An account of how our process is inspired by play.
At the core of our approach to making and presenting is a playful spontaneous creativity akin to how we played as children. It is the approach that underlines how we make, build, and transform our movement materials and scores. And it is recognisable in how we utilize costume and music in process and presentation. It stems from a desire to work with a pleasure driven yet highly creative and complex improvisation practise. And a recognition of what that childhood practise was capable of in terms of exploring identities using humour and ambiguity.
There is also an aspect of homage and nostalgia towards us as children and towards the animals and characters we inhabited in these childhood games. We remember the feeling and almost trance-like state when “playing animal”. How we through clothes, shoes, wigs, accessories, and make up created different others and tested different identities or stereotypes.
What experience were we looking for, then, in playing that show and testing these stereotypes? Which animals were we then? Where they actual animals we knew or imagined.
How can we “inspirit” the animal in our human bodies, in the context of the live performance? How can we as human animals test our humanness and animalness by trying to experience ourselves as another animal?
Another correlation we research is the unproblematic relationship we had as children to zoos, circus performances and stereotypical gender expressions. While 25-30 years later we experience this, as so many other aspects of life, different, more complex, and even problematic. Same with playing a sexy woman, dressage horse, circus bear, dressing up as “an Indian” and so forth. We confront the clash between creating these shows as a child, by revisiting the playfulness of it and the same time researching the seriousness of the proposed themes.