In Dialogue is a biannual International Symposium that interrogates how artists and researchers use dialogue in practice.
In this iteration Congregation dealt with the things that have inspired me most to work in movement, how movement has the capacity to deal with the themes of architectural space and proxemics. The work looked to invade the interstitial spaces of the gallery (Nottingham Contemporary) and to investigate ideas of meeting and leaving by examining and intervening within the natural flows of the building, by interrupting crowd movements and by weaving through transition spaces.
Two subjects pose questions with their body, but never offer solutions. Then four – meet and leave.
In the rehearsals we offered a number of verbal provocations for paired and group work, some were playful like – What if we were having a conversation but our feet didn’t get on?
What if when I see you, I see you with my stomach?
The provocations as process were inspired by performing for a Joe Moran piece, The Body – where he offered a number of routes into movement that enabled the body to answer questions and to be opened up and attuned to answering questions without the onus of answering them – just freeing the body up to engage with an idea.
In only the second of a run of rehearsals some beautiful work came out of the provocation,
What if when I shake hands I shake hands with the whole of my body?
Each rehearsal we spent two minutes shaking someone’s hand and observing the connection points – noticing the feedback of the body as a precursor to expanding the idea of the handshake through the whole body.
– the dialogue achieved through tactility
The dialogue achieved through speed of approach
The dialogue achieved through non-verbal negotiation
The connections of the weight of the hand
Hesitancy and acceptance
Softness of connection, speed of removal
Knowing when to remove the hand from the others
This provocation provided enough scope to direct the whole performance; it became a score for interaction.