Practice Dedicated to the intimate activities, oblique acts, and invisible efforts that feed into the work of choreography.
AUGUST 2014 criticalpath.org.au
Critical Dialogues is produced by Critical Path, a choreographic research and development centre for dance artists in New South Wales, Australia. Critical Dialogues is a biannual online publication. The next issue is scheduled for January 2015 or sign up to Critical Pathâ€™s enews to stay informed. criticalpath.org.au
Publication team Noha Ramadan Guest Editor Justine Shih Pearson Copy Editor Yeehwan Yeoh Production Coordinator Mark Trzopek Graphic Design Contributors Diego Gil Latai Taumoepeau Florentina Holzinger
Critical Path staff Margie Medlin Director Yeehwan Yeoh Program and Business Manager Joanna Fishman Program and Communications Manager
Contents Editorial Noha Ramadan 4 Practising Experience Diego Gil 8 Kakala Latai Taumoepeau 16 Abundance dawns, all talents manifest Florentina Holzinger 24 Practice in images Various contributors 33
Why Practice? Noha Ramadan
The word “practice” is being used a lot lately in the field of contemporary dance, as in, I have a writing practice, or “xxx” is part of my artistic practice. The implication is that practice is singular, and the term is often assumed as a synonym for training or habits or something we do regularly that informs our work. Practice is probably not a hobby (really, how many artists do you know who have hobbies), so what is it? A set of methods? Habits? Ritualistic ways of channeling genius? I asked my father (an engineer turned sculptor) what he thought about practice and this was his response: he plays in a tennis club, and when he has a competition on the weekend, then he practises during the week so he is ready. Some days he enjoys the practice, other days not so much, still he does it. It’s a reasonable answer. It involves discipline and it makes sense. But, despite the recent addition of the Keir Award to the dance landscape, choreography is
generally not a competition we play on the weekend. It is often challenging or impossible to forge a direct line between preparation and outcome, especially when outcomes vary so much in form and context. And perhaps the way artists make sense of or sustain their work is less linear than an athlete or an engineer. Furthermore, while playing tennis could certainly be one’s artistic practice— consider the structure of the game or the rhythmic rush of flying balls and darting limbs across the court—when is it artistic practice and when is it something else, like sport or leisure? Questioning just what practice is seems timely given the notion of expanded choreography and the rising interest in “design thinking,” where the tools and skills of choreography are becoming valued and applied outside of conventional dance, or even art, environments. And for reasons to do with both the evolution of the form,
and restrictive conditions (the costs of rehearsal space in a city like Sydney, for example), the practice of dancing is no longer a given part of the practice of being a choreographer. I chose practice as the theme for this issue of Critical Dialogues mainly because I was curious about what artists are doing aside from production, training, and research that nonetheless feeds their work and their sense of self. I had the feeling there must be something more invisible happening; something that weaves across or underneath all of the more ostensibly tangible activities that we do. I invited Diego Gil, a choreographer with whom I have collaborated, to write about practice because I felt he could relate to a sense I have that practice is not just the thing itself, but the relationship to the thing and the way one perceives and manages the thing changing over time. In response, Diego has written a text that considers the potential of practising unknown forms. He shares his own hesitant thoughts about hard-to-pinpoint modes of experience, and suggests the possibility of shifting our perceptive sensibilities as both a practice itself and a way to come up with new practices. Latai Taumoepeau’s piece sheds light on the ritual and customary aspect of practice. She generously shares excerpts from her private writing ritual, explaining how finding words for
embodied experience aids in reflection and the possibility for action in life and in performance making. Her texts allow us to enter the realm of her day-to-day experience of scenes on public transport in Sydney. Finally, Florentina Holzinger offers us her uniquely strange mix of personal reflection and social rhetoric, questioning the term practice, and the divisions between work/ life and practice/performance. Ritual, training, and performance making are all part of her current experiment of putting a practice on stage as concretely as possible, in her upcoming work, Agon. Inside you’ll also find a visual piece - a collection of different images sent in by artists, of objects or scenes that represent their artistic practice. Thanks so much to all those who contributed! I did not anticipate that talking and writing about practice would reveal something so intimate of the needs, desires, and actions that accompany us. All three contributions suggest a possibility that practice—however defined—is something which helps sustain what we do, a kind of creative spirit-guide through the precariousness and complexity of our lives. Or maybe not. I’m happy to invite you to read for yourself and decide. As I finish writing this, there is breaking news of a boat full of asylum seekers being intercepted and turned away by Australian
