Monday, November 15, 2010

Witness Relocation in Sydney

I have just come back from doing a two week intensive in Sydney with New York Contemporary Dance Theatre company Witness Relocation, I am exhausted, bruised and completely inspired. So much happened and went through my head in the past two weeks that I had been planning on blogging each night, but sleep became more important. So here are some random thoughts, images and inspirations that I hope will capture my experience....

BOFFINS NOTE: this will not be coherent and definitely not grammatically correct so save your breath...

a group of 13 amazing female artists from mainly Sydney and Melbourne took part in the class, from a range of backgrounds including, acting, circus, visual arts, film and me. I was so impressed by the commitment and energy everyone put into the work, no-one questioned for a moment if we should push our boundaries, it just happened and incredible work was
I just have to list everyone as they all deserve a plug for being rad; Deborah-'iron rib'-Leiser-Moore, Spenser-'card gal'-Inwood, Nicci 'raw prawn' Wilks, Zoe-'wrestle warrior'-Robbins, REA , Kate Sherman, Simone-'gammy leg'-O'Brien, Annabel Lines, Peta Strachan, Branden Munyan, Gulsen Ozer, and Kathryn-'beautifully odd'-Niesche.

Big Props
Goes to the sponsors of the event; this needs highlighting as this kind of project needs attention, needs future funding and needs further support, so a huge thank you and respect to the companies and funders who made it happen; Australia Council for the Arts, Legs on the Wall, Tashmadada and ACAPTA (Gail Kelly and Anna Jacobs). thank you for supporting Australian artists in such an inspiring way. Also to the Witness peeps, Dan Safer, Mike Mikos (a.k.a Vike Likos) and Kaz Phillips, and of course Mike's famous wrestling clinic for ladies.

Bruises and Bounces
One of the most profound realisations I came to during the work was that bodies are actually made well, they are meant to bounce, to bruise, to slam into the floor and fly up in the air, and my body is no exception. I think for some reason I had grown into thinking that my body was brittle and not capable of doing the amazing things some others can, but I was just out of practice. i went from a 'sookie' princess at a desk to jumping at the opportunity to be repeatedly punched in the arm or get wrestled to the ground while blind folded...maybe that's just what i'm into now ;) the point of this part of the ramble is that my body has been reactivated, my mind re-wired and I am jumping out of my skin to move more and bring this into my creative work as well as daily life.

Creative Process
i'm going to try and talk about the process we learned, i'm trying to be clever and intellectual but the best way I can describe it is; easy, body based, intuitive and impulsive with constant respect to the audience and their experience.

it works with a number of rules or structures, that anchor the work and the rest bubbles out of the natural combination of the artist's physicality (tall /short /fat/ thin/ broken/ bouncy... whatever), the imagination and impulsive in the moment reactions and the beautiful awkwardness of everyday life.

Without listing everything that Dan and Mike said I'm not sure if I can really do the work justice but the main statements that replay in my mind when I think about it are;
-be real
-beauty out of chaos
-remember the audience
-keep it simple
-allow for explosions
-what does the scene tell you and work from there
-dig deeper or turn the scar into a star or sometimes you have to push through the really shit to get to the gold on the other side (and other such analogies)

Favorite Moments (from two weeks in Sydney)
-Watching Dan dress as a lizard and blindfolded being wrestled to the ground by the lovely purple tutu wearing Zoe Robbins, star pupil from Mike's Famous Wrestling Clinic for ladies.
-The spontaneous dance party at the end of the second night of Cabaret at the Flashpoint forum
-The hour long improvised dance session
-Learning to roll, lift and throw
-Doing a spot from 'How to be a Lady' at the Cabaret, the beautiful mistakes that happened creating delicious new bits to play with
-Falling asleep giggling with Aneke and Anna
-remembering that my creativity is borne from images and movement and to re-introduce this into my practice
-feeling my body get stronger and more flexible each day

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