I've had the video now for about a week, and it was an interesting experience watching the first night.  It felt so frantic, wobbly, and unstructured from the inside of it, but it looks sharp- with things really cinching together in the right spots... and the improvisation at the end looks good!

Friday, March 25th:
Ugh- it's been so long since last writing...  I'm about to head into the studio again, this time for an hour and a half to make some decisions and changes: another iteration and reworking.

Last night I tended to the end of the Berlin section, following Bill's suggestion to intensify the energy with which I do the "tension" movements after I return to the wall and speak.  Text: "I return.... HERE, this- TRAGIC, PUBLIC, MEMORY..."
Then I wrap around SR and stop.  Hit "CONNECT!" with a spreading pose; "STRETCH!" with a contracting, crossing pose; (maybe another movement here?); "BREAK" with a circling R arm gesture; and "DIVIDE" while cinching it all together.  Then head falls forward to set off next phrase.

I also played with different spatial locations for the start of each section, pulling Brussels and Vienna off center.  Thinking about it now, I do really want the opera and the DSR corner to be a big change, so I'll need to... not sure.

Thinking also about how I might want to add in another moment of speaking, most likely in the Vienna section.  I pulled a Vienna map out of my bag accidentally and scoured it for possible text.  This led me to jump on the computer and search first for Vienna tour guides.  I then searched for "confused in Vienna"which yielded a thread about the confusing train changes related to the closing of the Sudbahnhof (

I then searched for "lost in Vienna".  Here I discovered the official Lost and Found information page of the Austrian government (  I printed them both off and will see if any of it fits.
I guess this break week has given me a bit of time off from my material following the intense period leading up to the showing February 21st.  In creativity research the official term for time taken away from thinking about a problem is incubation

That said, I was actually in the studio three times this week to rework some of my material upon further thinking/clarification and incorporating some of the feedback I was able to get from my meetings with Peter, Robin, and with Jennifer Robertson. The main ideas I took from these meetings include further defining the environments I am creating- which will hopefully help me make decisions about the multiple layers that make up each area (movement, coordinates, music, Kyle's tracking program, Collin's developing sketch photos).  I'm not sure if the Live Feed footage is going to make it or get the ax.  It feels to me right now like just one more idea that might not be needed.  The feedback also commented on the type of movement in each section- perhaps more variation needed- and gave me some ideas of how to shape the final section - getting increasingly more specific as the lights fade; going into set, detailed sequences.

I reworked Berlin in the following ways:

  • Further defined focus, especially with the opening phrase
  • More phrasing decisions- adding in pauses to end one thought. Watching the video allowed me to see just how everything connects from one thing to the next right now in a sort of run-on way.
  • Added a bit of color to the diagonal walks (step fwd, step side, etc) that lead to the USR corner that leads into the jump perch.
  • Build a "line tension" phrase between body parts for the USL corner: hand/chest; hand/head; elbow/heel; fingers/floor
  • Clarified/edited text:"I return... here. This tragiC, publiC memory... Lines connect, pull, stretch... break... divide..."
  • Thought of contrasting gestural movement to accompany the bit about lines.  Movement that divides, breaks, stretches, pulls, and connects- in that order while the words go opposite?
  • Direct diagonal walk back with a hiccup step behind step.
2.21 The Showing
2.20 Brussels
Late-night in my kitchen I relearned the phrase I did in front of the Rosas truck in the back of P.A.R.T.S. in the actual city.  Shanna suggested I keep some of the pauses and restarts that happen during the actual filming, and I like it.  I had to learn the other side of it since I realized that all of the sections have been starting and traveling DSL.

This section may be a bit quicker- say 1:30.

Intro- 1:30
Berlin- 2:30
Brussels- 1:30
Vienna- 2:00
Duderstadt- 2-3min?

I now have to make a sketch of the music...
2.19 Vienna
Choreographed this section today:
It starts with a drop- both arms toss up- then leg up to the side, Dorfman drape, go SL, hands pass by face, statues, back lunge, 3x drape R arm out and roll, up to floor lunge, spin, across shoulders, stand.  Foot travel pattern, elbows, repeat triptych swing, to SPOT.  4 out and backs from spot.  End on knees, Reach floor, toe touch. Quick box run. Mark the triptych bit again to floor and up (like beginning). Walk wearily to end.
More work- more clarification, and I'm making some decisions about the thing.
I did quite a bit of rehearsing yesterday and today trying to continue building the movement material.

