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Guest column: Some abstract thoughts

We interviewed The Uncollective recently (post still to come) and our interview prompted one of their members to write a few musings on their processes and projects. The Uncollective is formed by Eve Stainton, Michael Kitchin & Sorcha Stott-Strzal. They experiment collaboratively with movement, choreography and performance. Their practice is  driven by collaboration and working with cross disciplinary methods in order to challenge the expectations of performance, with the aim to develop a space where  work and collaborations can coexist; somewhere to experiment with curation, roles and medium.

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With the word, Eve Stainton:

Touched by almost everyone, definitely with consent under a precarious system of research. Who is provoking, are we provoked and is it provocative? I’ve been abject, authentic, trusting, trusted, traced, reactive, penetrated, closed up, boring, sad, formulaic, willing, pleasing, determined, inspired, aroused, confused, conflicted, rushed, frustrated, concentrated, condensed, deflated, frantic and accomplished, maybe in that order, and I’m wondering if that’s curation inside of a body as we predicted… or hoped?

It’s been interesting to think about people and order. We tend to function with a familiar confidence under a sense of method or prescribed environment of thinking, which is pretty basic as an observation, but there’s something about sensitivity to allowing those desires for order to occupy a space which is frightful. I spent the majority of the time following scores, processes, approaches and formulas, probably instigated by us, which in retrospect is quite a scary thing to practice if you think too much down the conformist road- sickly but interesting to go there. This has recently made me hyper aware of freedom in movement; perhaps in resistance to curation, which, as a provocation, was sometimes a dictating force. Dancing can be invasive and exposing and this particular navigation of curating the body in process has personally facilitated a more political reaction in me than I’m used to- relating to a body in its explosiveness and vulnerability, a personal and private body, a body as protest, resilience, energy, a quiet body, a body of hope, of space, of potential, of dancing, a sexualised body, a body of power, a hierarchical body, an unwilling body, tired body, playful, descriptive, yearning body, an embodied body, a body as landscape, a nobody, a collective body and all the on-going amalgamations of incredible capacity. I’m thankful for this process response and pretty invigorated in a choppy growly sort of way.

As jobs and opportunities develop, it is becoming more and more important to me to think about care. I felt mostly cared for during Nolo and never worried about bringing that up if we were balancing on a border- solos are fucking weird. The fumbling whirlwind of moving and thinking in many ways simultaneously is pretty funny but riddled with pressures that seem to go deep. Perhaps a thought for more reflection…

Towards the end of the residency, I sort of became a personified version of the word instinct. The trust and freedom felt from acknowledging the weight of instinctive decisions reawakened the exploration for me and made available another plane of discovery. Somehow along that way I ended up trusting myself more, maybe as a pragmatic and necessary progression, but still pretty refreshing and exciting to allow yourself to follow desire.

Collective dynamics are fascinating to me. Things have been constantly shifting and not always in a progressive sense. It has faced me with the obvious realisation that everything collectively creative, maybe everything collective, has to be based on a mutual practice of: honesty, communication, trust, care, dedication, equality, ethics and respect. When things feel imbalanced, which I guess is inevitable as moody humans, things can feel absolutely broken because there is so much invested therefore more to sacrifice, and sacrifice feels personal. Equally this dynamic can feel totally dreamy and contagious when there appears to be a complete wave of coherency. The magnified precocity of a full time process excites me, especially as we were constantly offered thoughts and inspirations from people we care about to then make into some kind of dance performance…!