This feels like a slightly belated update on a really exciting thing that happened, but I was tired and then the festive season came and I was too engrossed in playing Pie Face with my five year old sister to even think about blogging. Yet, here I am, Post-Christmas with no whipped cream on my face so I should get back to the point and adopt a more professional tone...
In early December I was in residence in The CCA's Creative Lab for a research and development week to work on my performance This is not a euphemism, an opportunity made possible by Dance House. This is a performance I have been developing for around a year and a half, with developments of the work being shown over that period in London (Camden People's Theatre), Glasgow (Buzzcut Festival), and Leeds (Live Art Bistro). Despite being in development for some time I have still felt unsatisfied with the work and each manifestation of ...euphemism has been vastly different.
Firstly, this performance is usually a two-hander(ish) between myself and the absolutely wonderful woman, talented performer and brilliant BSL interpreter Natalie McDonald. ...euphemism is always fully integrated with BSL and is therefore accessible to deaf audiences, something I am incredibly passionate about. However, due to financial shortages I was unable to work with Natalie during this period of research so I decided to focus on the choreographic material itself during this time.
I began making this performance, over a year ago, in a way that was very confessional, exposing and direct in terms of the stories I wanted to tell and how they were presented in the material. I approached the delicate and vulnerable subject matter in a directly outward facing manor, purposefully putting the private into the public domain as a reclamation of my experience. For many reasons I have changed my intention to present my self, my body, my stories and my experiences in such a light, and carried this reflection into my residency.
I wanted to take the movement material I had, pick it apart and distill or expand it to find more of its essence. I wanted to take the choreographies of the previous incarnations of the work and abstract them further, withdrawing them from any sort of direct narrative and instead focusing on the physical information itself. I wanted to reimagine the preexisting material of ...euphemism and label it purely as dance, and not theatre or performance, and see how the spectorial gaze upon the work might change or alter. I wanted to test the structure of the performance, play with the relationship between spectator and performer and try the work in more of a gallery setting.
I addressed these intentions throughout the week which was really rewarding, and actually quite joyful. I presented my findings in the form of a sharing to a small audience on Friday afternoon. Below is some of the documentation from this (non)event.