Thursday, November 2, 2017


CONTRAST is a system of relations. A space of continuous imagination, which produces the performance, constitutes the choreography. The imagination of the dancers, the dreamy visions and narratives of the audience, and the hopes of the choreographer and other theatre designers and technicians, together become a rich red and gold triptych, a swirling messy action painting.

I drive from Western Springs to Epsom, in a small black car.  It has tinted windows, and a flashing stereo system that does not work.  After parking, I remember my ex went to school here at Auckland Girls Grammar School.

What I thought I might propose here, is that the dancers themselves are the artwork and the artists.  Walking, breathing, moving, feeling, interrelating, sensing artworks.  Interacting with each other, with the space, and with us, in the creation of a shared experience.  They are artworks composed of bodily intelligence and other hard-to-describe sensibilities.  They are holding space, creating space, leaking space, enfolding space.

“It was like a big chunk of the year. Eating porridge for days on end.
I was really poor. I’m always poor."


Participation by Emma Murray

The choreography would operate in this vein as a vehicle for us, the ‘audience’, to experience the artwork-artists.  From this perspective, the choreographers serve the vision of the dancers, as collaborators in the artists' works.  The dancers’ performances on any one night, in any one moment, interdependently and collectively, create what we are witnessing, participating in.  A tiny instance, or the complete flow from arrival, foyer, entry into the theatre, curtains opening, program, post-performance chats, and the walk back to the little black car, also become part of the artworks.

I want to be in relation to the live event, inside of it, with it, dancing with it. 

I want to engage the dancers with all of my senses, in a state of listening, feeling, knowing, unknowing.  I want to sink into them as art, and ‘review’ the dancer-artworks through a diagrammatic practice. 

I am Diagramming.

Despite these speculative conceptions, I encounter the live event from inside the event, and I realise my propositions do not fit in.  The question then becomes: Choreography?


I stop to participate.

Jazz shoes on ice. 

Terpsichore in upright sneakers.


Super Ornate Construct by Sarah Foster-Sproull

Stop Remembering


He wonders if you like it. Being in the rain.

I cannot see the dancer for the choreography.  

Am I seeing the dancer in collaboration with the choreography, the processes, the techniques, the choreographer, the space, the Footnote company, the theatre, the audience, the institution...?

Not Thinking

King Thin

I moved with Fale, with a feeling of diving into and through.

I heard the choreography
I saw the baby suckling
I am Adam

My feet touched the light
So yellow.
So yellow.

I remember the orange. In the yellow. 
I see the red. The curtains, pulled back.

Witch/cloud gif gone missing

Adam imagines something in his hand.

Whose pace is this?
Whose pace is this?

Whose rhythm?


The smell of urgency

I suggest that it is the embodied knowledge of the dancers that the audience engages with, and often, that it is the dancers that we come to see.  The choreographers, Footnote’s management team, the designers, the theatre techs, and the theatre itself, in collaboration with the dancer-artists, we are all supporting the dance production/the production of the dance.  What will the performance be/become from this vantage point?  And how will we respond to it on the page?

drawing, photos, writing etc by val smith (they/them) - 02.11.2017

Introductory information to this 'dance review' on Theatreview here

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