post (pablo)

•March 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

more smaller, more slower, more unproductive, more resentful

practicing performing being a member of the audience (pablo)

•March 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been thinking for quite a while about the places of exposition of the choreographer, the places in which I can take the risk that the performers are taking. or the places in which I can accompany them in that risk.

one of them is, of course, the blog. one of the aspects I like about writing the blog is that it also makes me public. specially my stupidity and limitations, and my doubts and insecurities. I find it fair (and hopefully constructive?) to have a space where I am also forced to let go of my shyness, where I can’t be safe in not being seen.

another one is the bow. I always bow with the performers not so much because I like to do it, but because I like to have the gesture of taking responsibility. whatever the response of the audience is, I like to be share it with the performers.

and the last one, which I experienced very very strongly in these performances, is sitting in the audience. feeling also a bit exposed there (maybe because, in our audiences, many people know who is involved in each work), also taking responsibility. but I noticed specially this time how much there is to sense, to have a supportive presence – supportive both for the performers and for the audience. to transpire good energy. to resist the temptation to indicate things with your body, to resign any gesture of guiding the other spectators. to relax, to not take personally the reactions of the audience. to enjoy laughs, comments, sighs, yawns, noises, coughs, creaks, farts, etc, as signs of a live audience, of people sharing their time with us.

these days, sitting in the audience was very intense. almost like performing.

after before (pablo)

•March 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

one post before the feedback meeting of tomorrow. or: one after the performances of yesterday (and the day before, and the other). I thought that it would be good to write down some thoughts on things just after the performances, and just before getting informed by our guests/outside eyes/advisers/evaluators (o sea: Gabriel Smeets, Gonnie Heggen, Marcel Bogers, Igor Dobricic & Johan Forsman).

where to start? or: what to start with? or: what to write about? …

how to look back? how not to refer to other people’s comments? it is very difficult during the process and also during the performances and also afterwards, to look at the work, to look at the piece and be innocent, to look at it without knowing everything, without knowing what it wants to be, without seeing what one would like to see. but I also don’t want to react only on what other people saw in it. that will come later. the whole point of writing now, is to write before reflecting on other people’s feedback.

I am very happy with the piece. I am happy with the changes triggered by our discussion after the dry-run. it made the piece more difficult to perform, and it set (improvisational) goals that are much more difficult to achieve, but the overall thing became much more risky and unique. and, strangely enough, very compact. I felt that the piece created a lot of strange tensions, a certain uneasyness that anyways kept the audience engaged or curious. the 3′ of darkness became more important than what I had foreseen, they seemed like a very necessary space for relief, for restarting things, for letting go. I don’t know exactly how to explain, but I was expecting the (long) blackout to restart the piece, but it felt more like it allowed for the audience to restart.

I felt that the movement material lost of a bit of its richness and complexity in the new structural choices, but on the other hand the whole issue of disociation and performing concentration became very potent. I think the long improvisations would need still more work (I don’t know in which sense) to allow for the audience to find the nuance within that kind of range – not to expect that the improvisations need to be more extreme but to be able to experience the sophistication and diversity within a very constrained range (of intensities, of options, of volumes, of durations, etc). I think some of it was there, but it could be much more captivating…

and then, though it’s been said over and over, here it is once more: the process was wonderful, and the people that worked in it were great. I am enjoying more and more the aspect of processes that is about constructing the working teams, the conditions, the connections, the relations, the communications. and these people were super commited and open, and worked really great (once more: thank you).

I am very grateful to have found something out of the not knowing where we were going… on some levels it’s been tough, it’s made me feel a bit detached, but maybe it’s ok: we were working with a lot of detachment, anyways. though I do regret not having produced a better picture, or a graphic design that was more connected to the piece.

so let’s see… I hope that will suffice for today. tomorrow will be another day.

toitoitoi (maria)

•March 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hola chicos!

Here I am back in Buenos Aires, spent a week trying to readjust to the new environment, will spend one week being really happy and oblivious of everything but the sound of the crickets and the mosquito bites, and one week trying to remember why I’m coming back to icy Holland…

Anyway, in the middle of all that, I’ve been thinking about you all, being a bit excited and a bit nervous all the same (it surprised me), but mostly really happy that I was able to be a part of this project. It was an awesome process, and for what I read in the blog, it was an awesome performance.

