bridging with choreography

I wonder – for those of you immersed in choreography – how you might start to connect your work in this module with your choreographic work in other instances. How might practice-as-research inform your making in other arenas? How might it help you situate your practice(s)? What are the questions that you are grappling with in the module and how might you make these questions related to choreographic concerns?

For example, I am still writing these love letters as a practice. It doesn’t really relate to my ongoing choreographic work at all but how might I turn my attention to it in such a way that it breathes life into the choreographic? I might consider the nature of relational work. I could think of it in terms of tracing process. I could think of it in how I am only ever approaching understanding. I could try it in relation to processes of building/making through repetition and reformulation (or translation). etc.

It’s about adopting a kind of light and playful relationship with the ideas and then considering how this might help transform my understanding of a) how I understand the practice itself, and b) how it might matter to me in my development as a choreographer.

This module is concerned with “a”, but “b” is perhaps a fringe benefit.


meg stuart on assumptions

I hate assumptions in choreographic practice. Around 2000 there was a schism among choreographers, in Europe anyway, of those performing ideas and of others working with dance and theater concerns. With this conceptual approach there seemed to be an assumption that to articulate one’s ideas, one had to adopt a neutral pedestrian behavior, reject theatricality, and even resist movement all together. I completely support the ongoing re-examination of the performative contract of dance-making, but at a certain moment I felt like screaming. A lot has happened since the ’60s and Judson Church. It must be possible to acknowledge this research. What about bodies in crisis? Bodies that are not in control? What about complex physical and emotional states? Is it possible to give these irrational bodies a platform to address contemporary issues while embracing a theatrical context? I created ALIBI (2001) with these questions in mind. Dance for me is not analytical or rational, and it doesn’t need to be, but that doesn’t mean it is simply intuitive or free flowing either.

– Meg Stuart

The entire conversation between Stuart and Catherine Sullivan is a treasure-trove of ideas about choreographic practice.