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WRITING DANCING Exercises in writing towards, about, around and alongside dancing.

AUGUST 2015

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STAFF Publication Staff Guest Editors

Erin Brannigan Justine Shih Pearson

Copy Editor

Cleo Mees

Production Coordinator

Yeehwan Yeoh

Contributors

Erin Brannigan Nikki Heywood Julie-Anne Long Cleo Mees Justine Shih Pearson Lizzie Thomson Nalina Wait

Patricia Wood

CRITICAL PATH STAFF MARGIE MEDLIN YEEHWAN YEOH BIBI SERAFIM

DIRECTOR PROGRAM AND BUSINESS MANAGER PROGRAM AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER


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CONTENTS Introduction: Writing Dancing (Sydney) Erin Brannigan and Justine Shih Pearson

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Still Held Cleo Mees

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What is it that dances something else? Erin Brannigan

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Working with the breath Nalina Wait

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Scores in hindsight Cleo Mees, Lizzie Thomson, Patricia Wood

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Watching Cannibal Nikki Heywood

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Watching Ros Justine Shih Pearson

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Collaborative writing Julie-Anne Long

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Authentic movement: seated Nalina Wait

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Critical Dialogues is Critical Path’s biannual online publication. The next issue is scheduled for February 2016. Sign up to Critical Path’s e-news via our website to stay informed. criticalpath.org.au


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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Erin Brannigan is Senior Lecturer in Dance at the University of New South Wales and works in the fields of dance and film as an academic and curator. Erin has written on dance for RealTime since 1997, and her recent publications include ‘Moving Across Disciplines: Dance in the Twenty-First Century’ (Sydney: Currency House, 2010) and ‘Dancefilm: Choreography and the Moving Image’ (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) and ‘Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers’, co-edited with Virginia Baxter (Kent Town: Wakefield Press, 2014). Nikki Heywood works in body based practices: devising and directing original work, making performance as a solo performer and in collaboratively devised projects. She teaches and sometimes takes on role of mentor or dramaturg. She has co-curated regular platforms for improvised performance in Sydney for over a decade and frequently engages in research and master classes at Sydney’s Critical Path, including Responsive Residencies in 2010 and 2013. Heywood was recipient of the Rex Cramphorn scholarship in 2005 and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at University of Wollongong. Publication of doctoral research includes the 1st edition of Animal Studies Journal; and international Performance Research Journal #18 On Falling, discussing the dance film/animation Recapturing the Vertical which she made with photographer Heidrun Lohr. Dr. Julie-Anne Long is Lecturer in Dance and Performance in the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University. She has worked in a variety of dance contexts as dancer, choreographer, mentor, dramaturg, curator and producer including Associate Director One Extra (1991-96), Director of dance research organisation Critical Path (2006/2007) and Dance Curator at Campbelltown Arts Centre (2009/2010). Cleo Mees is a dancer, writer and filmmaker. She trains in BodyWeather and Contact Improvisation, writes essays and performance reviews for publication, and records and edits video for a range of projects. Fascinated by affect and the interdisciplinary, Cleo fosters an ongoing dialogue between her dancing, writing and filmmaking practices. Her current PhD in filmmaking at Macquarie University brings all three practices together. She has made several short dance works combining movement and text, and in 2012 completed the essay film You Laugh With Your Whole Face.


