The embodiment of the research
In my search for different methods to create the concept, I found that embodying my research helped me to connect with the feeling I was searching for instead of only thinking about it. If we take jazz as an example, you don’t only talk about jazz but you embody jazz. You feel the music through your body. When you improvise in a structure the musician can find a common flow. It's this flow that I am searching for in my working methods.
I had to find the balance within my research. I spent so much time feeling stuck in my mind, obsessed with what I was searching for but unable to fully grasp it. To make a connection with my body and experience my ideas on a different level, I decided to write diary pieces for my characters. With the words, I tried to convey their pains, worries, and thoughts. These words became a way to feel the body. I underlined the words and sentences that generated something within me.
With the PREVIZ/motion capture tool, I was looking for a way to visualise my fantasies and by doing so, come up with new material. It’s the same idea as drawing your ideas like shots in a storyboard but instead, you’re working directly with the visual effects department and actors. I saw it as a digital rehearsal space. You can interact with your surroundings with your actor and try out relationships between space, live actors and spectatorship.
I had some talks about a possible collaboration with the company Planet X who are developing specific motion capture and camera techniques. PREVIZ is mainly being used to execute prepared ideas. I would like to use these technologies in the future in creative ways to produce new material. The PREVIZ tool is not to pre-visualise the outcome but to pre-visualise my script. I want the studio to become a rehearsal space and jam with the technology. In the end, this idea was taking too much time, partially due to having to collaborate with bigger companies. Therefore, I decided to wait until the future with these collaborations.
The embodiment of the spectator
Throughout these two years, I have been balancing between illustration and the desire for anti-representation. Partly, this has to do with controlling the imagination or letting the audience use their own imagination. I related to the works of Artaud and Romeo Castellucci in a mission to create performances or works as communal events where the audience/makers are part of a circular flow of bodily energies. I work with the idea of the image as a symphony of movements, inspired by sounds, colours, music, etc. How can the spectator experience this as a bodily vision rather than a traditional causal logic of representation? Simultaneously, I have been making a project which is bound by the traditional script structures.
I began to question why I don’t want to lose complete control over my way of working of the outcome. The reason I have found is that I’m interested in the boundaries and moments of breaking reality. I’m interested in surrealism which plays with the given rules. Surrealism needs realism as a jumping board. Completely open abstract works, where the audience can perhaps physically experience the work but have almost no direction of the maker, doesn’t interest me so much as a maker.
I wanted to think more through making and creating and allow the body and intuition speak instead of only the intellect. To connect to this physical feeling and approach I went dance classes of different choreographers at Dance Ateliers in Rotterdam to experience their different approaches of movement and creation. For the project TOUCH, I also decided to ask a choreographer to work with me on the exercises and tasks I was planning on giving to my actors. Together with another dancer, I experienced physically my own exercises guided by the methods of this choreographer
In collaboration with the VR Academy and the Design & Technology department at the theatre school in Amsterdam, I worked with the students over three weeks to create an interdisciplinary performance. I saw this opportunity as a lab to make a framework but allow the students to bring the content. I gave them the framework of the concept album Landfall by Laurie Anderson. Anderson’s work reflects on Hurricane Sandy but was also a starting point to reflect on what it means to have a home and the subject of climate change. It also inspired me for my own practice and possible projects to generate new material in these small groups and workshops.