Customs—an unfortunately common and sinister government “practice.” Writing from Critical Path’s harbour-side office, right next to the glittering boats along the bay, I find myself compelled to seek relationships between where I am, what I am doing, and today’s news. If issues of immigration procedure and “fair practice” are being contested with such severe consequences for human life, how can I continue to write about artistic practice with relevance? It may seem like a leap, but it is precisely in the midst of these dominant social and political patterns that I insist on the unique potential of artistic discourse. Each of the following texts offers us space to consider the often imperceptible and oblique ways in which artists go about daily routines and decision-making. If we look closely, we can see their strategies for shifting and expanding their own agency, allowing them to attend to in-between experiences and challenge routine organisations. Their writing indicates different ways in which practice connects everyday life with the work of being an artist. If both dance and choreography are to meaningfully play an expanded role in the world, then let us welcome a consideration of what our artistic practices produce.
Thank you to Margie Medlin for this amazing invitation, to Yeehwan Yeoh for the support, and Diego, Florentina, and Latai for the great conversations. Noha Ramadan is a dancer, choreographer and dramaturge born in Sydney and currently living between Amsterdam and Berlin. Always filtered through a dancer’s sensibility, her work is underscored by an interest in language and choreographic experimentation, with a search towards the collapse and reconfiguration of meaning. Her recent piece Deeply,Really,Truly (Martini/Ramadan 2013) is a choreographic ‘speech act’ on the art of public apology.
Noha has presented and performed her work in venues and festivals across Europe and in Australia. She often collaborates, most recently with Matthew Day, Diego Gil, and Lea Martini, and performs regularly in the work of others including An Kaler, Ivana Müller, and Martin Nachbar. www.noharamadan.net
Practising Experience Diego Gil
Diego Gil is a choreographer, teacher, adviser and performer working between Amsterdam and Berlin currently starting his PhD studies in Humanities at Concordia University in Montreal. His choreographic work is influenced by philosophic questions that become apparent through affective experiences enticed to the audience. Diegoâ€™s latest performances address concerns such as the paradox of being together and the invocatory power of movement, affect and language. www.diego-gil.com
Practice as usual Dear Noha—this particular invitation to write on the topic of “practices” feels so you. Reading your preliminary thoughts about how the theme of practice might be approached, I begin to remember our talks about the things we do when we are neither inside the dance studio nor in the midst of production. I remember we talked about the sense of guilt that comes from doing many things almost simultaneously, and not feeling something concrete emerge from them: writing in journals, doing yoga from a laptop, answering personal and workrelated emails, going for a walk to come up with an idea for a future project, calling a physical therapist in one of our two countries of residence, and reminding each other of our mantra to not forget to show love to our close ones. I suggested that it is important to be aware of all the different activities we do, but to dwell single-mindedly on only one at a time, trusting that the connection between them would happen in a nonconscious way and lead to an outcome that might not yet be perceptible. In other words, I would say it’s okay to indulge in the proliferation of spheres of activity if we remain attentive to one at a time—even if this attention lasts one minute—as long as we believe that the sum of all the separate activities eventually adds up to something more, a fully oxygenated desire to keep going. Any activity that gives attention to its broader field of belonging, which is repeated over some period of time, and which can produce new desire, is what I usually consider a “practice.” Peripheral practices Now, dwelling on your proposition about what a practice can be, Noha, I sense that something else is at stake—or at least that is what I want to interpret, so that I can begin an exploration of the topic that could take me someplace different from what I already know. If you ask, what do we do as artists that is neither research nor training nor production but which feed our work, then I will look further than my
Previous page: Pablo Fontdevilla, Bergson’s Cone of Memory, from the project ‘Collective Writing Machines, 2012. Next page: Photos courtesy Diego Gil
The new practice can be something as simple or banal as a way to write while running, to come up with thoughts while jumping rope...
