Presentation Two : Week Six

This was really exciting to share, especially as we were adamant our piece would be for one and here it was for two groups of four. By the end of this day there was definitely a sense of achievement, but also more direction in what we needed to do.

Feedback

– Delays are too long however we were good at leaving enough time for audience process which is important.

– We should only do one journey (we agreed and cut my journey which at this point was barely a thought)

– Key advice was to use a more imperative tone within the audio to ensure the audience do what we need them to. More clarity on distance and pace.

– The lack of clarity about Conor’s persona worked, and leaves our piece open to many interpretations.

Articulating Lost Youth : Week Five

We have spent the last three days writing the script, readying it for tuesday’s presentations. It’s been painstakingly slow.

Draft One of ‘Longing’ – Trigorin’s Experience

Hello.

Welcome to As It Appears In Dreams, an immersive performance. For part of this experience, you will be the only audience member. Don’t worry, you’re quite safe, the headphones will explain everything you have to do.

You’re about to be handed an envelope, containing an emergency map of Regent’s Park, in case you at any point feel unsafe or lost. Please only open in case of such an emergency, which is unlikely to happen. Someone is always close at hand if you’re feeling uncomfortable.

Please let me know if you feel your headphones are too quiet or too loud?

Are you ready? Wonderful.

Now, wave goodbye. I’ll be seeing you very soon.

Conor starts to walk towards the lake.

On arriving at the park, you stop at the entrance, feeling exhausted from a day of searching. You’ve been all over the city. It’s felt like days, weeks even. There’s a small sense of relief in your chest, and you’re quite grateful your search has taken you away from the busy streets into a green, open space, a canopy of leaves shielding you from the sky above. You move to the tree on your left, (pause) feeling out for the caress of rough bark underneath your fingertips. There’s so much life here, you feel it beneath your hands and under your feet. The park has rejuvenated you.

You look ahead towards the lake, (beat) and there he is. It feels as though the red of his shirt has taunted you for so long, you might as well have followed him into sleep. You can only see the back of his head, but it’s as though his sly, charming smile is looking right at you. Teasing you. He wants to keep playing the game. He wants you to follow. And you know, for all your doubts you just can’t help but keep chasing him.

Slowly, you step away from the tree and start moving towards him. He’s so close after all. And this game is only just beginning.

Audience member walks to water’s edge/Conor. On almost reaching him, Conor places red origami boat 1 on the ground, containing miniature Conor. Delay.

You watch as he places something, in the same shade of red as his shirt, on the ground. It’s tiny, toy-like, but you know it’s for you. Your pace quickens, wanting to get close, but so does his, as he turns left, heading away, further up the path.

You stop and watch him, feeling torn between what he’s left and where he’s going. Do you follow? Or reach out for what might be a clue? You head towards the lakeside – you can’t ignore the gift he’s left for you.

You kneel down, and pick up what appears to be a small, red, origami boat. You can’t deny it’s pretty well-made, the folds perfectly in line. Inside is a small miniature man, seeming to resemble the very man you’re following, red shirt and all. You’re bewildered, frustrated. What’s it all meant to mean?

You turn the boat over and over in your hands. It’s simple, delicate, but at the same time clever. How it was made eludes you.

You notice on the sail, in small hand-writing it says, ‘open me’.

Delay.

Feverishly you do, carefully unfolding and smoothing out the creases until the boat has disappeared into a flat sheet of paper.

Delay.

On it is a note. It reads:

‘Only traces of me remain.’

Delay

You read it over and over. Traces. Remain. Me.

You look back to the small figure, now in your hand. It feels whole, tangible. Sturdy but at the same time, as though if it were to fall, it would shatter, turning to dust.

‘Only traces of me remain’. It echoes through your mind. You keep a hold of the note, and hold the miniature figure in your hand, protecting it.

Looking up, you see him, slightly distant but still distinguishable. You turn left and carry on up the path, continuing to follow him, though keeping a distance. Where is he going? Why does he want you to follow? You wonder why you’re playing this game, but at the same time it’s thrilling.

Musical Interlude. Delay.

You pass the boathouse on your right, a small circular pond on the left. You see him turn a corner, disappearing into the shrubbery. You keep following, turning right towards a blue bridge.

Delay.

Walking across the bridge, you stop and look right – a parting in the trees allowing you to see across the lake. It’s tranquil, picturesque. You could look at this view forever, but a glint of red catches your eye. He’s close. You keep moving.

Delay.

