Skript is an interactive micro-installation
presented by Choreographic Lab (Directors Jane Bacon and Vida Midgelow)
Come sit and take a moment to share your experiences of dance and dancing. Through one-to-one interactions writing processes are activated in an manner akin to our corporeal moving – the small inner dance of the fluttering heart, the images of falling, standing and spinning that reside within you, the sweeping actions of the hand as fingers shift over the keyboard – all become part of the journey of the imagination in dancing-writing.
This project is part of the on-going research territory driven by the Choreographic Lab to articulate dance. This work has engaged us in developing strategies that involve felt sense, somatic and intuitive processes through which we come to language from within (rather than writing about). For, as Abram would have it: ‘Only by affirming the animateness of perceived things do we allow our words to emerge directly from the depths of our ongoing reciprocity with the world’ (Abram, D, 1997).
Skript extended this interest in writing and the body to work with other artists and focuses on writing-dancing with the public.
It was developed from the premise that the dance writings that the public most often come across are marketing materials, programme notes and critics reviews. While writing from within academic contexts tends to remain within a small circulation. In both contexts, while intend to elucidate, they are often obtuse, riddled in language that is off putting and laden by value judgment. This project thereby seeks to find alternative modes of writing and offer dance writing as an experiential encounter.
In developing Skript we asked:
- How can an audience engage with a different mode of dance writing?
- How to write dancing in a manner akin to choreography?
- How to engage the lived experience of the body?
- How to make an invitation to a process (rather than take a didactic approach)?
- How to frame the encounter in a mode sensitive to the processes of dance writing as informed by the articulation strategies as we have developed in the Choreographic Lab?
In the micro installation Skript we found a context in which to write dancing, developing a work in which encompasses a series of features:
Mode of writing: Narrative, playful, poetic
Experience and the body: an approach which emphasizes writing of/from the felt sense and the body, drawing on somatic practices.
Holding a space: One to one, simplicity, scale, intimacy
Access: open invitation to sit, flexible duration
Collaboration: as a mode through which to support and reveal the unexpected
Improvisation: writing operating as somatically based movement improvisation,
writing with an immediacy and with only limited correction
Self-Other relationship: drawing in authentic movement practices in which we acknowledge and foreground the experience of self whilst engaging with/watching other.
Skript was extended through the form of a playful invitation to write on a postcard. These postcards offer 10 small tasks that seek in make a small intervention into the norms of corporeal experience and language. The postcards were distributed widely through the NottDance Festival and beyond.
The creative processes, research questions and context have been shared through a public talk at Bonnnington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University (March 16th 2013) and conference presentation as part of the Performing Place Symposium, Chichester University (June 1st 2013). This conference presentation is documented as an audio file with accompanying slides.
And extracts from the collaborative writings developed with artists and participants within skript are shared online within a blog – writing-dancing.blogspot.co.uk. These fragments of collaborative writings reveal the personal, lived and often poetic journeys that skript gives rise to. They are published with permission of the co-authors and attributed collectively. The blog also houses research and research findings from the installation.
This work was commissioned by Dance4 as part of the NottDance 13 festival.
This major international festival promotes challenging 21st century dance and operates as a line of inquiry and venue for public discourse in relation to/through dance practice.
The work was installed throughout the duration of the festival between March 7th-17th, 2013:
Friday 8 March: 7.00pm – Lakeside Arts Centre
Tuesday 12 March: 6.30pm – Playhouse Theatre
Saturday 16 March: 8.30pm – Waverley Theatre
Sunday 17 March: 2.30pm – Bonington Gallery
Subsequent invitations in 2013:
Lakeside arts centre, April and June
Collaborations conference, Middlesex University, May 18th
Performing Place Symposium, Chichester University, June 1st
Drill Hall, Lincoln , 2 day installation, June 18th-19th