Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Performance as research

I'm interested in the research of the performer. The investigations that go into a body of work. The kinesthetic understandings. The work that the performer does... more than just the work of doing the steps. The work of practicing and researching the lived experience of the performed moment.

I'm including a video from "Doris Says..." Megan Quinn graciously performed "Song of Euterpe" again, for me. We've been working on this piece for over a year, now; Megan has performed it in various stages, in various forms of refinement. After this, the sixth performance of the work over the year, Megan said to me, "I think I'm finally getting it."

And here lies one of the core issues of our research. We, as performers, are constantly searching. Constantly figuring things out. And, like research done in any laboratory, it takes time for us to figure things out. This is the importance of the rehearsal process. The research. The practice.

I'm posting Megan's September performance because it's beautiful to look back on the video from a year ago and see how much she has grown as a dancer and performer. It's beautiful to see the research lived before my/your eyes. It's exciting to see the process unfold. (Go back to November 2010 to see one of her first performances http://jcwarchalking.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=33)

What has unfolded? Megan has a more expansive use of her kinesphere. Her weighted is dropped and her movement pathways are more clear. I interpret this as young performer developing a more mature understanding of her body in space; of her body as a technical instrument. I see a deeper awareness of her relationship to her audience. She has a more clear relationship with the music.

Why is this important and what implications might this have? A sensitive, mature performer is aware of her place in space and of her audience. These relationships translate to everyday life. A performer who is adept at negotiating space and time and people and who can translate these skills to multiple stages, will also be able to translate these skills to multiple "real-life" situations. For example, business presentations, customer relationships, inter-office interactions... training through artistic performance has multiple benefits to the non-arts sector... more research to follow!

And it's continuing...

Thanks, Megan!

Here's the youtube link:

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