The Audience Always Participates

 

October 2016 – Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain MiniEvent (performed in the Wexner Center Gallery)img_4544

October 2016 – Manual Cinema: Ada/Ava (performed in the Wexner Performance Space)

November 2016 – Eastman/Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: Fractus V (performed in the Speaker Jo Ann Davidson Theatre at the Riffe Center)

I have had the fortune to see all three of these performances while they were in Columbus. Through these works, I found that each engaged my awareness of the audience’s role in the always participatory nature of viewing art.

For the Black Mountain MiniEvent, the audience itself was rather large to view a small area of space. I therefore saw the movement of the Merce Cunningham MiniEvent through the limbs of other observers. The audience shaped my perception of what happened on the dance floor. In movements closer to the ground, maybe I caught a set of fingertips or shapes made by the lower leg. For leaps and high-planed steps I saw a head pop up amongst the crowd. Still, stationed bodies framed my personal version of the dances. Additionally for the audience to view, this concert included the piano and musicians who engaged in playing sounds composed by John Cage.

img_4542Similar to viewing the technical element of sound in the Black Mountain MiniEvent, Manual Cinema presented their concert Ada/Ava where the projected shadow-puppet story was only half of the visible show. This work additionally engaged the audience by allowing us to view simultaneously the work that went behind the puppeteering. As an audience member I got to see the “behind the scenes” of the projection work. Musicians, movers, and technicians were all given equal roles enacted through their obvious visibility to the audience. This allowed me to feel a part of the work created.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Fractus V, the most recent dance concert to tour through Columbus, worked to engage my individuality as an audience member. This happened through the work’s stress on the importance of different personalities creating together. I felt comfortable in my ability to view the work with all of my own histories to inform me, img_4545alongside the information Fractus V provided. This work also incorporated musicians, their instruments, and moving set pieces as additional technical elements VISIBLE throughout the work.

Moving forwards I am pleased to know that the audience always has a role to play in the active observing of an individual piece of art, or of an art form as a whole. We are individuals with different histories that inform our daily perceptions of reality, and we therefore see artistic works through multiple lenses probably different than those of the audience member sitting (or standing) next to you.

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More Comp Tools: Minimalism and Repetition

This mid-semester composition study for my Music and Choreography course had me playing with ideas of minimalism and repetition. From this experimentation I played with how a smaller quantity of movement material could still work to make an entire piece arch.

Click HERE to view my full study!

Looking at the Music-to-Movement Relationship

As a part of my focus curriculum I am taking Music and Choreography, a composition course looking to explore the ways in which music and movement interact in space and time. I took the course because I am very much a person who understands based off of visual and kinesthetic information, less so with aural. Therefore I often forget to consider music as my compositional partner when creating.

To introduce the course, we began with listening to Sonata in B Minor, K27 by Domenico Scarlatti. We then scored the music, however we heard it. This helped us to realize that everyone hears music slightly differently. When there are many layers, one individual may hear an emphasis that another may not. In our scores we accepted our differences and just wrote down what we heard. In the picture of my notes, the top and bottom thirds of the page show two different ways in which I scored the Sonata.

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After scoring the music, we created movement that went TO the music. How my movement unfolded may be seen through my drawings in the mid-third of my page of notes.

With the choreography set TO music, the second part of the assignment was to use that same musicality and set the movement to a pop song. This was not as thrilling for me. I got bored with the 8-count structure quickly and found my Scarlatti-inspired movement to outmatch the pop songs. I tried many different pieces of music and never really felt like I connected to any of them.

Parts 1 and 2 of this study may be viewed through my Vimeo account by clicking HERE.

In part 3 of our assignment, not included in my video, we were instructed to let go of the phrasing of the movement as we put our choreography to electronic music with a more minimal structure. We listened to artists such as Songar, alva noto, and Aoki Takamasa and chose music that we could use to expand the structure of our already existing material. What I liked about part 3 was how it allowed me to track the evolution of material from being exact to the music, to now existing in a more open-ended timeframe. It showed me how a phrase created to music has material that can exist in forms past the music under which it was created. Moving forward, this is a tool I can use for composition.

Thoughtfully Composing: My Final Comp Study

I started this process, for making my final solo study, with the intent to work outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to play with the creation of movement patterns that went against my tendencies, but my main focused was to compose along the lines of a process in which I highly edited my work. Normally when I set out to make movement I start in one place and I move until I feel I have satisfied whatever idea I was exploring. I move through one big phrase until I’m done. From there I may tweak a couple steps, redirect a couple facings and change a few dynamics, but overall I keep the order and all movements of the “thing” the same. So what I set out to do with this study, as my Final Study for Composition 2, was work by creating a couple separate chunked phrases which I would then edit to compose my solo.

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Diving Down the Rabbit Holes

Part of where I believe “sophomore hell” comes in to play is that as second-year students in the dance department, we are required to take the intro level courses to the multiple aspects of dance we began to see emerge through Freshman Seminar. IMG_3642For me this includes History Theory Literature 1 (Dance History), Kinesiology, Movement Analysis, and Composition 2 alongside my movement practice classes. I’ve begun to call this “diving down the rabbit holes”, as I feel myself looking down deep pockets of possible exploration and knowledge as I take in each course. While I am busy with work, and face the challenges of accepting dance’s applications through desk work, I love my courses.

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Gesture Study

For my final project of Composition 1 I created a study on gestures. As a class we were each tasked with composing a 2-3 minute solo that we presented to the entire class at the end of the semester. To begin, I brought 3 gestures into class to play with.

1. Rubbing my back

2. Stroking an imaginary goatee

3. Putting my hands in pockets

From this point I used different compositional tools (exaggerating, minimizing, lengthening, transferring, or reversing to name a few) to play with my gestures. I created movement from these original three, and throughout the course of my time developing my study, an entirely new story emerged. Please enjoy “Showing Face”.