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Justine Shih Pearson is a designer, curator and scholar of contemporary performance and dance. Trained originally in theatre design at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, her work has been presented in Australia, the UK, US and in Asia. She was producer of ReelDance (2007-09), acting director of Critical Path (2012-13, 2015), and is currently Lecturer in dance and performance at Macquarie University. Her current research integrates thinking around spatial design and practice in terms of global culture, the embodiment of cultural belonging, travel, and city planning. Lizzie Thomson is a choreographer and performer working across dance and visual art contexts. Recent works include a live performance entitled Restaging the Hills of the Dry Grassy Jazz Dance presented at Alaska Projects (2014) and a screendance installation entitled White Record presented at Carriageworks (2015). She is currently participating in a two-year International Exchange between Australia and Finland; researching Choreography and the Gallery with Erin Brannigan and Matthew Day; and developing new work for Sydney’s Spring 1883 art fair program 1 Room 13 Times. Nalina Wait is a Sydney-based dance artist and current PhD candidate at UNSW, researching the nexus of improvised performance practice and somatic intelligence. She has performed in works by Sue Healey, Rosalind Crisp, Nikki Haywood, DanceWorks (Sandra Parker), Hans Van Den Broeck (SOIT), Sydney Performance Group, Lizzie Thomson, Joan Jonas and Marina Abramovic. She has written for Real Time and has presented her research in symposia: Centre de recherché sur les arts et le language (CRAL) at Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) (2015), ASDA Sydney University (2015), Improvisational Practices Symposium at Critical Path (2014), and Cultures of Change at UNSW (2013). Patricia Wood is a collaborator, performer and maker, working in the realms of dance and performance. Patricia has worked with Les Commandos Percu (Fr), Stan’s Café (UK),Tasdance, the Fondue Set, Autumnal, the Dirty Feet Collective and Link Dance Company, and with independents Ros Crisp, Clare Dyson, Natalie Cursio, Martin del Amo, Dean Walsh, Solon Ulbrich, Fiona Malone, Jo Pollitt and Paea Leach. Patricia has received support from the Australia Council of the Arts through programs, SCOPE and Artstart, Ausdance NSW and Western Australia’s Department of Culture and the Arts. In 2011 she was the co-creator of the winning film in the Dance Your PhD competition, presented at TEDx Brussels, which led to her taking on the role of Entertainment Curator for TEDxPerth in 2012. Patricia is currently completing a Masters in Research (Dance) at Macquarie University and was recently in residence at Critical Path.


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INTRODUCTION: WRITING DANCING (SYDNEY) Erin Brannigan and Justine Shih Pearson Writing Dancing is a collective of artists, academics, students and writers. We have met once a month since Stephen Muecke and Erin Brannigan’s ‘Finding the Right Language for Your Practice’ workshop, which Critical Path held in collaboration with UNSW in 2010. We have a responsive, organic and non-outcome focused approach that is centered on writing exercises brought to the group from elsewhere or devised by group members that encourage writing towards, about, around and alongside dancing. Sometimes this involves us in dancing too. We also respond to particular writing briefs that participants put forward (succinct by-lines, responses to live works, feedback on writing), do some shared reading (for example the Language poets), and also discuss current work, programs, pedagogy and politics associated with dance. Sometimes artists just talk about their current projects. The group is about community as well as work.

This issue of Critical Dialogues aims at sharing some of the writing strategies we have been deploying, some outcomes from those processes, and some of the ideas that shape our work. However, it is not without a sense of irony that we put forward this issue – the well designed, explicitly set-out record in black and white that a publication such as this involves in many ways runs contrary to the nonoutcome focused, in-the-moment, generative kinds of writing that we normally pursue. In cataloguing a list of writing exercises we have engaged in since 2010, we found ourselves searching sketchy notes and dimmed memories, asking ‘When was that? Who did that?’ The examples of writing included here, while true transcriptions, have also gone through a translation process of context, fragments written on scraps of paper and excavated out of old notebooks never originally meant for display or publication.


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The process of assembling this issue in itself demonstrates something important about our Writing Dancing collective – we are bound by the processes of doing and being together more than the building of a paper archive. In this, the writing practice is akin to other communal embodied practices (such as dancing). Writing and Dancing The productive tension between writing and dancing has notably been tackled by dance theorists such as André Lepecki and Susan Leigh Foster in their evaluations of the development of choreo-GRAPHY, engaging history and theory to trace this development through dance manuals, notation, and performance.1 As a system of writing, choreography operates as an apparatus of capture (Lepecki’s phrase) against dance’s inherently ephemeral nature – the first emergence of the word occurs in relation to publications of dance notation, Thoinot Arbeau’s Orchésographie (1589) and Raoul Auger Feuillet’s Choréographie (1700). Outside of dance proper, the art form has catalysed new modes of thinking and writing. Historically, dance has operated as a productive foil for poets such as Stéphane Mallarmé who stretched his writing towards the image of the dancer as “a poem set free of any scribe’s apparatus.”2 Atlanta Eke. Photo: Gregory Lorenzutti

Nikki Heywood, 4 x 15 mins

Mallarmé has since become the creative muse of philosophers such as Alain Badiou, so that dance as a practice and ‘image’ has been generative of experimental writing across literature, theory and philosophy. Our approach is different. We begin with the tools that the discipline of dance chooses; breath, movement, energy, weight, time, space. We then bring writing into dialogue with dance, approaching writing and dancing as poetic fields that we can work across for the benefit of both. By poetic we mean activities that engage deeply with “the resources that the practice itself has chosen,”3