antecedent definition of practice as usual, which implies clear-cut forms like yoga or writing or jogging or PR. The question now seems rather to be, what is not a practice, or what is on its way to becoming a practice? What are those peripheral activities that have an effect on our work but which do not count as usual or central practices? What could be the beginning of a practice that is not yet in possession of a known form? I would like to consider this in relation to a recent interest of mine that deals with alternative modes of paying attention. Alternative modes of paying attention are ways of receiving feedback from experiences that are not based on embodied awareness or reflective thinking. If we can grasp experiences that lie in-between these two modes of attention, between awareness and reflexivity, it may help us to glimpse those “peripheral activities” you were wondering about. A feel for inattentiveness An experience that lies between conscious thought and embodied awareness is the experience of the glimpse of a thought. Do you ever experience moments in which you have an incomplete thought that feels very urgent? You might be in the supermarket or walking leisurely down the street, when amidst a bunch of thoughts about the price of food or the heat of the sun, some not-fully-articulated thought in the middle of the others comes to poke you. It is a thought without clear words, more like a partial whispered murmuring than a complete sentence or clearly formed image. It is the kind of thought you feel you’d better spend time with, deducing its meaning, but of course you cannot do that because it comes at the most improbable moment. And it is exactly that quality of flickering apparition, its shortlived time experience, which lends the thought its power. I’ve heard that the smallest organs of the human body have the strongest reserves of energy. Could it be possible that the same happens with our thoughts, that the shortest ones
... or to find a way to draw the street you are standing on while looking at the sky.
are the most powerful? And if so, what do we do with that power? Something makes me think that it is best to do nothing with these thoughts, that if their power could be kept at bay by remaining unattached to them, they could become a reserve of something to come back to in the future. These thoughts work like songs you hear once, somewhere on the street, but which keep coming back into your head during the next few days. The power of these thoughts is the power to autonomously come back, when “they” want and not when “we” want, and to always come back with a micro-sense of urgency. I feel that the more you dodge these thoughts the more they evolve, as if they keep on ruminating and growing outside of our conscious awareness. Now, if not being fully attentive to these kinds of thoughts is the strategy for cultivating their future growth, if they remain somehow autonomous from our own will, then how do we register their appearance when they come back to poke us? I think the answer is by developing a “feel for inattentiveness” that can help the thoughts catch us off guard. This would be an inattentiveness that attends to thoughts without controlling them, and feels thoughts instead of thinking them. To feel thoughts is not the same as to incorporate them or to be simply aware of them. To feel these thoughts is to experience them in movement and while moving, without taking time or space to have a clear consciousness of what is happening with them. To be inattentively feeling in movement is about continuing to do what you’re doing (your dishes, your shopping, your video gaming) without stopping to contemplate how or why these thought-creatures make their short-lived appearance. When inattentively you feel thoughts in movement, you immediately produce a micro-clearance of space, as you do when you swerve around someone on the street to avoid a bump. The swerving opens a space that was previously
not there, and at the same time you effortlessly attend to another body that is not you. Similarly, when you feel thoughts in movement, you produce a particular space for them. Therefore they are not immediately associated with our usual ways of spacing thoughts. This clearance of space is what allows these special thoughts to return. They have enough autonomy to avoid getting shaped and glued into our current organisation of thinking (or feeling). If we allow these thoughts to float around for a while persisting in their own special rhythm of appearances, they can, in turn, syncopate and change our usual rhythm of experience. They pulse time and tear space, introducing a short pause without entirely stopping the continuation of our daily actions in order to remind us that something else could be happening in parallel to what is usually really happening. They hybridise reality, embedding it with a dose of daydreaming. These pulsing thoughts are a reminder that experience is not, for one and all, predictable, but that it regenerates itself apart from our conscious consent. Thoughts for practices or practising thoughts Alternative modes of experience remind us that our daily reality is composed of multilayered parcels of various autonomous experiences. Now, these normally less-attended parcels of experiences, like the one indicated by the glimpse of a thought, can gradually become part of our conscious perception. By giving these thoughts space to repeat their apparition without interference, they can self-compose following their own logic of formation and become a conscious thought. Perhaps even a new thought that, if its composition has been multi-patched enough, could be considered an original one. In turn the new, maybe original, thought can become a practice. A practice for thinking, feeling, and acting that keeps a resemblance to the quality of experience that made it possible (in the case of the glimpsed thoughts, a pulsing,
They pulse time and tear space, introducing a short pause [...] in order to remind us that something else could be happening in parrallel to what is usually really happening. They hybridise reality, embedding it with a dose of daydreaming.
