all the people i can remember sleeping with … day 9 & 10

Oh lazy huh? And today feeling awful, possibly from lack of sleep and I really hope not from Ebola. Anyway sitting in the State Library, not Cibo, downloading more doom and metal from the sublime Southern Lord, and trying to think of something coherent to write after missing last rehearsal’s expectorations and in the midst of a cycle of weird dreams that probably is due to making this piece in the first place.

The Rape of Lucretia started out as a scene that I imagined would be fairly involved but still a single idea. I saw it becoming just a repeat of what I’d done before, and I really didn’t want to do that, regardless of the abbreviated rehearsal period. It became first a very short thing that then wrapped itself around a slew of other variously connected ideas and sketches and suddenly gorged itself on the whole piece and made itself the opening number. Very clever.

I don’t think I’m being particularly coherent today. I had a slight panic earlier this week when I realised I had maybe two weeks to finish whatever it is this is, and that I’d also made around fifteen minutes already with stuff yet to be included in what is supposed to be only an 8 minute work. “Oops”, I thought, and buried my head ignoring these two salient matters and pretending it wasn’t happening. Is it irresponsible to jump and worry about landing when it happens? I can see a part of my near future where I say, “It seemed like a good idea at the time”, and receive glowers of disdain in return.

There’s only a few hours rehearsal a week, and the entire thing is spread out over a couple of months, but I’ve devoted an obsessive amount of time to this piece that I usually would have for a work much larger. Fun for me. It suits how my brain likes to stretch itself. It was this week also I felt that horrible moment when it was going to be whatever it already is, there’s not much time left for imagining something else, for it to live as a series of possibilities. I think that’s why I like making and playing as long as I can and having whatever is performed only barely ready to be seen so it isn’t ossified and dead, to deny it enough that it must keep growing.

I feel like I’m writing a eulogy here, like it’s already over.

So we tried to run it in some vague semblance of order earlier in the week, and it was an oddity that I promptly attacked with a pen. I have a script. I’m turning into a theatre director. Or something. I make them speak lines. (“I don’t do lines”, says Daniel, “I don’t do steps and counts”, I reply, and so we both do.) I like how Xuan reads, because reading English isn’t something she’s fluent at, and so the inflection, how we would designate a natural weight and flow and emphasis, is missing. It makes, for me anyway, a much more entrancing thing, to hear the words without emotion and so to have to decide what they mean, that is to say to judge their value, is this a good thing or a bad thing, and always there is something left beyond and after, so I don’t know.

I noticed yesterday, though the script and work has become very personal and autobiographical, just how elusive it is, how little can be divined from it, to describe someone as a series of attributes and yet to be irreducible to this. It’s swung between far too personal and far too theoretical at times, yet, and this is possibly an attribute of my personality I am only vaguely aware of its pervasiveness, there is my constant evasiveness and deferral.

And that I’ve made or am making a work so close to theatre and so far from dance, I suppose I should be worried when I’m trying to be a choreographer but it’s exhilarating that each time I make something I really don’t know what will result. I’m such a lush for that.

Two different pieces then. One that I am making without regard for anything but itself, the internal timeframe of the piece largely self-directed, the other entirely in the thrall of eight minutes. And while already way beyond that, I still need to make this final conjugation of scenes. Something of nightmares.

I was listening to Throbbing Gristle a couple of days ago. I suppose Genesis P-Orridge is another one of those lurking influences on me, so it’s not inappropriate I’ve been thinking of these scenes of alptraum along with the noise of T/G, and somehow becoming all that Rape of the Sabine Women biting and pinching hysteria. I think what I try to do is very elaborately assemble a precarious accumulation of things and then push it over and see if anything happens. All these notes and scrawls and thinking and … and I get into rehearsal and have no idea what to do. Like being lost in a forest and kicking at fallen trees hoping to find something edible.