two videos where we perform both the scores: the Trump website and the human rights website. In the first one we simply dance what we hear with no influence from the context of the website. The second time, I told Alisa where the movement came from and we allowed this to effect our movement. I was dancing to the Trump website, so I tried to use my body to take up a lot of space, not take heed of where Alisa was in relation to me, and I try to stay upright as much as possible. Where as, Alisa was lower down, she stayed more towards the back of the space and only tried to get in front of me using her arms. These kinds of experiments from a choreographic perspective are extremely interesting and I intend to take them further.

There is a question of ethics, could I ask someone to dance a website promoting a subject that they are opposed to and potentially make a political or activist dance work?

Or this process could be used to explore physical themes and questions such as the popularity of pornography online. Watching a dance made from a variety of pornographic sites, which could be ethically unnerving to both audience members and dancers. The point is to explore these virtual worlds physically in a physical space. By watching or moving through these websites we could gain a different perspective of their potential creative capacity, or their potential to harm or hinder emotionally, ethically, socially or politically. When we see something played out in front of us, in the flesh, we are more likely to also have a physical reaction to it.

Working with Amy and Erika (two experienced dancers) was a chance to explore the choreographic potential of the project. We use a variety of techniques using the space, using touch, isolating body parts to test the limits of the language, the speed and the creative potential of the scores. This was the first time they had encountered anything like this and it was interesting to see as they tried them out each time they became more confident. However, I also enjoy the vulnerability that as a viewer you can see in the dancer when they try the audio score for the first time. You can see the thought process and anticipation for the next move in their movements and in their faces. They are very honest, performing the first thing that comes into their head and as a choreographer that moment is extremely interesting. Although it maybe slightly scary as a dancer, it is risk that I feel makes dance interesting to watch and it is an area to pursue further.

 Erica – “So from the first day, it was so interesting hearing it for the first time. The robotic voice really helped because it was easier to respond with movement to a robot than it would have been to respond to a human voice. I found just moving my head created a nice sort of conversation between myself and Amy.”

Working together with Charlotte we tried some of the same experiments from previously, however we worked on solos which are shown here. These were very joyful experiments; they were intriguing and most importantly very fun. I want to take forward both fun and playfulness in this project, remembering that the goal is to bring back the movement that we have lost through our hours of sitting still in front of the computer. The aim is to create a feeling of curious exploration.

Personally, I think the feet and hand experiments are especially interesting. This technique of isolating a particular body part with one website could be used to then layer multiple websites on one body. In dance notation, there can be many layers of information for one body, for the arms, for the legs, for the head, hands and feet; they each have an individual score. Through further exploration and time this could also be possible with this software. One person could then perform multiple websites simultaneously. However, for now it was interesting to understand the improvisational possibilities of this software and I will now need to explore the choreographic possibilities.