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the medium and its parameters; so in this case, experimental language practices that are not separable from the dancing practices that inspire them. For British poet J.H. Prynne, poetic thought is stretching thought through an experimental approach to language – involving “the internal energy of language under intense pressure”4 – and the language produced is then equivalent to the thought and exists independently as its representative in the world. Pressing thought through dance and into language is a good description to contain the broad activities that we undertake. That is to say, this is writing itself explored as an embodied practice: how can we listen to the body when writing? What is the sensory experience of writing? of dancing? of watching dancing? But also, how can this embodied experience come up to meet the dancing through language? How can I write this movement in a way that somehow conveys the mechanical, poetic, spatial, imaginary, quizzical, multi-sensory mix of what I think, see, hear or feel? What may the writing give back to the dancing?

But this is a mistake that contemporary dance in fact alerts us to. The all too familiar lament that dance is ununderstandable (‘I don’t get it/ What does it mean/ What is it about?’) comes from this misrecognition of the embodied experience of watching dancing (and by extension, a misrecognition of what dance is). Watching dance one must have a willingness to explore, with the dancer, where they might go, what they are sensing, what they are working through, what being and doing in their body causes me to experience about my own. This is our contract, of sorts, to undertake a process together, sharing space and time, kinaesthetic and affective experience.

Most of the writing on dancing printed in the popular press as reviews or in academic tomes, is done from this position of the watcher sitting in the dark. But writing around, alongside, or through dancing – what we have called, in naming the group, simply writing dancing – functions differently. At the heart of it is a respect for each of the originary media, and a desire to stretch both towards each other. So we have the existing limits of the Ever since Wagner dimmed the lights of two mediums being both tested and the theatre’s auditorium, we have been validated by the pressure of creating trained to think of the act of sitting in something new each time we meet, a the audience as a kind of disembodied pressure driven by the energy of the experience: losing myself in the dark, I very tensions between body and page, project myself into the fantasy of what dancing and writing. Hellen Sky. Photo courtesy Hellen Sky is on stage (or on the cinema screen).


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How can we listen to the body when writing? What is the sensory experience of writing? of dancing? of watching dancing? But also, how can this embodied experience come up to meet the dancing through language? Lizzie Thomson, Circles don’t go anywhere


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Shared memory-making While the emphasis of the group is undoubtedly on exploring the coimplications of writing and dancing, over the last five years our monthly meetings have also been important community touchstones in a much broader way. There are times when the work of the independent dance sector feels lost from view; or worse, at times like the present when the changes to arts funding in the 2015-16 Federal Budget is wreaking havoc in the sector, our work feels disregarded, unimportant and unvalued. As a group of independent artists, academics, students and writers engaged with the independent sector, the opportunity to come together to discuss the recent work of our peers and our work in progress is a way to insist, through communal memory, that these things have happened, are happening. Not necessarily or only by writing about it – although the printed record is important too – but by being there together and bearing witness to each other’s endeavor. It is a way of enacting shared memory-making, and making persistent the circulation of our cultural production. People have come and left the group as touring, relocation and all sorts of other life events intercede – there is no official membership. But roughly

thirty people have been associated with Writing Dancing since 2010. In the following pages, we have attempted to catalogue a range of writing exercises we have engaged in since 2010, and have included examples from some of these writing tasks solicited from writers in the group. Here too, it is evident just how far the informal collegiality of the group extends: ideas have been borrowed and lent and adapted in what can only be described as a promiscuous sharing of intellectual property, or a fast and loose kind of creative commons. These ideas are generously offered and exchanged within the group, and inheritances or shared authorship always readily acknowledged; in this spirit, we also share them with you. -For example, see Foster’s 2011 book Choreographing Empathy: Kinaesthesia in Performance. 2 Stéphane Mallarmé, Mallarmé in Prose, Ed. Mary Ann Caws, (New York: New Directions Publishing, 2001) 109. 3 Laurence Louppe, Poetics of Contemporary Dance, Trans. Sally Gardner (Alton: Dance Books, 2010), 12. 4 Jeremy Prynne, “Poetic Thought,” Textual Practice (2010) 24: 4, 598. 1

The Writing Dancing group acknowledges the support of Carriageworks where their monthly meetings take place.


