Tuesday June 1 at Knowlton Hall Main Space
Lindsay Caddle-Lapointe, Bernice Lee, Leigh Lotocki, Joanna Reed, and Mara Penrose
I am thinking of this performance as another iteration of the scores with which we have been working in rehearsal.
Last week we worked on a transition between dancers in the space for Joanna, Lindsay and Bernice. Each person had a pattern to use as the source for their floor patterns as they moved through the space over the course of 7 minutes. The instructions were to draw that pattern on the floor over and over with your movements, and not to worry to much about making it dance-like. I did ask them to use all levels of movement, which combine with the use of space to nice effect. The areas of the floor in which we moved progressed and changed according to a pre-determined score over the course of 7 minutes.
it begins with one person touching the wall motionless for a long time. Lindsay arrives and also takes a stationary position in, on, or near the wall –possibly holding the wall open with the attached strap. we are motionless for a long time. Leigh arrives and begins to trace and outline the contours of the wall physically. After a time, Lindsay and Leigh perform a “rigid” “relax” duet in, on, and around the wall. after a time Bernice and Joanna arrive. at some point, at least once, all are on the wall, or the chairs at least a bit, at least for a moment. then leigh and lindsay and i leave as katy and bernice begin a rigid and relax duet that changes the wall. in some way, someone is left at the end on a wall that is changed from how it was in the beginning.
So that is the order of things.
It will change for sure as we work things out.
I’m not sure how the dancers will feel about the lengths of time I’ll be asking them to stay with the wall. 30 minutes to two hours.
It’s not much, but it’s something. . .
- a trio with rigid/relax on the wall. one dancer becomes rigid and relaxed alternately. the other two move the wall and dancer at times. this could work as a duo as well.
- some ways of walking around and among people who aren’t part of are group, while thinking of them as a part of our dance. making the field of our dance as large as the public space we’re in. walking in a line with people, or standing in someone’s space. all this while being unnoticeable to those near you, and potentially noticeable to those far away.
- a duo in which one dancer with eyes open gives a tour of the space and the wall to the other dancer, who has her eyes closed. The wall is then changed. The other dancer then opens her eyes, and moves through the space as if the old wall is there.
- a trio in which three dancers each relate to an environment that includes an imaginary conception of the wall. the wall is not there. the dancers then begin to move and change their imaginary walls. they also respond to the movements of the others, and allow those movements to affect their concept of the wall.
The picture was taken from my car on I – 64 between Indianapolis and Chicago. I was driving and should not have been taking pictures at all. It doesn’t capture the enormity of the windmills close to me, and the vastness of space between me and the farthest windmills I could see. The rotations of the near windmills’ arms brought me to the point of the sublime. I couldn’t reconcile that speed, depth, height, or mass, with the distance I was seeing.
As aesthetic experiences go, this is the type that speaks to me deeply these days. It surprised me and scared me. It was bigger than I could make peace with, and was in motion. Landscapes too big for any one eye to understand fully bring me to confront my limits. It is particularly confounding when they are made by people; and for me, that confusion is sublime.
I am thinking about dance and about Michael Fried’s Art and Objecthood. It must be so different for painting than for dance, my usual area of interest, but in 1967 he was writing about how the canvas can only be arranged so many ways. I’m not exactly sure what he is saying about minimal painting, but I think it is something like this: minimal painting is an important attempt to obliterate the painting-ness from paintings, and it can only go so far. Then Fried says some things about sculpture, objects, and finally massive landscapes as aesthetic experiences. He discusses something called “theater” and something called “presence”.
I can’t say much about what all this means to me, but that I think about it in terms of my experiences watching dance, seeing art, and recently, driving by this windfarm. All can be potentially beautiful, interesting, ugly, or inconsequential to me. What makes the difference? It always must rely on what I bring to the experience as the viewer. I think the best dance I see reminds me of the same things this wind farm brought to mind-particularly of plunging depth, monstrous scale, breakneck speed but also continuity, and most of all, something that is much, much larger than me.
for one long rainy day, we glued and ate soup. pictured are dorian, renee, mara and the wall. we are so grateful to all the friends who showed up to eat and glue. (not eat glue!!)
it seems the wall came up several feet short and we will need to do all this again soon.
the dancers grow impatient, but soon i will post videos of them in rehearsal with the paper chair and small wall.