small, and moving quality). The practice would have the ability to connect the autonomous involuntary pulse of experience with our voluntary wish to get in contact with it any time we use it. In this sense, the new practice becomes a bridge between involuntary/semi-conscious and voluntary/ conscious modes of experience. Noha, I know that at this point this text may have become rather complicated or abstract to follow, but at its core the idea is very simple. The new practice can be something as simple or banal as a way to write while running, to come up with thoughts while jumping rope, or to find a way to draw the street you are standing on while looking at the sky. What I want to say is that the practice can be very simple and quotidian—what matters, in order to make it more “peripheral” and less “as usual,” is that it is connected with a mode of experiencing on the fringe of what is usual for us and that we lend to this mode the freedom to follow its own process of composition. In any case, I would love to tell you more about this experience but these thoughts keep on nudging and hiding from me, and thus, I will need to wait for their own rhythm of development to be able to tell you some more news about it. Until then, my dear Noha, I send you a warm hug from Montréal. I will look forward to hearing your flickering thoughts about this text. Diego
Photo: Diego Gil
Kakala (noun: sweet smelling flowersâ€”poetical: girl, maiden) Latai Taumoepeau
Latai Taumoepeau is a Punake, body-centred performance artist; her story is of her homelands, the Island Kingdom of Tonga and her birthplace; the Eora Nation â€“ Sydney, and everything far and in-between. Latai activates Indigenous philosophies and methodologies; cross-pollinating ancient practices of ceremony with her contemporary processes & performance work to re-interpret, re-generate and extend her movement practice and its function in and from Oceania.
Latai has directed, presented and performed in venues and festivals across Australia, Asia and Europe, she is currently producing work for the PACT Youth Ensemble and is involved with Radio Skid-Row and PlayWrighting Australia. www.latai.com.au
I’d like to share one of my practices which is a writing ritual performed on my smartphone as I commute on public transport, processing the experience of daily events, interactions, obsessions, and discoveries from the mundane, obligatory, and ceremonious. It may be related to a Tongan style of communication called heliaki, which makes use of metaphor in forms like sung speeches, movement composition, poetry, and reciting genealogy. As a personal custom developed over the years, the text pieces have become like coded diary entries, combining significant events with a full array of emotions (family, current affairs, gentrification of my neighbourhood, being povo, single, black, minority, whatever), into word groupings that host a self-exploration. They were never intended for public viewing with the exception of a small selection being published as status updates on Facebook, which generate a performance-like anxiety in the action of pressing POST. I’ve obsessed over the distillation of embodied experience through word choices and image building for some time, although the permanence of the written word sometimes freaks me out. I started thinking more about the online performativity of these texts after an experience in 2011, when I was followed around a supermarket suspected of shoplifting. I just didn’t want to take my rage home, so I initiated an impromptu performance using choreographic tools such as speed, repetition, and other scores, but the staff didn’t know that
I just didn’t want to take my rage home, so I initiated an impromptu performance using choreographic tools.