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STILL HELD Cleo Mees


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Years later, Mondays were even better. Because at Monday Bodyweather you were always enough. Told what to do, but also to accept what your body was not going to give tonight. After a day spent wilting in the heat of the office, to come to this big and breathing space. To direct thought into the limbs. The eyes suddenly brighter inside the head (as though they had swiveled to survey my interior), flexing to catch the body as graphic. Working hard to make the plank, diagonal, up from the floor. Arms pushed up straight over the head, lengthening the plank. Tilted forwards like a ladder. And always the diamond in the hips, still held. --

Written and workshopped during the original ‘Finding a Language For Your Practice’ workshop. This two-day event in 2010 spawned the Writing Dancing group which, five years later, continues to meet every month.


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WHAT IS IT THAT DANCES SOMETHING ELSE? Erin Brannigan


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The Mountain Dances the Man

Fear Dances the Lamb

The rock stands up and supports the nest, providing a perch, a refuge, a home. The rock reaches up, cradles the nest, comes up to meet the birds in their flight. The unlikeliness of this home or habitat is lost on the mountain who gives up a peak for the birds.

What was the grace of the lamb? What was it made of, a grace that spoke back to fear, converted threat to something benign? What is the stuff of fear that can be defused by the curve of a flank, the flick of a hoove, the stretch of a fluffy white neck?

The mountain cannot hide the nest. In fact, it becomes a stairway for feet that defy gravity and pick their way to the peak. The mountain saw him coming, far below, offered no resistance, suggested pathways, brought the man to the nest. Connecting the man from the land to the birds of the sky.

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Response to an exercise set by Stephen Muecke (2012): finding the words for the eloquent resistance of materials – e.g. how the mountain speaks to the body that climbs it, the bag to wind, lamb to fear. What is it that dances something else?


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WORKING WITH THE BREATH Nalina Wait


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Sighing

Expanding the breath and body

No-one is watching as I drain cell-by-cell into the weave of the sisal carpet. The Artists, seduced by the latest catalogues, display themselves like designer vases.

The body is not yours, it belongs to the bourgeoisie. We allowed you to think it was yours because it served our purposes, but you are using it irregularly and so it must be repossessed. --

Panting I’m not here. I’m just a head. I’m not looking at you. These glasses that you see are not mine. I have no hair. I have no body. I have no I, nor eyes. Decide what you like about me, because I do not care about you. I’m not strange, I’m just positioned that way. Holding breath, standing up, sitting down What are you looking at? As you shake your head dismissively at the unusually expressive unconventional movements. Don’t you realise this is a place for serious Art?

Response to an exercise set by Nikki Heywood (2013): working with the breath following exercises in Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods’s Are We Here Yet?, edited by Jeroen Peeters. Actions: • Sigh for 5 minutes • Pant for a minute • Expand your body as you expand your breath Thoughts: • This body is not yours • No-one is watching • What are you looking at? • I’m not there


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SCORES IN HINDSIGHT Lizzie Thomson, Patricia Wood, Cleo Mees


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Jazz Lizzie Thomson Weigh down your body with a large unethical costume Find actions to go with the words: Here is my Pelvis Here is my Chest Frame the Face Avert the Gaze Exhibit the Body Find a melody to sing the words in silence as you undertake the actions Turn up the volume of your outside eye
 Bring it to the foreground of your attention and all around Get a bird’s eye view of your dancing self
 Feel the boldness of your body-asform draped in heavy cloth Stop when the music stops Start when the music starts Choose a step, someone else’s step Exhaust yourself with its endlessness


Avert your gaze until your eyes are close to being shut Turn down the volume of your outside eye
 Swim inside the rhythm and the falling form Stay with this for longer than long Turn the volume back up to hear the weirdness of it all
 Fall in and out of step with your body Keep dancing and think about how you’re not Michael Jackson Continue till your face is flushed and the cloth is wet Stop when the music stops
 Shrug with embarrassment and walk off grinning


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Songs Not to Dance To (Martin del Amo and Phil Blackman), Opening Night March 2015 Patricia Wood Mystery Song: Mariah Carey Ballad Number of performers: 6 Score: Feel the beat. Share the love. Don’t split your pants. Have a moment with someone and then everyone. Commit to the dying moth duet. Honour the makers. Join the rhythm to shift the lovers’ embrace. Be the rotating tube. Shake it out collectively.

Unsolicited Retrospective Score for Victoria Hunt’s Responsive Residency Showing Cleo Mees Scenography: Wait for a rainy night. Prepare several waterproof, batterypowered torches. On the night, bring your audience to a dark oval. Park them undercover, keep their foreheads warm.

