Returning.

I’m in the hall in Topsham trying to prepare for a performance next week. Fortuntately there is a cat here, I like its presence, it’s comforting. My back hurts a lot. Each time I revisit the work I get reminded about how much there is to learn about it. I spent time in January at the Northcott Theatre, I made lots of notes but never posted them. It’s time I wrote something and posted it, shared something of this process, this intermittent, searching and quite often grueling process. I like this hall. I am lucky the caretaker says I can come when it’s free. Next up is badminton, I’ll be gone by then. The time now is 5.05pm. I’m trying to tackle two main things. The dance to a new piece of music and trying to rethink how I work with the sound of Michael’s crying.  I’ve downloaded sound studio and trying to work with cutting and looping and reversing, There are two places I could use it, it’s starting to feel extra though and if not clearly musical is just confusing and colouring everything else. The time in January was extremely useful. Peter Hulton from the University of Exeter was kind to give me some of his time and here I found great knowledge and ability helping unlock my capacity to see what was there. The big thing, ‘use what is there rather than seeking to add stuff,  not really learning about the existing possibilites. I’ve been unable to see clearly or rather trust my intuitions for a while. Many small details were found from the two days and I hold onto them. There’s lots still to do.   Major current thinking for myself is in how to structure the first piece of dancing, I’ve consistently struggled with this part, not managing to be strict enough with myself about the source information underpinning it.  I want to create the feeling of an unfolding, material that builds from images that get introduced then reappear, unraveling, rolling open, seemingly random but not, seemingly discovered in the moment but not, free in space but clear in space, logical and illogical, sort of tumbling out of me but very placed at the same time and I don’t know how to organise it. I’ve tried improvising to a new piece of music, seeing what comes up, storing it, holding onto a previous structure and intersperse new energies through it then trying to start afresh completely. Maybe I need to keep at it, keep making small decisions and wait for them to multiply into something ,   I feel as though I don’t know how to do it anymore, if I ever did. It’s something about my body hurting that gets in the way. I can’t separate the ageing.   The frame that I do everything through, that too needs to be worked on. What is going on for me progressively throughout the piece? There are places when I know what is happening and many places where I’m not clear. I get quite lost. From the last performance questions to do with my face, holding too much tension. I need to practice that. I need to practice performing. Practice concentrating and committing to my dancing in the moment. It’s not as easy as it sounds, I move through the narrative, abstract narrative and I know that everything stacks up towards something but what is that and do I need to articulate it’ What is the endeavour for? The labour of it all trying to say? And who am I speaking to?   So I try to answer. It’s something about the little things that matter. Where something starts and the journey it takes. The way beginnings leave traces and choices determine lives led. It starts with a thread. The making up of a life, the sum of it all.   I am in the question. I am purposeful with it. If I show you that I have thought about what I’m doing is it easier to come with me? If I show you that I am carrying a thought, a question, is it easier to read me/feel a connection with me?   Deliberate. Trusting myself to take time with my choices. It’s still not easy to always hold my nerve I start to push.  With others its easier, I can say trust me, but here I can’t easily trust myself.   I feel an amateur. The cat has been taken away. It’s just me. Whether to go home, my feet are cold or try again at something. Make notes of the questions in my head. Go home and open the sewing machine and practice sewing with it. Order a ladder from B&Q.

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