Congrats and enjoy it!!!

family, generation, telephone (pablo)

•March 21, 2009 • 1 Comment

my father was on the phone last night, talking to his mother (o sea, my grandmother). we had just came back from having a drink after the performance, and I overheard the conversation, but of course, only his part of it:

“yeah, yeah, the premiere, yes… it was great, people wouldn’t stop clapping… really nice, yes… he was sitting with me in the tribune, he was watching… no, no music… no, no music at all… well, you know how it is with these contemporary dance things… no, not on their toes, no pointe shoes… no, really, no music… well, what can you do…”

premiere (pablo)

•March 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I loved today’s performance. many things came together. also all the tech worked quite fine, in spite of yesterday’s accidents with the TLs. I loved sitting in the middle of the audience and being completely stressed about it and just working a lot on trying to sense them, to feel how people were reacting… quite intense. I had the feeling that the audience was quite activated by the piece, and that made me happy. they might have been thinking a lot of things, but they felt sort of uneasy and yet engaged, people seemed to be very restless. and quite reactive. so maybe we just were lucky to have a very lively (and full) audience… it was great.

and then: performers worked great today, I loved their energy and timing, I felt very moved and I appreciated a lot their work. thank you guys again…

I try (pablo)

•March 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I try to keep posting, but it’s not easy. too many things happening.

general rehearsal today, went well, or well enough. I quite liked the work of the performers, and I think …

sorry can’t write today. need to sleep.

another time

enter theater (pablo)

•March 17, 2009 • 1 Comment

first rehearsal in the theater. great new information, a refreshment for the eyes: het veem is quite a beautiful space, very idiosyncratic, somehow very cozy… I enjoyed very much today’s warm up. it made me think of all the beautiful materials, all the specific movement researches in this process that are, if not left out, at leas very restrained in their use in the choreography. which is fine, but also triggers some melancholy, a certain missing that which hasn’t happened.

I don’t know how did time pass so quickly, but it was great to manage the 2 runs. I know people are very tired, and that everyone’s days are very long, but at the same time we won’t have many opportunities to work in the space, so it’s great to make a thorough use of that time. on wednesday we will be able to work a bit after the tech-run, but afterwards we will have barely a daily hour to warm-up and discuss things, so not much time to really focus on changes or specific things.

in any case, going back to the runs, it was quite strange how different they were. the first one was very dragged and clumsy in timing, and yet it did seem to have a proper duration (a bit over 30′). I was completely surprised with the 2nd run being only 22’… somehow too short while, on the other hand, it had a much better timing and worked quite well. I hope we will find a compromise between both.

it’s funny how in the theater it seems to get much darker, but I think several things operate. besides the space being bigger than the studio (specially in terms of height), I think there were 2 issues at play. one is the distance, the fact that the performers were not so close to the audience. the other one is the emergency exit light from the back… it’s amazing how any little bit of other light can completely destroy what the choice of just one TL creates. I think it is very crucial to get that light out.

I was also quite happy today to finally get to try (more or less) all trhoughout a soundscape for the piece. I think there need be some adjustments, but it was great to feel that some of the ideas do work and that in the worst case scenario it could even be done with this recording. but, luckily enough, Merijn will have some time to retouch it.

I am looking forwards to seeing the Whole Thing, including the proper break with the jumping, breaking the TLs, etc, etc… Stephie’s role is working, though her choreography is still a bit messy. costumes are done, and it’s actually the first time in my life that I am quite happy and convinced about how they work. the lighting is sort of radical, still a bit on the edge but I like its roughness and a sort of fragility in it? I think the soundscape will be a very good layer. the spatial choices are very exciting. and the whole material and the performing is also very exciting. it is also fragile, on the verge of failing, but sometimes (maybe because of that) very exciting. I am glad to have found a deal in which I had to give up (part) of the control over the materials, and though it is very demanding for the performers, I think it’s totally worth it. and: that at least these performers are up to the challenge.

