Today I overheard (perhaps eavesdropping is the proper word but it was definitely not intentional) a conversation between two strangers while leaving the gym this morning. I caught portions of a dialogue between a man and a woman in a very private conversation in a public environment – it was exactly like a scene within a movie. What caught me was the frank emptiness leaking from the male figure’s voice and in his physical demeanor while the consoling female tried to provide a bit of advice in order to alleviate him from his disposition. The brief dialogue went somewhat like this:
Female: Is it because you are lonely?
Male: ….uh… yeah I don’t know what to do.. about… this…
Female: You should really definitely think of social clubs or activities with other people like you.
Male: ….. Can’t get this feeling out of myself… maybe should…. I’ve stopped taking the ant-depressants you know….
Female: … okay… maybe you should….
Male: maybe should….
That was basically the entire moment that I was able to witness and yet it struck me kind powerful. It was not a huge conversation but it was the sparseness of it which added to the moment. It was the placement of these two bodies in that tight space that intrigued me as well. Even though they were in a rather intimate conversation, there was a huge distance between the two. They were definitely not in the same place in their lives. The tin-like tone along with the time it took the male to deliver his words molded his whole being. The intense sadness of loneliness was coming out of that man and it was clear he that was losing himself somewhere within. He was void of who he was and could not find the path of getting back to himself. He seemed to be drowning in his sense of nothingness. It was a very quiet and soft cry for rescue that was heard loud and clear by only a few.
When one is so in love with one’s own odor, one can’t perceive or recognize the stink that is imposed on others. Sometimes when an idea is clear in ones head, it does not mean that the idea is clear for others. Often the conceptual does not reflect the reality of the product. Never assume the obvious and never disrespect the intelligence of your audience.
I am writing this while we are in the studio during Chanti’s process. It is the start of the second week of Chanti’s process and after she had the time to reflect over the weekend of all that she has accomplished, I told her that it is time to narrow it all to what is considered as essential. The theme of her research is about working with the senses, and that she means physically and the surrounding environment (nature). She is very influenced by man’s place in nature and how it affects our way of being. We had a very good talk about really concentrating on ‘creating’ and actual construction of movement and vocabulary rather than relying on only improvisation. This is a challenge for Chanti, even though it takes more time and it forces her to make physical and artistic choices, it is a great exercise for her. I can see she wants to give it up at times but I’m encouraging her to break the resistance. She is working on motifs that have a life and world to its’ own. Not wanting to create a ‘piece’, she wants tableaus. The challenge for her is to bring these motifs as far and as far it can go, don’t just touch the surface of the idea. The idea should bring us on a journey, it should somehow reach a transcendence for the viewer, the dancers, and perhaps the creator in some form. I’m sitting here observing her working on two of the dancers, Lori and Alanna. Chanti is working on a ‘dance’ duo that is based on the idea of cause and effect. I’ve asked her to her to craft and create each movement on them and to limit the choices of improvisation. This will be a good exercise for her as it forces her to work and clarify what it is that she wants to say. Continue reading chanti’s process after week one
The company is back in action with choreographer Chanti Wadge from Montreal doing a creative process here at the Lab. I am her monitor/dramaturge/artistic councilor for this process. She has so many ideas of what she would like to accomplish with her research time and it is my job to narrow it down. Sets and lighting propositions are being constructed to deal with her question of man’s place in nature. Or is she talking about how small we are in the grand scale of things? Is this an existential questioning or is does she want to express a sense of acceptance of our place on this massive world? Chanti wants to play with ideas of installation, performance art, and theatricality. Wants to avoid working with movement that is arbitrary but has difficulty doing that without working on just improvisation. She wants to craft or ‘choreograph’ in a formal fashion without straying away from her conceptual idea. The main thing for me to do is find the core of what she wants to try, do, and say. Chanti has so many goals that she wants to achieve here however I have to get her to eventually decide on one clear path. I’ve spoken to her to stop over thinking and analysing as it often hampers the potential for true creativity. Allow the movement to grow and speak then eventually she can start structuring, crafting, discarding, and choreographing. She needs to just generate material, try new things, try new ways of creating, avoid the comfort zone and ultimately to take chances. This may open up new ways of seeing and perhaps open up new possibilities in her work. After her second day, I already see her struggling with this in her head but I believe that it is a good thing.