Return to London and return to solo

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  • December 6, 2013

 

I’m back in London.
When I came for the initial workshops with Wendy Houstoun it was Spring 2011.  I didn’t know what I was going to uncover or where the work would take me. 
Its quite fitting that I’m returning in December.  The distracted attention and open excitement of spring is behind me.  There is still wonder and anticipation but also a determined focus on the road ahead. 
I’ll be here for two weeks.  I’m looking forward to several studio visits from two artists I met briefly during my initial research in 2011: Matteo Fargion and Rahel VonMoos.  I’ve invited them to come take a look at the material I’ve generated and to engage with me in conversations and explorations to deepen the process. 


But let me back up…
And give a brief overview of the last year and a half.
I put the solo aside to work on a major new work: The Garden.  
The work I did throughout DMD/DM greatly informed the ensemble work of The Garden, and several of the dancers from that process performed in The Garden.  (though I still feel like there is a dance waiting to happen – born from the material we generated during the group process of DMD/DM.  but that’s another story.)
Over the last year and and a half I revisited the draft of my solo a few times.  In December 2012 I performed a 15 minute version for the NPN conference and again during a workshop for the writers of Thinking Dance.  Both of these showings led to lively conversations with presenters and artists I respect.  During the conference I struck up a friendship with solo artist Dan Kwong, which led to a studio visit with him in March of that year. 
I love allowing this solo to be a launchpad for larger conversations about process. 
Thanks to a grant from The PCAH and an invitation from FringeArts to premiere the work, I’m now focusing my attention on turning the solo process into a fully produced performance.   (evening length performance)
This phase of producing the work begins with a two week intensive period in London with studio visits from Matteo Fargion and Rahel VonMoos, two artists I worked with briefly during my initial research visit in 2011.  In between these sessions I will work alone in the studio. 
The goal is to return to Philadelphia re-inspired by conversations from colleages and mentors about the process of making this work.  I’ll filter those conversations and focus my energy on the completion of an evening length production. 
I’ll be working with a design team in this final phase of the process, shifting what has been a long expanse of working alone with brief visits from outside eyes, to working more intimately with people who will help me see the vision to completion.  This design team is coming in fresh to the project, and it’s strange to imagine inviting them into what has so far been a very vulnerable process.  
Prior to coming to London I spent a few days with composer Troy Herion (one of the members of the design team) – introducing him to the process and the solo and inviting him to ask question and provide provocations.  I love the way Troy thinks about structure and we had a great time batting around ideas.  The more I invite people into the room with me the more I realize that I need to remain a strong filter for the process.  At this point I know the heart of the work intimately and I need to trust my instincts.  I’m also very attached to things, so the provocations from Troy and Matteo and Rahel are welcome kicks in new directions.  Its incredibly inspiring and invigorating to allow myself to try new directions, but also empowering to trust my instincts as I construct. 
So, here I am in London. 

Processing my recent work with Troy, embracing the voices of Rahel and Matteo, and spending a lot of time alone, processing, wondering, constructing, dismantling, fine tuning.