Stepping off the bridge, you head left, the surrounding wilderness pulling you into the dark metal archways that rise from the ground to meet the trees. Passing underneath you are washed with dappled light and a fleeting feeling of peace. You find yourself reaching up towards the branches that entangle the archway. (Beat)

Nothing matters. The world might as well be empty and an eternity could pass but nothing would change in this place.

Delay

The archway guides you to face the lake. You stop in the last arch, and obnoxiously there he is, facing the water. He seems to be bent over something, his shoulders hunched forward. By his feet is another red object – it must be another boat, another message. He slowly places a second and a third by his feet.

He turns, his gaze meets yours, he’s smiling at you – there is something behind his eyes. You can tell he’s enjoying this. All the moves and countermoves. Suddenly the park no longer feels like a haven. It’s a game board, and you don’t know who is a piece and who is a player.

 

Devising in Regent’s Park : Week Five

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The day after our first presentations, we went to Regent’s with some headphones to discover our routes and the logistics of using the transmitter in an open space. We had an idea of Conor’s route and walked it out, timing it to around 27 minutes. We then went on a hunt for the route for my piece, and somewhat struggled. We had a vague inkling of where we wanted it to go but hadn’t visited that part of the park. We then went over how the routes would crossover, devising the themes of the journey as we wandered around. It was very early days but we were already feeling the pressure of time on us.

The limitations of the headphones in an outdoor space became quickly very clear, though they were not so bad as we had thought. We knew our piece was going to rely on distance and so tested out how far we could go, and what obstacles made the connection dry up. To wander round with them on was the closest insight into the audience’s mind I’d had so far, and it was exciting to realise how everything becomes part of the framing – even dogs and passers by – they were all part of the performance. The sense of ‘derive’ played on my mind; if our audience were to follow us through the park it felt similar in purpose; an undertaking of a journey seemingly unnatural to one you would normally take, in which one allows the psychogeographical impact of the space to occur on the body. These two things (space and body) then sit in a constant state of transition or change, as the body transports through the space.

We then went back to uni and starting thinking about the script, outlining the opening and working out what points in the physical journey would be key to the narrative of the script. We wrote out what we nicknamed our ‘safety briefing’, which opens our piece to ensure the audience feel as comfortable as they can, considering they would be on their own.

Presentation One : Week Five

Aims: to discover how much guidance the audience need to both actively participate in the piece but also feel immersed in the emotions of the character/narrative presented.

Script for Week Five Presentation (Second Person Pronoun)

You wake up, the sensation of your body pressing into a hard, cold floor. Your eyelids are heavy, the feeling of sleep swimming around you. You could fall back into slumber, it’s so tempting, but something makes you open your eyes.

Immediately, you’re blinded by sharp fluorescent light. It takes a few moments to adjust, but then shapes start to form in your vision. Wood paneled walls, stacks of chairs, a stage at one end of the room. The windows are unusually high, casting a morning light across the big room. The day beyond seems far away. You can’t quite recall how you got here, or even where here is.

You sit up and look around. You see faces. Many faces. Faces you don’t recognise. It feels like they’re reflecting back the same look you’re giving them. Tired bewilderment, brows furrowed, squinting, still not awake enough to realise. Your mind is misty, but you push at your memory, trying to remember last night. You can’t shake the sound of a piano being poorly played, the smell of burning wood. And eyes. Brown eyes, even now you can see them staring back at you. You’d never seen any so bright. If only you could remember the face they belonged to. You search the faces around you, desperately seeking them out. No eyes that stare back at you match your memory.

You’re disheartened, but an urge to seek them out fills you. You don’t know why, but nothing is as important in this moment as finding these eyes, and the person they belong to. A fire fills you, and you rise from the ground, your legs feeling weak but you’re held steady by this newfound sense of purpose. You scan the room, seeking an exit. You see it; wide double doors leading out into another room. You start to move towards it, one foot tumbling over the other towards what must lead to an exit. You realise the people in the room are following, copying your every move. Suddenly the brown eyes are not the only realise you want to leave. You keep moving, out the room, treading carefully around the corner. You see doors leading to the outside, to the street beyond. You head towards them, a crowd following behind you. Your journey is just beginning.

Recording of ’13 2 18′

Aim: to discover how successful different forms of writing are at imposing character/emotions on a performer, through the eyes of the audience.

Feedback

Our work held a level of ‘sophistication’, which was huge praise for us. The key was to keep going with the tone of the script we’d written, and explore how that sort of descriptive audiobook-like form would coincide with the framing of the park as our venue.

