In the relationship between questions and practice we are not in a linear progression, more of a mobius strip.
For me, questions open up the wider field. Key to phenomenological enquiry (description, curiosity, interdependent relational process, embodied here and now experience) is the ability to acknowledge how our immediate interactions are affected by our embodied histories, our innate need to make meaning and to seek interpretation through questioning even as we embrace living in the here and now.
Choreographers question on a daily, moment-to-moment basis. Much of the work in the studio is an attempt to resolve, find embodied answers for those ongoing questions. Never finding, or wanting, a single answer, or truth, keeps us, as choreographers/writers/practitioners returning to the studio/page. Living now and questioning living now are partners in a dance of now and then.
And there is the Artscross theme of ‘uncertainty’, which colors the open enquiry that has no answers. I am already looking at the work through the pre-determined lens of uncertainty – if that lens is possible. And of course I am opening myself to questions. How do choreographers work with uncertainty in the studio, when they have three weeks to produce a performance? How do choreographers deal with the enormous uncertainty of working with performers they do not know (at least the UK choreographers)? Can they allow themselves to admit to uncertainty in the studio? How do dancers work with the uncertainty of the moment with the choreographer while their bodies carry historical and repeated codes of knowledge? What is my experience of uncertainty that I bring into the studio? Can I stay with, feel and experience uncertainty? How long can I allow myself to embody not knowing?
So I set myself a challenge. Yes, phenomenological observation, yes, to enter into the work in the studio to see what arises. And to notice how the predetermined theme of uncertainty is played out in my body and others’ bodies within the studio. Can we catch a moment without fixing it? Perhaps, in a relational dialogic practice…
What did I see?
Kham’s performers – holding pieces of paper, huddled, absorbed in the act of counting, limbs jerking, quiet concentration, heads down.
Yen Fang’s performers — improvising, hip hop fragmented ripples, a sense of something playful, multi directional.
Avatara’s group laughs loudly. Her voice, sensual, opens the space: ‘I want strong women of the 21st century – you understand that?’
Yao — four double mattresses in the space. The group is sitting in a circle, talking their dreams. Laughter shared.
These moments open time, unfixing, waiting.