Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Liz Lerman Mentorship: What did I learn?

January 20, 2010

The opportunity to be mentored in a one on one relationship with Liz Lerman during October 2009 was an unforgettable experience. She embodies the artist I strive to be. Creative and Alive. Conscious and Analytical. Committed to deepening human interaction and engagement. Liz is redefining the art of dance and the role it can play in society. She taught me so much about creating dance and staying true to one’s vision for artistic practice.

From a strictly artistic perspective, she identified two skills and approaches that I am thinking alot about these days:

1. Go up really close to the subject matter when you are developing your dance. Get as literal and close-up as possible and then pull back once you know where too close is. There is a difference between being didactic and being unclear about your subject matter. Getting up close allows you to find out clearly what your subject matter is about. Pulling back allows you to bring artistry to it.

2. Find the embodiment of something and then use it in a physical conversation. It’s a way of building dialogue. She was describing a tool for how to take on the body and weight of an emotion/feeling and that transferring that embodiment into a choreographic entity.

It would be hard to thank the SFU Centre for Dialogue enough for choosing me to engage so deeply with this deeply-committed artist, Liz Lerman.


Experiments: outcomes

January 19, 2010

What have I learned from this piece so far. That if I am going to do a piece about scientific method and creative method, then I need to attend to the methodology throughout. Either make it overt, like an exoskeleton, or comment on it throughout the work.

First Week in studio

September 4, 2009

I began some creation on the new piece recently and I was thrilled at the juice that was flowing creatively. Illuminated blocks for data points marking the salient moments in the dancers’ work. Attractions between dancers as visible reflections about theories on origins of race as a response to impressions of beauty and love that are formulated early in life by the image of our primary caregivers. This is a theory that is part of the literature of evolutionary biology and that is core to the study of Behavioural ecology. Characters emerging on the stage as a parallel to the way Behavioural Ecologists study individual animals, who they watch and analyze in terms of each individual’s response to opportunities and risks in their environment. In other words the individual variations between animals will be viewed in this piece like the individual variations between the motivations of different characters and more specifically the risk tolerance of these 3 characters ranging from most cautious to most bold. Is there an outcome within the piece, such as who ends up with the biggest pay off and who ends up with the biggest losses based on their respective strategies along the continuum of cautious to bold? These are the questions of Behavioural Ecology and they are beginning to find some language in the dance piece that feels like it has the possibility of being both aesthetically and dramatically charged, but also interesting in terms of its connection to the methods of science and the interests of scientists in the field of BE. There is still a very far way to go but here, you go, a short blog entry on what I have begun to create.