I feel pretty good about Berlin. The shape of the travel pattern is pretty square-like. I think there's some tension and real bursts of energy in there.  I'm not sure if the movement is too "careful", but I think going over it time and time again will get it in my body.  New parts: after the zig-zag walks I lunge left, jump to a crossed pencil, lower, interesting handstand/cartwheel my feet to ground, shoulders turn, step, jump cut, to knee, and up.  I just then added the subway arrows bit (hips down + turn, R arm over to the left, head back right, arms cross).  Travel backwards DS to lunge, spin, lunge on wall.

I finished the phrase that interrupts my talking.

Text bits still need to be written/found.  Tension, the wall- look through my journal!!
"even fabric has tension. the lines stretch... pull... divide... separate..."

Then the sweep L leg behind, arms drape overhead, lunge sweep R arm back, jungle gym arms around, R arm swipe- up and over pole, pull back across.

Images for Background (condensed down to 2 per place on 2.19)

I met with Collin last night to discuss projections.  My ideas is to have her sketch on top of my photos from these places, making them appear drawn.  Her process of animating her drawing might add such an interesting and appropriate metaphor to these images- where we can see the drawings progress and leave smudges behind- traces of what was there.

Here are the images I've selected from each place.  A further refinement/paring back might be necessary.
I've also been collecting music from the places- like Marta's playlist from Impulstanz.





48 degrees, 15' N
16 degrees, 22' E
Populated place
Capitol of a country

I haven't dedicated much thought to this section yet.  My impression was pretty favorable over-all, despite the challenging street layout, the inconvenient metro system (for my purposes), and the imposing, imperial buildings.  My apartment was great, I wandered a lot, mapped and built phrases a fair amount, and danced everyday with Impulstanz and all... And that great concentrated juice syrup that they add to drinking water.

I'm really getting into this idea of building these (4) different environments on stage for my solo, creating a traveler's sense of the place, where viewers will perhaps see the pieces of the place, the geography, that have become who I am in that moment.  I have my usual concern for making the connection too obvious- I want to give a framework for the audience, but I don't want it to be hokey.

I am thinking I will pause, the coordinates will be read while the environment is slowly built (projections, lighting, and sound all arrive by the end of the reading).  Projections will be a mix of live captured video (from overhead camera and select camera spots on stage), live feeds of the places, photographs made to look like drawn pictures, and my body video with added coordinates.  The schedule of when each of them are projected and how they move between the screens will have to be decided by March 7 - the day we come back from Spring break.

I discovered this video of a street musician in Brussels- playing as people (tourists) walk by.

50 degrees, 49' N
4 degrees, 19' E
Populated place
Capitol of a country
The colloquium in the Dance Department at UofM today featured three presentations from doctoral/Society of Fellows researchers and their particular areas of study.

As a result, I'm motivated to go a little deeper into some of the ideas and topics that have been coming up.  Noticing that tension was one sense I had- whether projected or actually present in the environment- while in Berlin... near the wall... I searched for 'Berlin' and 'tension' in trusty Google.  I came up with this: The ICI Berlin project that does a lot of defining of tension:
Looked at footage taken in the video studio before Christmas break.  The idea was to turn the cameras into explorers and for my body to be the terrain.  I had three cameras on me: Jacques on the jib, Jeff on the close follow, and a steady camera pointed at my feet.  I selected clips I thought were visually interesting, but the sequence is not edited.

I've thought about sequencing the clips so it moves between the 3 cameras and I go from more movement to stationary to movement, etc.  I might also consider jumping to images of actual physical landscapes- rolling hills, etc. though I think searching for those might be too time consuming at this stage.

Video is here:

A week ago today I had a 2+ hour Motion Capture session in the digital video studio.  I am not sure what, if anything, I will do with the footage, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity.  Here's a sample clip of what it is like (which I'll replace with some of my own footage once I receive it):

Meeting with Bill today was really good.  We discussed structuring the solo in different sections (I'm thinking four) and really creating each environment with audio, video, movement...

52 degrees, 31' N
13 degrees, 24' E
Populated place
Capital of a country

Live stream here
I wanted to record a bit today so as to have some material to show.  I extended the walk into the center... not sure how I feel about that.  Then I added onto the 'end' with the full version of the phrase I made at Rhythm and Motion.

Here it is:


Guiding qeustions: 

  • How do I locate myself in a new (unfamiliar) space?
  • How are we affected and how do we affect the spaces through which we travel?
  • What do I bring back from my travels to share with others?
  • Can I relate my charged moments in effective and interesting ways?
  • How could one map a human thought process, ripe with idiosyncrasy, shifting thoughts, etc?
  • Can I both draw upon past experience and make it an exploration of the present moment?
  • Where do my decisions take me - in landscapes both external and internal?  
  • What is the shape of those chosen paths, movements, experiences?

I am drawing upon material I created while doing site-specific movement compositions in urban environments in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, and Brussels in July and August, 2010. Here are some of those clips: