process/unprocess — three legs

The macrobiotic lunches are what we wait for, first into the cafeteria. Also coffee. There is a so-so café around the corner that makes up for its slot-machine ambience with tables outside and rather strong coffee. We also talk a lot. Luckily most of the time when someone comes into the studio we appear to either be deep in process, or better yet, standing. In truth, much of the process, if it could be said to be present at all, is an unprocess.

I was thinking about the personal humour aspect of this today. It could be said to be a connection between two people. For example, often on stage or in an improvisation, what is important is feeling the connection between you and the other person or group. This is a somewhat mystical thing, as it, “I don’t know what it is, but I know it when I see it”. It is usually accompanied by a significant amount of seriousness, of  “being in the moment”, which lends an air of great, yet unquantifiable importance to the goings-on.

What we originally thought and talked about was if it might be possible to not just recreate the gestures and goings-on of our conjunctions of stupidity, but more importantly, to keep the real laughter and enjoyment. Luckily it’s not so hard for us to lapse into juvenile comedy routines, so we don’t have to search too hard or long for amusement. But this thing between us, perhaps it is like the above ‘connection’, which dancers can drop into quite easily—it’s a signifier of authentic performance after all, so somewhere, attention in training is given to it.

So I thought, perhaps what we should be doing is paying serious attention to maintaining that slight delirium between us, and from that everything else would follow.

We had to rethink two of the main sections today, as I decided to trash my ankle yesterday afternoon, so chaotic partnering on all four legs is off the table. Turns out what can be done with four legs is funnier with three. Sometimes I feel like we’re the Encyclopedia Dramatica of dance, or at least we get the crumbs from that table and gnaw on them. I was enjoying endless movement jokes we amused ourselves with though. Still, it’s become ever so slightly more scary-funny. As for the other part, now that’s just a long line on floor partnering, and it’s funnier when one of us get the wind knocked out.

After two weeks then, with a showing coming up tomorrow, I wonder what it is we have. It feels like something we’ll go on with, it feels like it could be a lot more involved, possibly to the point where it’s relentlessness is exhausting to watch. It’s also not all immature gags, though to go from the former to the latter without seeming cheap or saccharine or painfully earnest is tricky. The last thing I (we) want is for people to watch it and feel some kind of heart-warming resolution.

How do we want people to react? Is that even a question? Do we want them to laugh when we do, nod seriously when we do? I don’t thing there’s a simple coherency between the obviously (personally) amusing stuff and the (seemingly) more calmer and sober. Or perhaps it’s a performance of what we do together, but isn’t a sentimental story of us. (Though I watched a bit of Black Books and was startled by the culinary similarities.)

Tomorrow, last macrobiotic lunch, last day in a huge studio, last day wandering down and up the hill, to and from. Plans for more though.