Page 16-17: Latai Taumoepeau performing i-Land x-isle at Campbelltown Arts Centre, September 2013
I knew that they were following me! They did not know I was performing, so there was no audience. I wanted to make it public, so after considering my options, I decided rather than make a really big scene right there in the shop, I would instead document it in real time via Facebook (with text, photos, and check inâ€”you can see this on my FB page tagged with Critical Path). This performance is just one example of an ongoing exploration where I make things as I look at things in daily life. Usually they have no public outcome, occasionally posting them gives them an audience. Incorporating these texts into my performance-making processes has become an interesting tool for me. Actually, I am using three of them in my current exploration of evacuation and emigration. My writing ritual facilitates my reflections. It assists cohesion in the fragments of daily events, evoking images through articulation. These texts function as markers of time along the cultural continuum of contemporary-ancient rituals that exists inside and outside my body-centered practice. Below is a selection: 26.11.2009 A white bread pig sandwich. The gecko spits hate & shame at the pigs she bore. 20.10.2010 And the caterpillar sang her song of destitution Lamenting razor wire bound her green fate of aloneness Lost in a turnstile Interior scars pierce gods merciless eye. 7.10.2010 Welcome to the gateway of circles. Dual arrival and departure mechanisms are usually referred to as a rotating door. Should you find yourself performing a
These texts function as markers of time along the cultural continuum of contemporary ancient rituals that exists inside and outside my body-centred practice.
repetitive circular motion that will eventually wear out the carpet, seek sharp angular advice, if dizziness & vomiting persists cancel this account. 25.10.2010 Cerebral mutterings as a spectator of non-verbal talanoa (talk). Enter koloa / kumi fonua: as she unfolded from the multi layers of home grown bark pieces grossly stuck together, she wondered is anyone present? Exposing the symmetry of many active hands and dribble of bodily discharge embedded in the material, she contemplates the identity-less makers. Breathless & heavy like the textured territory she exposes herself further, marking the landscape with her presence. Naive and open, hostility makes her vulnerable. Swiftly she takes refuge in the underside, is she alone? She finds quiet in the screaming interior, sudden convulsions of displacement make nervous laughter slip out from the lady viewers. It lightens the mood. They catch her breath... she waits, she is insignificant, she is mis-understood, she is simmering into a fast boil. She implodes in her heinous shame reaching entanglement beyond a resolution that falls short. She sees nothing. Disabled by an ultimatum she finds a single choice to gather her debris and move on, despite her dis-orientation. fragile unbroken lines catch her outward eye and guide her in a spiral turning, shifting, shifting, turning her mess is reduced, pupils like lasers search for a face... a clue whoâ€™s spawn is that? the heap of womenâ€™s wealth collects her guts and departs into the burned image of the 40 odd minds of their memory abyss. 20.11.2010 Sensational notes provoke cells; insulated by skin & fluid. An impulse to shut down sight, and absorb conflictingexaggerated-rhythmic steps, and internal beating.
Photo: Latai Taumoepeau
Heavy mobile metal antagonizes the senses. surface insecurity surface faith surface floating world the sincere force of existence, makes for great exit! My quotidian tale on an invisible slow bicycle. stop. 8.12.2010 Grief lives in my body and manifests issues. 27.01.2011 Corruption and imperialism in the 1st world is so sinister, & it thinks it can teach the 3rd world something about justice... LMBAO (laugh my black ass off) 27.07.2011 My cultural ideals may have no place in this western construct! is resisting defeat of the dominant culture? I will be the boss of me when I self-fund but for now I will resist the colonisation of my process! maybe shoveling cake will help. 20.07.2011 Is sitting in a capitalist quarter foyer reading a Brooke Andrews interview, but the cheap mass produced art prints on the walls make me want to make a spectacle for FB right nowâ€Ś here comes security maybe itâ€™s my hot pink sneakers!!! 7.06.2012 Co-ordinates; shifting gaze of colonies explore Exchange of meeting my ancestors colleague captain cook & the explorers Navigators intersec-tarian Hard drive market place Floating colonies Golden age furniture
All photos: Latai Taumoepeau
17.08.2013 We are the world. Come as you are or who u fantasise being, be it ethnocentrik activista, bad-ass bohemian, vagrant cult leader or beautiful complex you! No pets allowed. Join our kava circle in ceremonious union. 7.04.2014 Being ancient makes me contemporary. 8.8.2011 Awoke from a final slumber amongst the bones of her ancestral home and residing spirits. Good morning Tau-TaeHoko! (The War that never was â€“ Name of ancestral home) 16.07.2014 The satellite has transitioned. A vigilant keeper of voices, retiring from a station held, at the long end of the cable. Guarding the threat of a deafening MUTE minority.