I’m very happy, all in all. I finished today’s rehearsal quite energized. I was sorry to see everyone so tired, but I tried not to let it get in my way. it was very important to see things coming together. many of the practicalities are getting sorted out, and though we still need to arrange things (that’s what we have rehearsals and tech rehearsals for…), it seems pretty much on the way…

what a shitty title that was (refer to previous post)

•March 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

cool things (pablo)

•March 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

today’s practice was very beautiful. it had it’s moments, some better, some less better, of course, but all in all it was quite amazing to see you guys stay in the work for such a long frame. your concentration and the liveliness of your decision making + seeing the space are very interesting materials in themselves.

the run was a bit messy, and I’m sorry for that. but I am anyways quite confident that this new structure will work well. there is a complex issue of timing, which is essential for the piece to work, but which is not about cueing and cool timing together. I think it is difficult because there needs to be two quite autonomous tracks (the 4 people on one, Stephie and the TLs in the other), both with specific timing needs that need to be overlapped but not logically connected. I mean that the timing of one track should not affect the other (it is in that sense that I mean there is no cueing), but they do need to sort of complement each other… wow, come to think about it, maybe there is where the polyphony really appears: it’s not a harmonic construction of ‘chords’ on top of a melodic line (such as, the TLs accompanying the dances) but rather 2 lines evolving on their own, yet articulated in their cohabitation of the space. and this articulation, I think, is the thinking of their timings in relation to each other.

Stephie’s role seems a lot more clear now (Lotte also observed that), in spite of how complicated it was to rehearse it today. I like it a lot to see her much more integrated into the group and again, though in a completely different track, she belongs clearly to the ‘performers’. it works much better to have her cross the space, go through the group and relate to the space in a similar way (through the use of the eyes). her task(s) are still much more reduced than the group’s, and her choreography is independent from theirs, but now it looks very natural that she would share their performativity.

I am getting excited… and though it’s not so easy to know what and how to rehearse from here, I think the perspective is very good. I had the feeling today that sometimes the work before the run is too exhausting, but it also seems to clarify and enhance some senses. in any case we don’t have so much time left. we will probably be running it more in the next few days.

prepare yourselves for some jumping…

Post frequency (Ingrid)

•March 13, 2009 • 5 Comments

There are two posts to be found written by Ingrid in the blog. Hereby, the third one.

– Slightly insulted performer (21)

desire (pablo)

•March 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

it would be nice to have some private time, you and me work alone for a while (we’ll have that tomorrow, oh yes…). I still feel quite shaken and want a bit of that cozyness.

changos: I can’t thank you guys enough for your commitement and capacity. you’re amazing. thanks.

PS: when I wrote desire in the subject I remembered Ingrid’s (only) post; where is that sense of humour, woman? bring it back… this blog could use some more random posts, is too serious, it needs an appropriate percentage of humour

productive hardcore (pablo)

•March 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

today’s rehearsal was very important. something in the timing of how things got scheduled was not so great, because I felt overstressed and that I didn’t have enough energy and mind space for Maria and Igor (sorry about that Maria and Igor). and I felt like I also didn’t have enough energy and mind space and clarity for the performers (sorry performers) and for the choreography (sorry choreography).

in any case it was productive and good. I’m glad that we managed (somehow) to do the 2 runs, trying some variations and differences. I thought it moved things forward, and that’s good. what we have, we have already, and we can always use it. I was thinking today that it might be interesting to go back to the structure of the dry run with just a couple of very specific changes. would be an interesting experiment.

some reactions to Lotte’s comment (pablo)

•March 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I think form is the ultimate aspect that supports and/or obstructs the connection with the audience. every thing we do conditions how the next thing can be perceived, and the overall set of relations between the different components of the piece also affects the way these components can be perceived. I think that reordering sections, or taking a small part out could completely transform the piece, in the sense that it could completely transform the audience’s relation to what’s coming next. Like when you mention the idea to use the breaking of the TL to change scenes… then, I do like the idea of repetition a lot but again, I am wary of the form seeming to be too important.

I think you found a very good way to put things when you talk about a shift in how the audience is invited to look. and again, I think this shift is the structure.

