i am alive and you are dead

The 台北國際藝術村 Taipei Artist Village had a Christmas open studio yesterday, and I was determined to bitch-slap any Christmas cheer with my 12 minute horror piece i am alive and you are dead. So much for dance, I sat in a chair for 12 minutes and played with props while lip-synching the pivotal scenes from Kubrick’s The Shining, and channeling Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. Britney Spears it wasn’t.

Strangely, people dug it and I didn’t make any children cry or receive calls for my immediate extradition. I don’t have any photos of the performance yet either, but Cindy from the Artists Village is a compulsive clicker, so I’m sure they will turn up in some unlikely place.

I’m having a real struggle between making what I came here to do, which is computer-generated choreography, using carnivore and life-forms and what I’m also really interested in, which is the almost the absence of performance. The former is an incredibly dense, fast and compressed virtuosic choreography. In some ways it is a simple exercise in deconstruction of the formal vocabulary of ballet. Also it is represents what is possible in creating movement with technology that didn’t really exist 10 years ago.

The flipside to this is very much a dissatisfaction with dance. I’m not sure what the point is in most dance, and I’m left with a feeling of despair from almost every performance I see. So I’ve gone right back to what is the simplest thing I can make. In extermination this was dirt, where Emily’s naked body was pulled and examined, or Goya, which was a literal re-creation of Goya’s etchings The Disasters of War.

In both these I can find endless fascination, but that in itself doesn’t make a good work, or even one worth subjecting an audience to. The real issue is how can these two opposites fit together. Or, besides really enjoying making insanely fast and difficult choreography, what’s the point in making it? Maybe I need a night out with my lighting-designer and very good friend JD and he can tell me I’m thinking too much and to drink more beer.

So, the next month is going to be spent making death-metal choreography with a couple of local dancers, and working out what’s going on in this other stuff. Ziggy Stardust meets The Shining.