These four videos show the influence of the interpretations of two different performances of Hope Lee’s entends, entends le passé qui marche … on my choice of movement vocabulary and quality.
The first and second video show two different approaches to sustaining tension between the music and the dance.
The third and fourth video explore similar dance ideas in a very different way.
The second and fourth videos show my ultimate movement and musical choices.
SWW #7 was choreographed and realized over a year of unavoidable breaks and distractions. When in early 2023 I returned to reconsider and complete the dance I had trouble justifying the counter numbers on early videos with the musical recording. It finally dawned on me, thankfully not too late in the process, that I had been working with two separate recordings of Hope Lee’s entends, entends le passé qui marche.…
As a result I contacted the composer for a discussion. We each engaged the exercise of listening to both recordings, back to back, and registering the aesthetic effect. Where Lee found one interpretation seemed to “focus on the ‘future’ due to forward-directional phrasing and a narrative nature, the other version focused on the ‘present’ because of the execution of musical gestures and the clarity in the recording of the pedal effect that created the spatial dimensions. My listening paralleled Lee’s observations although in the language and images of a non-musician.
I find it exciting that interpretations can be qualified meaningfully. During the listening exercise I felt that I was listening differently to each interpretation. It occurred to me that there would likely be a correspondence between the way I was listening and the way the player herself was listening – as if the player’s listening was leading my own. This experience increased my appreciation for both the composition and the interpretation of the music, and it made me reflect on the intimately aligned creative energies of choreography and interpretation in dance.
I am caught in a jewel of amber – taut, bowed, twisted, pushed, pulled and grounded. The inner flame ignites.
In SWW #7, rehearsals consisted of deepening the movement qualities and expressions of the various sections. In the introductory section, the performer is working with the qualities of restraint and tension with movement accents that emphasize the tension held in the body. As the performer worked with the music score, we soon discovered these qualities deepen and intensify by giving more space and time; varying the durations between the movement accents. In another section, the performer looks as though she is suspended from the sternum. To deepen this quality and make the expression more extreme, I gave the cue to emphasize the extension of both her arms / hands behind her torso as her sternum is being pulled. Another section near to the end, enlivened and became replete with imagery when suggested to the performer how both the micro and macro articulations of her arms, hands, and inner torso was reminiscent of the micro and macro of horizon and landscape, with all of its ridges, edges, curves, crevasses, angels, and lines. The more this work deepened in the performer’s body, the more I was struck with unexpected imagery and connections to earth, nature and landscape.
For SWW 7 I had been looking at images of insects in amber. The amber linen jumpsuit is cut on the bias so it follows the form of the dancers body during movement more fluidly than if the costume had been cut on the straight grain. The quality and feel of the fabric in the costume can also influence the dancer in performance so I am always trying to strike a balance between looks, comfort and how we want the costume to behave with the dancer’s movement.
We filmed 2 takes of SWW 7 and I lit each one differently. The first take was simply to provide appropriate colour tone and dimensional depth on the body and costume. Once I watched it on a monitor, I realized that there needed to be better visual support. Haze was turned on to fill the air, lights where moved, colour became more saturated, and intensities increased to provide a directional source. The result was a strong visual connection that helped the choreography and the music to work together, it created a place for the music to exist as an entity and for the dancer to respond to.
All these timings are from the interpretation of Yumiko Meguri
A – on spot, 0 ‘ 1’40 retire
B – low, slow, wide to narrow, upper body above all the way, breaking slowing away, find silence 2’42 to 2’51 facing usl, whole section 1’45 to 3’27
C – hands open, closed, pushed through and open by body, at the top of C bring back a couple of soft sinkings, section sections, 3’27 – 4’58
D – hands moving away from each other, body floating up in centre, buoyant, weight shifts on demi, 4’58 – arch back 5’34
E – drag in and 3 odd rises, 5’35 – 6’07
F – allegro a. 6’09 – 6’49, b. voices/cymbals 6’56/7’05/7’14 c. drum, breath 7’25 – 7’35
no turn to start, just throw hips forward and head back, throw head and shoulders, allow for balancing correcting steps, move into chest and ribs, do a lot in centre circle,
on first high voice 6’56 keep attacking but in half or quarter turns with shoulders and hips, allow pauses,
before 7’05, second high voice take hands finger tips down in end of a chaine half turn dsr, and
these turns are executed quickly and the arrivals and departures are sharp but the change of focus is slow
chainé to wide plier usl slow revolve of head and arms to ds,
chainé down arrive switch look up and down, slow revolve
7’25 – 27 drum like x2
Through wide and deep
G – on spot wide and stretched, 7’40 low dark voice, higher voice series
H – gathering in and denouement, 8’54 -follow 4th iteration in with hands at 9’28, quick hand away from hand curving in and around spine w facing changes at 9’45 drone to mandolin at 10’00, descending to floor and shifting through knees, standing at two descending notes 10’57 – 11’06, drop back and hang, after a few moments gather another step backwards and candle flame.