I agree that maybe making Stephie’s role less subtle can be a good idea (we were actually already talking today about her going even more across the space of the others).

still thinking not thinking (pablo)

•March 11, 2009 • 1 Comment

I’ve tried all day to avoid thinking about the feedback from yesterday’s run, and to avoid thinking about the piece and about what to do with it now. but I didn’t really managed. I did think quite a bit. and I had a couple of interesting thoughts about possibilities for trying out things in rehearsal tomorrow and the day after. though I would still need to sit down more quietly and organize those thoughts…

the main issue that seemed to be questioned by yesterday’s session was how much does the form/structure really support a connection with the audience beyond (or before) meaning. people seemed very concerned after a while with trying to understand what did the activities mean, or what were the motivations behind them, or which kind of characters the performers could be. on the other hand, some of the materials (what I’ve been calling the Expressionistic version of the activities or solos) seemed to bring up the same kind of problems.

so I guess the next step will be to try to reshuffle the piece quite extremely. explore a very different kind of form. I think I can trust the performers to just dive into trying out different structures in the next few rehearsals. no more trying to polish materials or pracicing parts to make them better… or, actually, to practice them from now on always within structures. and, hopefully, within several different structures in the days to come. we’ll see how it works.

one very specific that happened was that everyone seemed quite enthusiastic about the first few minutes, and I encountered a problem quite similar to one I had last year in the choreography of ‘The Factbook’: a first part of the piece that sets up conditions that are very difficult to break out of. how to, or where to move on from there? the beginning, with the performers entering the space and lying on their backs, seems to work well (at least for that part I’m not the only one who likes it), but it builds up something that is very difficult to break away from. so what to do then? moving it somewhere else in the piece would destroy it, I think.

another thing is the gesture of breaking the TL, which (obviously enough) will be too cheap if used as the very end of the piece. people also commented on it creating an even greater feeling of narrative. and still I don’t want to resign that gesture. so, again, I’ll try to place it somewhere else. or repeat it. repetition as an alternative is quite present in my mind now. an even more formal structure…

another layer I want to revisit is that of frustration. I was trying to use materials in a very restrained manner, hoping to frustrate the audience in wanting more (more light, more sound, more intensity) but it didn’t work well. or something in it got in the way… maybe it needs to be more extremely frustrating. or something like that. maybe things should be more less.

last one: Stephie’s role. it raised a lot of questions. what to do? I’m not sure about that one (or about anything, in any case). I do feel that her role is what it is, that it doesn’t need to be anything too different. that it’s the group’s evolution what should allow for her role to flow. maybe she should also be a bit more subtle, or have a more or less different engagement with her activity. but I feel like it’s not really a problem of what and how she does, but of the rest of the group keeping the attention and the curiosity of the audience.

who knows, who knows, me not. me not.


•March 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I should say that I found myself so engaged with what we are doing and enjoying a lot..Especially the idea of representation if I may use this word !..The fact that we are showing violence with some actions which are obviously fake but clearly show the intention, keeps me playing with the role of the performer and the power of him to lead how the piece is going to be read…But then my question is how can the performer play with this role to avoid being read as someone who can not do something properly ? Does it rely on the trust ability of the performer in being capable to really do the action to the extreme of it? Does it need to be shown and then go to the fake quality? Or we want to play with this questions by faking the whole action?
About using the word fake I hope it is not so confusing because in a way what ever we are doing even to the last extreme of it can be fake because we are representing the reality…
I’m busy with these kind of questions but they should not necessarily find a clear answer because I can enjoy a performance if it leaves me with new question to play with…

dry run (pablo)

•March 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

today we did a dry run, and had a feedback session afterwards. I also had a beer after the feedback session, actually three. it was good. both. to have the feedback and to have the beers. write more tomorrow, probably.

costumes, among other things (maria)

•March 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s been difficult to summarise what I experienced on saturday, but I’ll do my best to keep it short. ;)

First of all, and purely as audience, I have to say that the piece is very much alive. At this point it’s difficult to put my finger on what it is exactly, rationally, but it is happening. It works, it connects to the audience, it involves them (us). I felt explored and destroyed through you, it was like I wasn’t so much watching as… feeling, through my skin.