Abundance dawns, all talents manifest Florentina Holzinger
Florentina Holzinger studied architecture in Vienna and choreography at the School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam School of Arts. Her collaborations with Vincent Riebeek, Kein Applause FĂźr Scheisse, Spirit and Wellness, are currently touring through various international performance festivals in Europe. In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious Prix Jardin dâ€™Europe 2012, for her solo, SILK. The premier of Agon is on August 9th at ImpulsTanz, Vienna. http://floholzinger.wordpress.com/
The first thing that comes to mind if I ask myself what I consider to be my practice sounds like some kind of research or training, and of course it is this also. What would I be doing my work for if not for the benefit of calling these rituals my job? With ritual I mean that thing you “need” to do on a more or less daily basis in order to satisfy something. In my case, this has to do with movement. I found out pretty early in life that I could distract myself, and get rid of the fear of losing perception of myself/my body, by engaging in some kind of physical activity, which would also help me to understand why and when and how much to eat. Do you know how many dancers are actually only in it for burning calories? What practice does: Knowledge flourishes Sorrow diminishes Joy wells up without any reason Abundance dawns All talents manifest The second aspect of some kind of practice is of course to satisfy the mind, by challenging one’s perceptions, broadening horizons, gaining knowledge. Supposedly whatever we practise helps us become better human beings. What this good human being means is totally up to us, so any practice can result in that. I practise for my wellbeing first. Although sometimes I wonder how much of it is actually a form of punishment I give to myself so that I can live with other choices I make in work and life. My practice definitely
has something to do with obsession, because it requires a certain discipline, which I like to compare to an anorexic mindset. The anorexic has clear rules and procedures, but a constant feeling of failing them, so there needs to be a continual upgrade of rules to keep the practice alive. Thirdly: my practice is my patchwork religion. Any artistic practice basically allows you to exercise what could be considered mad. But as a practice, it can be described. It has a temporary regularity and structure. It balances. When I start making a show I ask myself what I want to practise right now in my life, how to make that happen, and how to make an artistic project out of it. Actually I don’t even ask myself this last part, since I assume it’s already an artistic project to invent a practice. This is the really fun part, actually. (And just to clarify—I wouldn’t call anything I’m doing practice, only in dialogue with other people does the term come up.) So, for example, for my next show I want to become a warrior. It was obvious I needed a practice for that. To become a warrior I first needed to exceed my own ideas about what I was capable of. I needed somebody who could advise and supervise me. I wanted moments in my practice where I could completely surrender to somebody else’s idea of what the ideal practice for becoming a warrior should be. I was looking for a guru. A guru: he who bestows that nature which transcends the qualities is said to be guru. The guru is of course the transcendental Self. After school I really longed for a regular practice of body and mind, and in particular for a person who would instruct the practice, tell me how often and how deeply to breath, and what thoughts to focus on today. Naturally this brought me to yoga, until I found out that I hadn’t seen enough of the
world to experience the whole universe in my yoga practice. Back to the warrior thing. I wanted to quit treating practice as this ambiguous thing that nobody understands except myself the choreographer, and which stays hidden from the spectator even in the moment of performance. I wanted to finally practise like a sportsman, and then allow myself to put this practice on stage as concretely as possible, because I donâ€™t want to waste my time with a practice that I cannot imagine as a performance. I wanted the practice to be recognisable and I wanted to deal with this self-judgment I have that I am not allowed to put a practice on stage. I found my guru, Btissame Amadoura, a fighting trainer from Nike who will now also perform in the show with me. In this particular case I am exercising towards a moment on stage where I will need to rely on what I have practised to help deal with the real performance situation, which, up until that point, I will have only been able to imagine. The practice and the performance come together, which makes it different from how a fighter would practise fighting. I like to see the practice as a preparation for something I have not yet experienced. I donâ€™t actually know what it is, or if it will ever come. 4:00 get up and go for a three to five mile jog. 6:00 come back home, shower, and go back to bed. 10:00 wake up and eat breakfast (oatmeal with fruit, OJ, and vitamins, washed down with a protein shake). 12:00 ten rounds of sparring and three sets of calisthenics. 14:00 lunch (carbs, protein, veggies, and water). 15:00 another four to six rounds of sparring, bag work, slip bag, jump rope, willie bag, focus mitts, and speed bag (Cus was never fond of the speed bag), and 60 minutes on the stationary bike. Three more sets of calisthenics. 17:00 four more sets of the same calisthenics routine and then slow shadow boxing or focusing on ONE technique, in order to master the mechanics.
