a research project supported by Chisenhale Dance Space
We would like to become more conscious of the invisible overlap between our processes as solo artists. We would like to do this through studio-based exploration and through ‘off-road’ activity and contemplation.
background and rationale
Our history as collaborators / colleagues is intertwined with the history of our friendship. Twelve years ago we serendipitously found ourselves living in the same house in Ommaney Road, SE14. Since those years of training and immersion in dance, we have lived in different cities (Voegelin in Bern, Voris in London) and spent years performing for other choreographers. Over the years we have mainly supported ourselves through the nurturing professions of teaching and therapy. Relatively recently we have both begun to focus on our own choreographic work. Borne out of a shared research project which took place in summer 2005, we have been developing solos independently. These two solos (invisible by Voegelin, overlap by Voris) will be sharing a double bill in Bern, Switzerland in March 2007.
Twelve years since we met, we would like to give ourselves a practical and reflective ‘retreat’ which both honours and utilises the intimacy, creativity and respect at the core of our friendship / collaboration. We imagine that this retreat will provide the support and nurturing that we are normally providing for others in our bread-and-butter-professions.
As we are both drawn to making solo work, we often find ourselves alone in an empty space. This is as deeply gratifying as it is lonely. The solo-process offers a magnified relationship with the body / self to which we are compelled and from which we need some refreshment. We imagine that this project will help us to question and to deepen our relationship to making solo work and, so, will both stretch and confirm our individual practices as artists.
The following questions are on our minds.
Why are we drawn to making solo work?
Where do our interests and obsessions meet, where do they differ and where might they be headed?
What are our tools and devices? What are our sweet spots and blind spots?
What artists / ideas / experiences have been most influential?
How do the professions of teaching / therapy and the notion of compassion feed into our work?
What is the role of audience in our work?
What would it be like if we made solos on each other?
what we will do
We both have interests in detail, intimacy and expression—where the interior meets the exterior. We both experience tension and difficulty in keeping ‘authentic’ and ‘alive’ material that we have laboured over crafting. We are both committed to extracting material from improvisation and both prefer lengthy devising periods (over a year or two). Yet, perhaps predictably, our work looks and feels quite different. We would like to begin researching solo material on each other in order to uncover and understand what it is that we distinctly do.
How we would work with / on each other is likely to change and to evolve between now and the start of the project. However, Regula’s approaches to improvisation show an acute awareness of symbol and a profound interest in the relationship with nature. These perspectives on movement are linked with her Butoh training and with her work as a movement therapist. Amy’s approaches to improvisation express an interest in individuality and in the changeability / instability of the body: drawing out the detailed and multi-faceted interior of a person. She has been profoundly influenced by artists Deborah Hay, Stephanie Skura and Rosemary Lee.
We hope that trying-on each others’ perspectives will allow us to expand and to focus what it is we are doing when making solo work.