Get two people on lights: two torches from different angles. Let the lights gradually wax and wane. Only rarely should both lights shine at the same time. Make sure it is raining when you begin. Action: Begin at the far end of the oval — deep into the darkness, back past the lights. Ensure you are invisible. Roll on the grass. Roll at the pace of tectonic plates. Roll with an overview of time; of millennia. Edge into the light; play at the boundary of your own visibility. And retreat. Splay yourself out flat in the wet. Energise from the torso. Elevated limbs, your torso is your fulcrum. Whip it all around, fast, keep going. Exhaust yourself. Meet a figure from a spirit world. -All three of these pieces of writing are various responses to an idea focused on scoring led by Erin Brannigan and Lizzie Thomson (May 2015).


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Jazz is a score Lizzie wrote in hindsight about her own work, and was the genesis of the idea she brought to the group. Patricia’s score for Songs Not to Dance To is a retrospective reflection on her own performance in the final section of the show, where Martin and Phil invited audience members onstage to dance together to a mystery song. Cleo’s score follows most closely the task as set out in the Writing Dancing session, where we were asked to write hypothetical scores to describe performances we had recently attended. Our task was to prescribe both the ‘scenography’ and the ‘action’ of the piece we had seen as though we were directing it (even though we had only ever experienced the piece as audience members). We were also instructed to stage the piece in a different location to the one we had seen it in. Cleo notes that although this exercise was undertaken without any knowledge of the original score and without invitation from the artists whose works we were describing, it produced some exciting material. She says, “More abstract scores, in particular, were promising springboards for new interpretations that may or may not at all resemble the original performances.”


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This page: Patricia Wood. Opposite page: Cleo Mees.


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WATCHING CANNIBAL Nikki Heywood

A pale man in a white room A rolling boxing kind of shadow boxing kind of move... He is pale but pink. He moves in the corner his back to us. It’s squeaky. Squeak squeak white sandshoes on white floor. Now he is down on his side, beating the air, torso rocking Arms attendant, affected, affecting Crouching, he genuflects in a lopsided rhythmic rocking shuffling transport I hear his breath. The rhythm is unchanged. He has plugged into a pulse, a tone I feel my own internal pulse, a desire to rock ever so slightly rock My body understands something of this vibrational field


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He looks so Nordic, so ‘tomorrow belongs to me’ Aryan This pink man in a white box who moves as though his battery has been switched on, a battery that runs and runs in its own small self sustaining circuit of perpetual motion a hidden perpetual man eating battery He grooves but is he in pain? What is his state? I am curious about his neutrality. His steady state, on-ness. He is plugged in, turned on, switched on and it won’t stop and I just keep watching and wondering as his head nods in control out of control... it has its own machine-ic logic White on white squeaking pink a runner going nowhere a man unable to contain his compulsion to keep going keep going no matter no where no why no what he is breathing sweating reddening he continues his own pink flesh eating there’s no end no end no end to it no end no end to it --

Watching Matthew Day’s Cannibal on video (October 2013); the exercise, set by Nalina Wait, was to do all or a combination of these instructions: • • •

Write descriptively, attending to what we are seeing Talk about our own embodied response Use association, conceptual relationship, meaning... attribution


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WATCHING ROS Justine Shih Pearson


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move back to centre stage don’t move but don’t commit to standing here. Fa la la. swallow an exploding fly lingering light bad dance fall down dance to the sound of a tambourine. false applause. backwards circle – big. harrummphh. pat the baby strictly speaking (taxi!) fan dance stutter OP tap dance with big skirt spin move to centre stage sing farewell and sleep.

A score written while watching Ros Warby perform her adaptation of Deborah Hay’s No Time to Fly at Critical Path’s Improvisation Practices Symposium (December 2014). This was a response to a set of provocations given by Nikki Heywood, based on her memory of working with Deborah Hay: • • • • • •

• • •

notice your noticing refresh your vision keep your head moving whole body at once don’t stay fixed sometimes stay for long enough for things to change – notice what arrives no big deal anything is possible don’t try to be creative

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Hellen Sky. Photo courtesy Hellen Sky


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COLLABORATIVE WRITING Julie-Anne Long (& others)

ONE I am attempting to write ‘publishable’ journal articles on somatic practice and poetics of the body. I am also interested in writing that moves my ideas, around the body and performance, into a new place. Provocations. New conjunctions. Where is this new place? Are there any new places on the body? What about the old places? What will happen to them? Are they no longer relevant? If only words contained the power of the body. Shift. to the left. shift again to the right. to write. Whether words contain the power of the body; the act of writing is an embodied act. Feel the paper, the hardness of the desk beneath the pen scratching in your hand. Feel the words.


