This post also appears as an entry on The Red Line, South East Dance‘s blog exploring dramaturgical thinking.
A desire to learn more about dramaturgical approaches and to test them out on the germ of an idea for a new work led me to this workshop organised by South East Dance. Through group activities we explored “the potential of language as a generative form” and I left Martin Hargreave’s workshop with many strategies for getting outside my own ‘natural’ processes, and for approaching my research in both a more frivolous, and voluminous way. Do lots. Discard later.
Richard Serra’s Verb List 1967-68 – which we employed (see photograph in Adrienne Hart’s blog post) – provides a useful metaphor for some of the tasks and approaches we undertook. You can think across the list both horizontally and vertically, or randomly, exploring the connections and contradictions between words and ideas, following fruitful correspondences, discarding others (for now).
A collaborative manifesto-writing task produced something for the idea I am researching. I find it fascinating that the words of others could help me to draw together, tease out and name some of the principles behind a work that is, for now, a rough muddle in my head. Especially since, up to now it has existed as a kind of out-of-focus image‑gallery.
Adding to the manifestos accumulating on The Red Line, here is the current iteration:
Manifesto for (Preparing to) Making Art with Guests 1
Be a Host (ess).
Take care of the space. Make it inviting.
Bring sustenance for you and your guests.
Create a convivial environment in which connections can emerge, listening can take place and the impossible can be imagined.
Imagine the impossible.
Collect and assemble starting points or puzzles for your guests.
Guide your guests through mapping, describing and articulating.
Assemble and use ordinary objects that excite you/them.
Make your guests Protagonists.
Do what you want.
Do what they want.
Listen to The Smiths.
Take things apart and remake them.
Make visible your Guests chameleon-like nature – their thick-and-thin skinned-ness.
Make a record of the record.
Give meaning and hope to frustration and suffering.
Reading through the first few entries about this workshop on The Red Line I would also like to steal (borrow/try for size) from a fellow artist who attended the Test workshop. I adopt a second set of principles for this work from Re‑Manifesto.
Manifesto for (Preparing to) Making Art with Guests 1.1
I am an acrobat of time.
Space has no meaning.
I’m a healer.
Professional Development supported through South East Dance and Jerwood Charitable Foundation Dramaturg in Residence Programme 2016/17.