As we get closer to the opening night performance, I've been thinking a lot about how all of the peices in this work fit together, and what the experience will be for an audience member. So much of the work I've done as a graduate student has been focused on viewership: how is the dance packaged and delivered the audience? What is the goal in doing so? I'm curious about the role live performance plays in our digital culture. We process so much in such short spans of time, that it surely translates into a different experience with live art. I don't think this is good or bad, but I do think it's important to acknowledge it. And to work with the conditions in which we currently live to try and effectively share information and ideas with an audience.
One way I am trying to do that in this piece is to begin the performance with a collection of performance and media installations in which the audience is mobile, and they get to choose what they see, and for how long. To help bridge what I sometimes perceive as a "comfort" barrier between dance audiences and the work they see, these performances, will accompanied with various entry-points: additional information on a mobile website accessed via smartphones, a map of the space, participatory "stations," etc. I often talk to dance audiences who don't consider themselves "experts" in dance, and so they don't feel equipped to fully engage with the material. I'm hoping that these open-ended access points might help bridge that gap and help the viewer reach new understanding.
Questions are my favorite way to guide an experience without "giving the information away for free." This is something I actually do a lot in my own teaching, and I appreciate how questions maintain a space for possibility. When framed effectively, they can give the viewer a jumping off point into their own thought process, informed by their own experience.
Here are some of the questions I'm thinking about:
How do we make something out of nothing that once was something?
How does emptiness in space resonate in the body?
How does each piece of history inform the whole?
Does “borrowed time” carry a different meaning for you when you think about it in terms of space or place? Does it still have implications for human life?