Thursday, 28 January 2016

If, on the other hand... A proposal for a performance piece from Curious

One of our proposed collaborators, Helen Paris, from Curious, has been thinking about the performance piece they might produce. One area Helen and I have been talking about is the experience of failure and the implications of failing. She writes:

‘If, on the other hand...’
Over 45 minutes and 45 seconds a woman in her mid forties slowly falls down sideways from vertical to horizontal over an angle of 45 degrees. As she falls she delivers a litany of missed chances, wrong paths taken, choices she could have made, should have made, which if she had made might have made things better, might have made her just a bit more successful. 

If, on the other hand
I hadn’t said yes to the
Decided not to have had the
Missed the first one and got the 1.15 instead I
Turned down the offer of the
Said yes I did fancy just one more soupcon of
Cancelled the
Brought an entirely different set of 
Thought: to hell with this! I jolly well WILL take…

What makes a successful show? What makes a successful life? Choreographer Doris Humphreys describes how the modern dancer should always inhabit the ‘arc between two deaths’ - the moment of falling, between standing still and lying down. From the slip on the banana skin to the fall from grace, falling is often seen as failing. The possibility of failure is always present in the encounter with liveness.

Oh! the unswervering fidelity of live performance to life.

In the end, whatever decisions made, paths taken there is just this.

This very moment, with you. Here. Now. Then gone.

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