Each and every day, I lose myself in the immediacy of the moment, find myself in the joy of the movement. Each and every day, I learn more and more...and, within that new knowledge, realize that I have so much farther to travel.

Shallom Johnson is a contemporary dance artist, visual artist and freelance writer based in Vancouver BC. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Simon Fraser University, and has been active in the Vancouver dance community as a choreographer, performer, and instructor since her graduation in 2004.

Shallom is interested in art in public spaces, site-specific performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community involvement. Her street-based artwork, performance and photography examines and documents who gets to make art, where it gets made, and where/how the creative process and product is viewed. In the future, she hopes to explore this theme further via new media and technologies, new methods of creation, collaboration and community engagement.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Quick Choreolab Idea: Translations across Time and Space

So I need a place to jot this idea down where I won't lose it or forget about it. In discussion with Kelly and Ilya today, something in our conversation triggered this idea. I think we were talking about Kelly taping the solo that Ilya set on her...which you can see in the last post...and putting the video on Youtube so that he could give her choreographic/performance notes. Anyways. I started thinking about how movement gets translated from one body to the next, and about how playing with the parameter of distance would affect the final product. So, here is my idea.

Person 1 creates a phrase, long or short, simple or complex. I would probably start with something short but complex.

Person 1 teaches the phrase to person 2. Person 2 teaches what they learned to person 3. Person 3 repeates the process with person 4. And so on, for as many translations as you like. The last person teaches what they learned back to the first person. Find a way to show the results.

Option 1: Film the phrase each time that it has been taught and cleaned and is ready to "perform". Compile a film with the clips and see where the movement gradually changes, and where it stays the same.

Option 2: Play with the idea of time lapses between each person. Have this project evolve over many months, with each person really getting time to investigate the phrase with the person playing the role of rehearsal director/choreographer.

Option 3: Play with the idea of space. Have the phrase travel through space and time by letting each participant choose the next, wherever and whenever their travels may lead them. Decide whether you want the phrase to get back to the original owner, or not. If so, find a way to make it happen.

Option 4: Try this exercise in a studio setting work period, over one day or a few days...then combine the phrases into one work, with all dancers onstage, or moving on and offstage. Try out different relationships of time and space based on the changes each has made in the movement.

Option 5: Have one person learn all versions of the phrase and perform this as a solo.

Option 6: All of the above, in whatever combination intrigues you.

Thoughts? If you want to use this idea, please feel free. If you do, I'd love to see the results or hear some comments about the process.

Photo: Elizabeth Johnson and Cassie Meador, in rehearsal at the Dance Exchange.


Diego said...

very neat! i remember seeing an artist's work which involved photocopying a piece of text over and over again in a manner like what you described. eventually, the writing became less textual and more visual, and one could say that there was a information loss. but because human bodies will fill in meaning where meaning has been lost, no such degradation would occur. instead of degradation, there is variation.

Shallom (Editor) said...

Exactly! - the meaning would change with translation over and over again...I am especially interested in seeing how much (if any) of the original movement and meaning is maintained.