As an author/choreographer, can I create a dialogue between myself, the performers and the viewer within a lateral field of sharing that frames both the ‘creation event’ and the ‘performance event’ as conversation(s) and brings these usually separate spheres within the same frame? I am asking how to be the author, how to be the performer, and how to be with an audience. More precisely: what does it mean to be an author who shares a space with the performers, and the viewer in a way that both acknowledges and stretches the parameters of these relationships? Perhaps it is possible to engage with a viewer that allows us to forget for a moment that we meet within the context of a performance? Perhaps it is possible for a performer to direct the viewer and vise versa. Perhaps it is possible to forget who is the author and challenge the notions of power and privilege attached to the position of AUTHOR/CHOREOGRAPHER. In sharing the responsibility for work-creation and performance I foreground the vulnerability of the role of ‘author’ and allow the fragile act of constructing work to become the performance itself. The work is the making of the work, contingent on both the performers and the viewer as integral to its becoming form.
My relationship to the art form of dance is also defined by a desire to create and be part of work that questions the parameters of the form, and challenges the lines that divide the disciplines. I am interested in working practices that encompass paradigms of collaboration and shared authorship. Generally my interests lie not necessarily in the achievement of virtuosic feats of physicality but in the way the body can potentially carry and express multiplicity. I am interested in effort over achievement, in the emergence, rather that the imposition of meaning , in the potential of failing, and in movement that looks beyond old definitions of “dancing” and old definitions of beauty. I am endlessly curious about how bodies encounter one another, or their environment, and especially the awkwardness and fragility that, to me, is inherent in communication. Non-sequitors, odd juxtapositions, and failure are all full of potential as models of the human condition. Recently my work has been increasingly influenced by current discourses around how dance and choreography can be defined and expanded. This is also influenced by the history of dance coming out of the Judson Church, and by interdisciplinary modes of creation. I am also an anglophone artist working for over ten years within a francophone environment. This is a simple fact, and also a definitive influence on my artistic practice as it frames the cultural context of what I do.
“The whole time I’ve been building my audience I’ve also been trying to unbuild the walls that come with having an audience, with having power. The whole point is to be able to feel more, to connect more, and yet in some ways having power runs at cross-purposes to this. Maybe I feel more just by sitting with a friend. And can I make a career, as a filmmaker and performer, that makes this sitting-with-a-friend feeling more possible, for each member of the audience and for myself? Yes! I say yes.” Miranda July