Casson & Friends Day Two : Week Four

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A train to Ipswich. DanceEast. Met up with Laura on the way there. Coffee thanks to Seb. Straight into the space.

Warm up. Joe taught some break dance moves. I was thrilled I could do some of them.

Laser warm up. Drawing patterns on your phone to make it move around the space.

Lunch. Hannah and Joe told us about their work.

Technical run of Choreocracy. It was magical. I wondered on more things you could add in with more time.

Train with Laura. Home.

Turning Points : Week Four

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You have to accept the fact that along the way, you will always encounter tasks, or projects, or people, that don’t call to you. And for all you efforts and engagements, there’s no sense of dialogue, no feeling of that thing existing as its own, as something that carries itself forward. I think that’s how I’ve felt, all this term, and I know I’ll continue to feel it, irrespective of what I enjoy and what I don’t enjoy. It just doesn’t speak to me in the way other work I’ve done does.

Today was a turning point. It was when the shit hit the fan, when everyone’s qualms about the immersive came out, and in such a way it was as though it was a torrent, a wave of emotional build up and the dam finally broke. It was rough, but it also opened the gates to something new. An opportunity to voice our concerns, and perhaps present ourselves as an autonomous group, one to be trusted and invested in. In the discussion of this afternoon I felt proud of everyone who stayed for that discussion, for being open and generous and without doubt. I think that’s what we needed, fundamentally.

It saddened me that it cut so deeply, especially as Duska carries all this weight on her own. But it was also good, I hope. It opened doors to honesty that was long overdue.

Critical Response Process and Cake : Week Four

We ate lots of cake and talked about the Critical Response Process.

Developed by Liz Lerman

Three Roles
– Facilitator
– Artist
– Responder

Process

  1. Statements of Meaning
    Responders articulate observations of both aesthetic and semiotic reasoning.
  2. Artist’s Questions
    Artist invites responders to articulate thoughts on specific queries/concerns.
  3. Neutral Questions
    Responders pose neutral questions (those which do not contain an opinion) to the artist.
  4. Permission Questions
    Responders present an opinion asks permission from the artist to share. They have the option to accept or refuse.

Power and Stalking : Week Four

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‘While baking we were brewing’

Monday of Week Four. Conor and I are at my house, baking vegan cookies. Though they didn’t quite end up as planned, we got brainstorming. Over the weekend I started growing a map of ideas on my wall, and I shared these with Con, who being wonderful, was an abundance of ideas.

Our discussion centred mostly on the idea of ‘the woman in the red dress’, and it was clear red was going to be a visual motif throughout our journey. Conor brought up the premise of stalking, and how it might be powerful to have our audience follow someone who they might not know to be a performer or not. We like the playfulness of ambiguity, and how to follow and lose someone is gamelike. Moreover, we discussed making our journey cyclical, beginning and ending in the same place, alike to Trigorin’s cycles in life.

Quickly the form of our journey took shape, however we still lack some sense of what we want to say through our headphones. We discussed ideas of romantic desire, but also Trigorin’s desire to regain lost youth. These two motifs, and how they present the interplay between personal life and art, seem core to our journey as we develop it further.

This work seemed to relate to conversations we had in our Performance As Event session regarding walking; a question Diana posed to us was ‘what does it mean to walk alone, together?’. We felt the importance of this weigh on us, and how in the context of stalking, one could form an emotional bond with those who they follow while seeming entirely alone.

 

Trigorin : Week Three

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POWER

Trigorin is controlled by his art  vs. Trigorin attempts to regain control through people

He seeks artistic gratification but has ‘sold’ himself out to commercial celebrity

sell out vs. magnum opus

Is he a psychopath?

Sexually driven male predator

Disappointed with life – bored

How does he sit in the creative world?

 

Notes

End of week three. I am now in the Trigorin journey group with Conor. It still feels silly to refer to us as a group, but we immediately got down to brainstorming who we though Trigorin was in relation to the overarching theme of what it means to be an artist. Power was at the core of this, and we came to discuss how we could get the audience to experience a gaining in power and then its withdrawal. We also discussed our journey as Trigorin’s ‘reckoning’, as well as how we could use games.

Our next steps are to continue this and develop what kind of journey we want to form, and what experience we wish to design for the audience. We will be going to Regent’s Park next week in rehearsal time to also discern some geographical locations we might use.