December 18th, 2013
In reflecting back on the first three weeks of Performing Research I have tried to shape the discussions from St Luke’s on 12/12/13 into what I think are the areas in which we have explored to date. Despite the wishes of Karen and her dreams of a ‘post-it free zone’, those little fluorescent flashes have given me an insight into your thoughts, your explorations and your provocations. None of the questions below are mine. They are yours. And I hope you can see resonance in each other as well as an appreciation of my coding into the themes of ‘method’, ‘theory’ and ‘practice’.
How do we create a safe environment in which to perform?
How do we answer with one voice? (An ensemble answer?)
How do you convey an idea through movement? (A research interest?)
Why do we have to use our voices?
Silence instead? (Show me don’t tell me…poetic forms in sounds).
How does intervention affect you?
Does performance always have to involve exposing one’s most personal feelings and talking of ‘deep’ questions?
Communication in dark spaces is only through voice.
In grappling with an analysis of my own performance in this week’s ensemble work I think back to the randomness of my movement and the meaning making and purpose that my disciplinary background so desires. Of course I like all of us over the past three weeks have tried to leave the known and the comfortable to embrace the unknown and the, at times, uncomfortable to open up to new methods, theories and practices instead of repeating the mantra of ‘not for me’.
Maybe it was the mince pies or the festive spirit (of the non-alcoholic variety) but I felt the ensemble had reached a new level. Certainly the introduction of song, of simultaneous and concurrent movement forced us to make decisions and these decisions were heavily informed by a collective go with the flow notion; echoing Gordon’s words of ‘be neither a leader or a follower’ as we negotiated our harmonies. I will employ one more of this week’s techniques to look forward to our January reunion. Please do visualise the horizon. Take those steps towards it. By all means look back and hesitate, and take stock of workloads, marking, exams or revision; but I would love for you to carry on towards that which is just out of reach. I think in the long run you’ll reap the benefits.