Exercises, scores, and more ...
Score 1, Probing space
Nervous Systems starts with a score based on the notion ‘probing space’. I lend this notion from dance theorist Carla Carmona, who uses it to refer to the way dancers and choreographers interact with the stage environment where their works are going to be performed (Carmona, 2018: 39). It is a physical testing of the room through sensing and adjusting the environment for performance, for example by walking in it, marking small dance phrases, and noticing and interacting with objects, light- and sound sources. My score organizes performer/s to make a real-time collaborative editing of the space without verbal communication. This part of the practice is sound recorded. The goal is to get acquainted with and (re)organize the environment through ways of moving (kinesis) and ways of touching (hapticity). This activity functions as a bridge between the rhythm and focus outside and inside the artistic research environment, it allows lateral collaboration, and produces a conscious awareness of the research environment as an active agent in Nervous Systems.
Score 2, Deep listening, deep sensing
The practice continues by introducing a focus on physiological issues of the sensorial apparatus in two exercises. In the first exercise, the performer/s comfortably sits or lays down and attends to the established environment through a deep listening exercise that mixes the sound of the space with the sound recordings made during the first score. This deep listening exercise is based on a sonic tuning meditation that is a technique developed by electronic composition pioneer Pauline Oliveros. It became very important in the exploration of psychoacoustics in the 1970s (audiofoundation.org accessed March 19). Deep listening is used as a bridge to change the attention from exteroception to endo- or interoception and introduces technology to expand the sensory perception of performer/s. The second exercise is a deep breathing exercises supported by a live or pre-recorded narrative that guides the perceptual attention of performer/s in their visualization and imagination of physiological and sensorial processes.
Score 3, Still dances
The third part of the practice is a score that destabilize how time, space, and movements is experienced by the performer/s. The score reads: ‘wait, perform waiting, expand, expanding awareness, do nothing, not dancing, dance’. In short, the basic strategy of this score consists of a suspending dynamic. It aims to bring performers together to anticipate improvisation in stillness. The tasks allow them to wait and clarify what is happening in their state of conscious control by choosing not to act. The score originated as a strategy to stretch the performers’ and spectators’ horizon of attention during the opening scene of Almosteverythinghappens (2016). It is inspired by Steve Paxton’s ‘small dances’ that he described as a physiological state where a performer moves without giving the instruction of movement, a condition where a performer no longer has to move, where the only thing he/she/they need, is to let oneself be moved (Godard & Bigé, 2019: 100-1). It also resonates with my training in Tai Chi Juan and Chi Kung, martial arts that practice how to deal with impulses without breaking flow in movement and breathing.