Hourglass: The Archive as Muse
This proposal is for a performative presentation that responds explicitly to the conference themes of ‘designing process and innovative modes of making’; ‘sited practices’; ‘improvisation’, ‘context and responsivity’ and ‘professional practice’. The presentation focuses on the author’s recent commission by Dance4 to develop an improvised performance Hourglass (2015) in response to artefacts from Robert Wilson’s opera Einstein on the Beach (1976), exhibited at Backlit Gallery, Nottingham. Working with artefacts that have their own history and narrative can suggest a particular kind of responsivity that has the potential to mirror their original purpose. The challenge here was to create meaning anew in response to an original choreographic score by Lucinda Childs, other exhibits and the site itself. Through the process of making and performing Hourglass, questions surfaced for the author around how the performance might sustain itself beyond the duration of the exhibition and access to the site. Treating Hourglass as an archive and referring to Dancing in the Gallery and Museum (Wookey 2015), the author proposes to recycle Hourglass post-exhibition and reflect upon the process of doing so. Innovative modes of making, including the recycling of performance scores hand-drawn during Hourglass will instigate the design of the creative process from which new material and meaning arises, and which avoids the trap of either directly replicating the archive that is Hourglass or the initial source material: the opera. This performative paper collapses together live performance, video excerpts and a more traditional spoken delivery of findings.
Citation : Doughty, S. (2015) 'Hourglass: The Archive as Muse'. Performance presentation at Questioning the Contemporary: Rethinking Process, Practice and Product in 21st Century Contemporary Dance Practices symposium at Leeds Beckett University, 16-17th October 2015
Research Group : Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Dance (CIRID)
Research Institute : Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies
Peer Reviewed : No
- School of Arts