Start where you are: Graphic ordering influences improvisational dance
Gillieson, K., Andrew, A. and MacKinnon, E. (2006) Start where you are: Graphic ordering influences improvisational dance. Performance Research, 11 (2). pp. 67-74. ISSN 1469-9990
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/13528160600810616
This article is an analysis and reflection on the role of lists and diagrams in Start where you are, a multimedia improvisational piece performed as part of square zero independent dance festival: the second edition/la deuxième édition. This interdisciplinary festival was organised by collective (gulp) dance projects and took place in Ottawa, Canada, in August 2005. Start where you are was the result of a collaboration between the authors: two dance artists (Andrew and MacKinnon, the principals of (gulp)) and a visual communication designer (Gillieson). A sound artist and a lighting technician also participated in the work. This is a post-performance retrospective meant to analyze more closely the experience that meshed the evidentiary weight of words and graphics with the ephemerality and subjectivity of movement-based live performance. It contextualizes some of the work of collective (gulp) within a larger tradition of improvisation in modern dance. It also looks at how choice-making processes are central to improvisation, how they relate to Start, and how linguistic material can intersect with and support improvisational performance. Lastly, it examines some characteristics of lists and diagrams, unique forms of visual language that are potentially rich sources of material for improvisation.