Joan Davis

The particular concerns of this study are music, rhythm and collective awareness. It is an exploration of how to achieve ‘authentic’ movement in performance.

The different durations, phrasings, timings and rhythms of multiple creative acts, occurring simultaneously, become the artistic objective in developing choreography that occurs in the moment.

For performers to achieve authentic movement, a highly developed level of awareness is required: dancers must have the ability to listen and respond to both the individual and the collective.  In this study, the material is not set and is utterly spontaneous. Each performer takes on the responsibility of listening and responding in order to create what could be called Instantaneous Choreography.  This is illustrated in the two studies; each time the study is performed, a different dance emerges.

The soloist requires compositional and choreographic skills in texture, dynamics, spatial relationships and contrast.  The performer, having developed their own unique, authentic rhythmic and musical structure can attune to themselves and to their environment, including the audience, in such a way that this process of attuning becomes the choreography. This could be likened to harmonies in music, composing a musical score through authentic movement.  If the performer is connected to their own rhythms, it is possible to realise choreography that is immediate and authentic.

You can try it now. Listen carefully and you will feel the music/rhythm of your breathing, the music/rhythm of any background sounds, and the music/rhythm of the wind in the foliage. Each pieceof foliage moves in different temporal structure due to the density of its physicality. It seems everything is moving in a different temporal structure and they are all doing this simultaneously.

It strikes me as so obvious and so simple; though to hold the awareness is not simple, and to step into authentic movement and be present in it can feel crazy.  This new approach seems to me intensely relational. I simply cannot get away from the intimacy of whatever is in my field whether it is apparently inside me or outside of me.  I am asked to commit utterly.

What has really come home to me in the making of this study is that this particular musicality and rhythm is an underlying foundation of all that is manifest in the universe.  It may from time to time reveal itself in the speed, densities, intensities, expansions and contractions of individual body parts in relation to each other.

We discovered in doing this study that an inter-body-part rhythm and musicality exploration is but a tiny fragment of the whole that could be used as a basis for improvisation.  It is in fact this in relationship to the collective whole that is the underlying musicality and rhythm of the cosmos.  The dance that gets danced is that dance.

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