Here are two short clips of the beginning stages of my choreographic research, “intersecting policy and dance.” It is the same movement layered with a different sound-score. The first is “This is Heaven” by Madeleine Peyroux and the second is a sound-score I wrote and recorded; it combines Garmin direction language with common policy words we often hear that affects the way we move through public and personal spaces.
In these clips, I am working on physical movement problems; specifically, movement generated by my physical capabilities and limitations, working within the permissions and denials of my own body. To give an example: a flexible lower back and tight hamstrings. What possibilities come from these physical ‘problems’? And how can I solve movement sequences in new ways?
I am purposely trying to challenge my physical capacity to accomplish problems in new ways and thereby generate a more fresh, three dimensionality style.
I started work on a solo today exploring the connection between policy negotiations, the process of writing, adjusting, and organizing language to best solve problems for the ‘bettering’ of a group. I am working towards connecting this idea to the physical negotiations that occur to solve movement problems. Using policy and physical language I am constructing a piece that reveals the dancer in the problem solving moment. This may mean multiple repetitions of a similar phrase but with varying answers. It differs from theme and variation in a few ways: I want to see the human body struggle to solve it, it may be removing the body out of the ‘performative’ mode to a ‘practice’ mode to accomplish the problem. I also want to use improvisation as part of the final piece so the body is truly negotiating. I am interested in the presentation of policy solutions and the juxtaposition of solving/creating policy. I expect this piece to be layered with a ‘final’ product as well as show with the ‘rough draft’ or ‘processing draft.’
The process so far has been very rewarding. I am finding physical habits and/or set policies in the body that need to be questioned as well as rewritten, or possibly embraced and strengthened if necessary. Creating a window of opportunity — when significant people or players work together to find a space to make change in policy, also happens on a physical level and I am discovering the multiple ways in which to set up and take advantage of physical windows of opportunity. I am working on this solo for the spring adjudication at OSU and will use the process and possibly some of the created material for my thesis.
The Process of Policy – The unveiling of process, problem, feedback, and evaluation. What does this look like in movement? How does the body physically move under policies, both known and unknown? My current work is directed at these questions. Bringing the affects of policy to the physical level may reveal more about policy implications and ramifications than at first recognized. It also reveals how the body is able to adjust, adapt, and renegotiate in the moment of change or the moment of conform.
I recently viewed a showing of works by graduate students and was questioning their processes. One piece in particular peaked my interest…the bodies were full of three dimensionality, the space seemed to explode from the center and expand beyond the borders of the stage, and the physically of the moment was so tactically expressive – and it all had to do with the physical intention of the dancers. They were more than moving shapes, or rote material; their bodies had a life and energy to them because of the ‘realness’ of the physical problems they were solving. Authentic weight and resistance, momentum and flow guided by specific direction caused by gravity. Awesome.
I am interested in the presentational and the process – which is applauded – which is authentic – how can they both be demonstrated at once and what does one say about the other? It seems as if my previous modes of choreography are falling away; born with new eyes to unpack movement and a curiosity about physical movement: The political body ushered in by process.