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Forget the desk… tattoo the writing… what is writing when we read it? When we speak it? When we hear it? When we see it? Reading writing, performing writing, trying it out in the space, performing reading each others, considering a model like Cage’s ‘Lecture On Nothing’. TRANSGRESS. SMASH. DISRUPT. ANNIHILATE. ERUPT. SHATTER. WHAT WOULD THIS SOUND LIKE, LOOK LIKE, FEEL LIKE, TASTE LIKE, AND THEN BURY IT.

TWO Writing in response to dancing while watching it. Particularly dancing that is improvised, vague and mostly formless. Find the clarity, the point of focus. Maybe focus is not a point – but a zone, an attitude… an atmosphere? Keeping to the point might foreclose potential pathways maybe it’s about clearing a ground in which to act? (to write)

Look to onomatopoeia splash, crash, etc. these aren’t real words, we The group could write laying on the just had no other way to say this floor – leave the table – or write in event. Make a new language if need the dark – or – be. Taste it, bury it. Elaborate a hunch, an intuition – is that what they call morphic resonance??

Write collectively, or move and write, or write on the way here, or write after performances, or write addressed to someone in the group… Write with elbows, knees, tongue, rib, belly button. Write what you see. Free up the…


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Speech can be written and so can movement, can movement write? It needs help, language, an outline, a structure.

What unmakes us? What do we hold? What do we let go of? Nothing. Spaces between particles. Mere dots in an endless universe empty.

Displace the watching – of a dance performance – ‘pretend’ you saw it in a dream. Pretend it was underwater. Is Space. Freedom. this a practice of making the context (rather than the performance) strange? I cheated and read ahead on the page… emptiness is not freedom… what kind of When we make our own seeing strange, space is? then ask how can our dancing change the seeing of the viewer? Emptiness is nothing, nothing is heavy – nothing weighs a lot. SIX

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I would like to experience more choreographic thinking by undertaking writing tasks set by my peers.

These pieces are excerpted from a collaborative writing task set by Julie-Anne (February 2013): to start the year, she suggested that we write simultaneous threads on the theme ‘Things that Came Up To Think About for this Year.’ We wrote for two minutes, passed it on, wrote for another two minutes in response to what came immediately before, passed it on…

Choreographic notations like dust and smoke and stagnant waters, obsidian reflections and soaking pores. Writing is to dance this poetry. Articulation of senses, of feelings and reactions. Dance on paper, naked and stripped bare of nuances and subtitles. The outlined, the model on the page. Ok, so the body-mind is a thinking arrangement. Re-arrange it, starting with head to arse. Mouth or anus? Is that what you mean? Back to the digestive tract? Back to ground, what makes us? What connects us?

Despite the often specific, concrete, or even prosaic beginning sentence, the group responses tended to move in all sorts of directions and provide poetic reflections on the act of writing by members of the group.


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AUTHENTIC MOVEMENT: SEATED Nalina Wait Moving: Not performing or not performing the normal gestures of pedestrian existence? Winter clothing textures providing the ‘space’ for boardroom dancing. If only all meetings began this way (maybe they do on the level of the microgesture?)

Watching: Saliva, digestive juices. Creative juices, viscera. Alimentary canal nuzzling opening, to the mouth. The Feeling Sensing open-to-the-air parts communicating with the inside. Fleshy layers of fluid.


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Comfort. Feeling the weight of parting the air. The spiral upwards Twisting the insides. Mouth. Saliva. Digestive juices, creative juices. Fingers. Axis and atlas. Weight of the air on fingernails. Nuzzling, nurturing, nourishment of the flesh. The textural world/word of movement is inherently there, as we sit and write and talk and listen. But it is made visible by the Elimination of all else but the movement – that body Speaking, this body listening. -Response to a task set by Nikki Heywood (May 2013): witness frames, either/or: • • •

What am I watching? What am I seeing? What is happening to me as I watch?


Critical Dialogues | Issue 5 | Writing Dancing | August 2015  

Exercises in writing towards, about, around and alongside writing

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