These entries chronicle a choreographic research process that began in 2011 and eventually led the creation and performance of Midway Avenue in 2014. The process includes visits to London to interact with colleagues Wendy Houston, Matteo Fargion and Rahel VonMoos as well as rehearsal in Philadelphia with a cast of dancers. The early research project and eventual production were funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Matteo Fargion (composer and choreographer) led some experiments in the studio today. Joining in these experiments were Rahel Vonmoos and Greig Cooke. Beautiful dancers and playful thinkers.

The rate of change

Matteo’s minimalist experiments were a pleasure. Reminding me of the joy of making and performing T43 (A dance I made years ago that riffs on a select few movements and sounds). I'm reminded of the ways extreme limitation can bring the structure to the foreground, and the structure itself delivers a great deal of content. I try to remember this when working on larger scale projects with more complex elements. What is the structure that all of these elements are hanging on? The relationship between the material, how things transition and layer: that is the content, that is the true material even more so than the words or the actions or the images. Or, I should say, work that acknowledges this engages me the most.

Most people follow their instincts when making work - i know I do; instincts which are built from all aspects of one's experiences - both in and out of the studio. And this is part of the beauty and mystery of making; the world filtered through someone's mind and back out again. Even if these instincts appear to serve you well there comes a moment to look at them a little closer… and with some distance. Working in this way, with artists that don’t have much knowledge of my work and my habits is allowing me to see my dances and their structure with a renewed perspective. Is allowing me to circle back around to the essential elements that have been there all along. Sometimes buried a bit or overshadowed by other concerns. It is also bringing up questions. Lots of questions for me to sit with.

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