dancehouse

Dancehouse is a venue in Melbourne, Australia. It began as an artist-led space in 1992 but now is slightly more conventional in how it is organised, funded and run as a ‘dance centre’. As part of Dancehouse’s 21st anniversary celebrations in 2013 they asked a bunch of people who had danced and made work there over the years to tell a story and maybe even do a dance.

Here are mine:

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microflicks

Back in 2006, David Corbet and I were working closely on a bunch of different projects. Often this including working with video in various ways. We got interested in pruning moving images down to the cellular (frame) level; that is, editing frames of movement to attempt to generate flickers of screendance. micro50s were born – the 50 referring to how many frames in 2 seconds of PAL video – and we called the project microflicks.

I finally got round to putting an archive of the micro50s up at skellis.info. The cover page (with details about the project) is at www.skellis.info/choreography#/microflicks, and the micro50s themselves are at www.skellis.info/micro50.

 

andante

I’ve discussed my ongoing work as a dramaturg with Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas in various posts on this blog here, here, here and here.

Their latest work – Andante – has its London première tomorrow on Thursday 2 November at The Place (tickets and details are here: theplace.org.uk/whats-on/igor-and-moreno–1. The work has been developed slowly over about three years and the team of people involved are smart, caring and committed: Giorgia Nardin, Eleanor Sikorski, Alberto Ruiz Soler, Kasper Hanser, Sophie Bellin Hansen, Seth Rook Williams, Sarah Maguire, Hannah Blamire, and Melanie Pappenheim.

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Image of Ellie Sikorski, Giorgia Nardin, Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas courtesy of Alicia Clarke Photography

Like their previous two works, Andante is brave in its vision and sense of the theatrical. It is demanding and accessible, it is patient and evocative. If you can get along to The Place, I suspect it will be well worth the effort.

 

efva lilja

I first encountered the remarkable Swedish choreographer Efva Lilja through her books Dance, For Better For Worse (2004) and Words on Dance (2003). But I’d never met her in person until late last year on a bloody freezing day in Leeds at Error and Creativity: An Interdisciplinary Symposium. She gave a keynote that day and I made a few very rough notes which I’ve included below. The notes give a sense of the breadth of her thinking and ideas, but not any sense of her drive, presence and beautiful playfulness.

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Image from http://www.culturalentrepreneur.se/
  • “I am what I do not know, I am what I lack”
  • “technologies of listening”
  • “knowledge generation” in Europe
  • what’s at stake?
  • the values: what we value
  • can’t force the outcome
  • hypothetical questions
  • “question of cliches is an urgent one”
  • “and question of contention is as well”
  • “how to create new demands on institutions and the academy”
  • training: reduces the dancer to a body
  • “ability to recognise difference has to be trained”

Efva’s website: www.efvalilja.se
Efva on wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efva_Lilja

 

andrée

Last Wednesday the esteemed dance anthropologist Andrée Grau died suddenly. She had an inquisitive, sharp and beautiful mind, was quick witted and profoundly inspiring to her students.

Here’s a video of Andrée from 2011 talking about dance anthropology. In it she suggests that “to dance is a social duty”.

Rest and dance easily Andrée – your intellect, compassion, and beautiful wrestling with ideas will remain. Of course I’ll miss our bloody-minded arguments, but know that I will do my best to remember my social duty as a dancer.

 

conflicts of interest – letting us know that they know

The thing about conflicts of interest is that they are inevitable. I’ve experienced them from various sides: I’ve benefited from them, missed out because of them (perhaps), others have benefited from them because of me … you get the idea. I’ve seen them involve friends, colleagues, husbands, wives, partners, families, former lovers. In a few situations the conflicts of interest were named, but nothing was changed or adapted because of them. In even fewer cases (perhaps two that come to mind) the conflict was named and the decision-making process was adapted. In all these cases we could never know who – or how – people have been privileged or disadvantaged by the conflict. Indeed, I’d argue that in any decision-making process our cultural, racial, gender-based, political, aesthetic, social (the list could go on and on) understandings of the world and people act as conflicts of interest (we just call them biases). Given all of these things, how could I ever know that I’m making the best possible decision for the people and organisations involved?

But the really insidious thing about obvious conflicts of interest (marriage, partners, friendship, etc) is how they affect other people. The simple perception that there is a conflict of interest – by those just on the edge of the event or decision – is enough to cause righteous frustration, anger and bitterness.

In the dance community people just say that conflicts of interest are inevitable because “it’s a small field”. But this is not the problem. I know of no organisations in dance that have publicly announced conflicts of interest and the steps they took to counter the conflicts.[1] Such a simple action would at the very least let the dance community know something they already know. More importantly, the organisation responsible for the conflict of interest would be letting us know that they know.


  1. But I’d love to hear different.  ↩

documenting the document

Previously I’ve posted links to Windows and MacOS copies of my practice-as-research PhD project Indelible (2005). For people using Intel versions of Mac computers (roughly post 2011) the interactive component of the project does not work. I’ve been wanting to update the code for nearly 6 years and have now stopped imagining that this will happen.

Instead, I’ve made two video screencasts of the interactive component:

  1. A brief (6 minute) tour or sample of the materials: https://vimeo.com/177367460
  2. A complete (84 minute) video of all of the materials: https://vimeo.com/177368823

This video documentation of interactive material probably compromises the integrity of the project, but it seems important that there is some way for people to have access to the work.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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