What the piece needs now is cleaning up each element as much as possible. The lights, the clothes, the movements, the voices, the eyes. Every Thing is a whole on its own in this chaos/polyphony, so every thing should have a beginning and an end on its own, and be consequent. Afterwards either it dies or it transforms into the next movement, into a variation, etc. But as material, I think it might help.

To me the recollections were not very clear, I didn’t experience them as memory/movements – and I didn’t experience much of a change of the space in general even with the tls going on and off in different places, there wasn’t much change except in the direction of the light. And because the light is so powerful, the fact that it changes should have some an effect in the way the audiences is looking. Whether it cuts one section, or is the beginning of a new section, or whether it’s a fleeting effect. Maybe it has to do with the fact while you are on the floor you don’t acknowledge the light or the change? maybe it’s something that should come from the playing?

As far a what clothes and make-up concerns, I felt that what we have so far works to a certain extent in that the clothes don’t feel forced, and yet they aren’t rehearsal clothes either. But that feeling that I had, of the ‘after-party’ feeling, doesn’t seem to be enough now. It’s good and the more visible the recollections become the better it will work, but I need to figure out what works better in the light of the tls.  On saturday the details were completely lost and the clothes which worked the best were the ones which accentuated the silhouettes. Maybe not black, but dark clothes. Also Pablo’s red tshirt seemed to remain more visible in that light, so I’m thinking it either has to do with the saturation of the color of the fabric (how much gray) – the more pure the color, the more ‘visible’ it remains in the tl light; or with the darkness of the color.

I’m asking myself what the function of the clothes in this piece is, and what  the function of the tls is, and how they should combine… I don’t think it’s about ‘saying’ anything in particular with them, but all the elements have to enhance each other, bring out each other’s strength. Like Pablo said, maybe the build-up doesn’t have to do with peaking at mind-numbing chaos, maybe it’s a chain of sustained tension which at one point breaks. But because until that point the tension was so even and ever growing, a very small gesture will work to break it. And for that we need to find the right combinations between the different elements. The Tl’s, the costumes, the make-up (lots of make up!), but also every movement and every space you create with your movement  should be material that you have at hand, that you don’t even need to think about, it’s ready to be brought back.

For monday:

Please choose something dark-but-not-black for the rehearsal, see what that does. And if you have full color clothes (like Pablo’s red tshirt, for example) bring them and take pictures, to see if that makes a difference.

I really love what we are making!


running (pablo)

•March 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

first attempt at a full form… or almost full. today we tried putting things together, rushing a lot because we had used quite some time to discuss costumes, but we finally managed to do a run of what could be a whole choreography. it was very good to see, though very confronting. it’s tough to see things go out of your hands, and realise that some of the things you thought were quite brilliant actually don’t work so well…

all in all, I like very much the direction things have taken. the piece has at least some of this contained feeling, a strange kind of tension that comes not from a very intense moment but from sustaining a smaller tension for a longer time. something like that. it has a very particular timing, I think, and though it could be better, it goes in a direction that I’m finding interesting. what I think needs definitely more work is the spacing, the use of space, the way in which the improvised materials constantly construct new spaces inside of that room. and then, of course, many more specific details, like working out better what will really happen towards the end, how will we introduce the more chaotic textures…

there was also something about the beginning of the run. it was ok, nice and appealing, but it wasn’t extremely special. I wonder what it was… I don’t know very well, but there was a day in which I felt completely touched by that very quiet section, and I keep wondering what was it, how to get it back to work…

one more problem: I was in het veem today, I watched a performance, and took the opportunity to check the position of the audience and the visibility of things happening on the floor. it will be really hard to find the right positioning for the beginning of the piece, in a place where they can lay on their backs, not too far yet still visible across the heads of the audience members sitting in the front…

weigh anchors? (pablo)

•March 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

yes, do so. the main focus of this process has shifted. the word I called an anchor is no more. this process is something else, now. Desire is gone. we haven’t talked about it for so long…

or maybe actually not.