This is...where we are now
This performance by Sally Doughty and Pete Shenton responds explicitly to the conference theme of ‘where are we now?’ in relation to both histories and confluences. The performance is a 25 minute excerpt titled This is… from a full-length dance performance, titled Renaissance, which uses dancing and speaking to investigate how memory can serve as a fundamental line of enquiry to produce improvised contemporary performance. This is… is designed to develop multiple layers of meaning for both performers and audience through the interrelationship of movement and text. It demands that Doughty and Shenton recall and tell individual personal memories that are positioned concurrently with – at times – seemingly unrelated movement material, which prompts performers and audience to consider ‘how one thing connects to the next thing… [and that] within this passage of relation lies the logic, narrative, pattern or subject that we, as human beings, are bound to look for (Burrows 2010: 111). Memory, as the driver in the work, places dual creative and performative demands on us as performers, which is to generate improvised movement and speech drawing from memory, and to commit (as much) of it to memory (as we can) in order to revisit and conclude it later on. As Hannah Ewence observes, ‘History and memory can, and do, successfully overlap and crossfertilize’ (2013: p.160) and in this instance, it does so to produce new improvised performance. This is…. operates at the intersections between individual, collective and confluent memory to produce witty, moving, thought provoking and unexpected commentaries on one’s past and present self. It asks performers and audience alike to consider ‘where are we now? at any one moment in the work. Renissance is supported by Arts Council England, Dance4 and De Montfort University.
Citation : Doughty, D. and Shenton, P (2017) This is...where we are now, at Dance Fields: Staking a Claim for Dance Studies in the 21st Century, University of Roehampton, 20 April 2017.
Research Group : Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Dance (CIRID)
Research Institute : Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies
Peer Reviewed : No
- School of Arts