Experiencing a little fatigue today – I haven’t done yoga for five days in a row since such a long time. We started a bit late also, detouring to watch a Kraftwerk and history of Krautrock documentary in ten minute chunks before wandering over to Bains.
We had a long discussion about what we are doing before the lunch-ish break – no dinner break it was already 17h – which resulted in a final couple of tasks where things started to coagulate.
On Saturday we talked with Ivo for a while about dramaturgy, or the perceived necessity of having an external dramaturge. I had been trying various things from Dasniya, and finished with an un-shibari experiment that had something worth repeating, yet was also empty. I think the issue is neither one of dramaturgy, as we are both well-versed in the milieu within which shibari, bdsm, and all the other facets of rope resides, nor is it one of direction – as in stage direction. What isn’t clear is what this work is about.
We have a lot of ideas, topics of research, small things that have become entire processes for working with rope; we’ve discussed from feminism and identity theory to physics and knot theory along the way, and obviously these things somehow fit into the work, along with the specific Japanese aesthetics of traditional shibari and so on, which we also play with. The question of what the work is about is perhaps better understood if this was a theatre work, if there was some text to work from and characters who must arrive in the room. Coming from working with Daniel Schlusser on Ophelia Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, also with shibari, possibly my thoughts are a little this way.
It’s also for me the need to have something to hang on to, that helps in pushing a work along; that I can use as a reference point to criticise and justify my decisions. Obviously working in a collaboration changes this and might even make it the not-possible way to continue. So, we talk, maybe for me to be able to make sense through words what is allowable so I can do things with conviction.
There are some almost formal things – flicking to uncoil ropes, the sliding walk of the tea ceremony or kyudo archery … – that will probably recur throughout, and cause a rupture in the mess of ropes. Other things – at least in what might be construed in my head as the section we’re working on at the moment – need a day or two refinement before I suspect they can be deemed coherent enough to make a remark on.
It pulls between an abstract, close to formal dance or movement and another that is perhaps a metonymy or representation, and yet another, lurking beneath, that is … neither of these. Maybe corporeal, sensorial, coming from rendering a character as much as an own internal emotion …
It seems likely we’ll be working all weekend. After all, it’s only two weeks, so twelve days instead of ten counts for something.