An account of how we work when researching and developing movement material and scores.
In our research process we collect observations and interactions with various animals. It is an ongoing practise that happens as a part of our lives. Among others we have visited a stable and ridden horses as well as visited Gothenburg Horse Show, Vienna Zoo and London Zoo. We have also had a dog come to the studio with us.
Because the emphasis is how we experience the meeting or the relationship with another animal we rarely document these meetings. They are mostly left as experience and memories. But when working in the studio we do use other people’s documentation as a part of our process. Mainly we are interested in documentation through film, but we also look at text and images transmitting human knowledge about other animals’ culture, behaviour, and physics. We observe, discuss, and analyse what we see in terms of the other animal’s behaviour, movement, life situation and relationship to human narratives. We look at movement patterns, posture, dynamics, as well how to relate to the room and to each other through that animal’s perspective – but equally we also actively take in, feel, and try to experience the situation more abstractly, emphatically, and emotionally.
We look at “wild” animals and tamed or domesticated animals in some kind of show format. For example, we looked at documented wild bears in their natural habitat, semi tame bears living together with humans, tamed bears performing in a circus, as well as visit Zoos to look at incarcerated bears. We talk about what associations, memories, feelings, images come to us when trying to relate to this other animal. We both embrace this subjectivity and dissect it to learn more about how different animals’ figure in our personal narratives about ourselves and in man’s narrative of man and nature.
From all of this we develop score clusters and movement rules such as resting bear, wandering bear, problem solving bear, playful bear, itchy bear, hungry bear, etc that is contrasted with tame, incarcerated and / or performing show bear clusters such as waiting in the wings before entering stage, copying human behaviour, pacing in the Zoo, etc.
We have built an improvisational practise that allows us to firmly work within very defined scores at the same time as we allow a trance-like state to emerge. A state that lets something unknown emerge out from the mishmash of memories, emotions, associations, etc. that the materials holds for us.