hell day 1 – south of heaven

I am back in hell again. One month of rehearsals started today and the group would make Captain Blood tremble. Dancers Gala Moody, Gabrielle Nankivell, Luke George, ann Bonnie and Lilly Paskas, joined by Mr Satan himself, Emile Zile, and the best lighting designer I’ve ever got repeatedly drunk and talked shit with, John Dutton. Pirates Ahoy … Pieces of Eight etc.

So once again I’m going to write about every rehearsal, plus anything else that comes into my mind and goes ping, and maybe it’ll make me think a bit clearer about what I’m doing this time. It is a this time, after the development in Zürich, there is already something of the bones of a work that needs to both be teased out into a work, and ignored in favour of something else. We watched the video from 12min.max, as well as some of my new favourite Japanese sexploitation flicks like Sex and Fury, and some Beijing Opera stuff. I’m still very happy with the Zürich stuff, but don’t want to bore both myself and the others by simply recreating it. So the initial aim was to start from the original tasks with something of an idea of where it would go mostly shut up and let it all run. Working with different dancers and more of them means that maybe things which did or didn’t work before now won’t or will, and the dynamic has changed, so the staying quiet and not talking too much about how we previously went about developing a task, and what problems and moments of “wow!” arose avoids some of the ‘re-creation’.

We did start with strangling each other. Gab is one completely scary chick to try and strangle. I was really surprised people didn’t come in from the street to make sure everything was ok with all the noise she was making. This is the third time the strangling has been done and noone until today has done it with the victim lying on their belly. This made it wholly creepy and much more violating, focussing attention on the one getting their eyes choked out. Lilly makes a great corpse.

Last night, reading about the exhibition on at the Met Museum, and thinking bout Dante in the Inferno, I decided the work needs more weight from the Chinese demonology, something of an antidote to the heavily Christianised conception of life and death in European culture, and the specific paths of life and death this entails. We need more escapes from our culture, more ways of living and dying which aren’t an either/or proposition. Which means I have some serious research to do in the next couple of days, and some peculiar and strange movies to watch.