With two weeks left before the Vital Signs festival begins, our studio work has been intensifying, not least as we start to prepare for the onset of the new academic year. But we had a productive week revisiting key passages and making the final sections of the performance – and delighted that we now have a first full working draft! The process of choreographic creation never ceases to amaze and fascinate me – not least in a situation where I can be one moment dancing, one moment reciting poetry, and the next writing words on a wall or a screen. We’ve also been playing with working models of our scenography and moved into one of the large studios in the New Adelphi building to begin to get a sense of how it activates the space and shapes the arena for movement (see images below). Writing-wise, Sarie has been working on delivering a gorgeous solo text this week whilst I have been getting more and more into the mark making aspect of things. There is a whole history to mark-making in the literary avant-garde as elsewhere – asemic writing and the haptic are key watchwords – but I’ve been as much put in mind of Cy Twombly’s superlative drawings ‘Poems to the Sea’ (1959) which the painter-poet Peter Gillies made me aware of a few years back. There’s something about the visionary kinetic energy of these pieces – as well as their provisional hopeless messiness – that I find utterly absorbing: such an expansive and unbridled kind of thinking is captured in these snap-shots of the split second of the real. Something to (only) aim for!?
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