Festival of Live Art, Amsterdam 2014. All photos: Josefin Arnell.
19:00 another balanced meal, usually prepared by Steve Lott. 20:00 a light 30 minutes on the exercise bike for recovery purposes only. NO RESISTANCE. 21:00 watch TV or study fight films and then go to bed. Right now I’m reading a lot about Mike Tyson, his preparation for fights and his mental and physical training. Obviously, as much as I want to, I cannot get into this particular routine, since I’m not a fighter but an artist with a lifestyle I can’t adjust so radically. This has been an ongoing source of frustration, I must say. Living a life in the performing arts I find I am unable to enact an ideal practice because of time, money, and especially because of constant travelling and living out of suitcases, etc. Still I believe the combination of my practices can result in me becoming a warrior, or at least that’s what I must believe. I want to practise my discipline by repeatedly realising a plan I have made before. I can go off-track and change and throw everything away anytime, because I’m an artist and not an athlete; that’s why my biceps will never develop in the way I fantasise. Of course I’m prone to failure, but in the end I’m curious what this produces. What is actually getting practised? Today 8:30 got up and went for a run 9:15 calisthenics 9:30 shower 10:00 breakfast, shake with maca powder 10:20 packing 11:00 leaving house for the train 11:15 - 15:00 answering emails on the train, writing this article, reading, texting, snacking, researching where I can train (fighting) in Brussels 15:15 - 19:00 rehearsals: playing in the mud with friends 19:00 - ? conversation, dinner, maybe workout or maybe party or maybe I found a gym to go to
Subjectively I will have the feeling I didn’t practise anything today. Of course the real practice lies somewhere else. It lies in the way all those other preparations I make, thoughts and encounters I have, come together. reading books making videos getting supernatural powers live performance practice/confronting myself with outside view (very effective—allows me to practise behaviour) sexual practice (very good at times, sometimes seems to stand in conflict with my artistic practice) music practising loneliness food (proteins, lately maca) waxing practising communication with others/reflection I try to practise holidays regularly especially holidays at work excessive drinking after a show (it seems a regular part of my artistic practice, to release after a show through drinking; there seems to be a need to forget, to zone out) Practice in the end for me is just a form of activity, a choice of how to spend time. It’s also a moment of recovery. My whole life is still pretty much determined by the work I’m doing, or actually, my work is determined by my life, and I don’t really distinguish between a practice that relates to work more than to life or the other way around.
Practice in images Clara Amaral, Daniel AlmgrenRecen, Matthew Day, Jeanine Durning, Nebahat Erpolat, Setareh Fatehi, Pablo Fontdevila, Pat Graney, Steve Heather, Ame Henderson, Ayara Hernandez, Dolores Hulan, An Kaler, Keren Levi, Ariadne Mikou, Guillem Mont de Palol, Anja M端ller, Martin Nachbar, Benjamin Pohlig, Leyla Postalcioglu, Noha Ramadan, Otto Ramstad, Tian Rotteveel, Clara Saito, Rodrigo Sobarzo, Robert Steijn, Yurie Umamoto, Julian Weber, David Weber-Krebs, Yeehwan Yeoh, Siegmar Zacharias
The following is a collection of image submissions on practice. Each photo is of an object or scene that could represent the artistic practice/s of the person who submitted them:
Published on Aug 8, 2014
Issue 3 August 2014. Dedicated to the intimate activities, oblique acts, and invisible efforts that feed into the work of choreography.