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Light-Dark-Light-Heavy: Reflections on an art–dance collaboration

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This article describes an interdisciplinary collaboration in the making of a new performance piece. In this work we explore visual and movement possibilities using a dancer carrying a single portable light – how the shifting qualities of space, light and shadow are created out of, and feed back into, bodily sensations of weight, breath, touch and momentum. The article raises issues concerning the making process in a collaborative practice where both partners work on equal terms and both are involved in all aspects of the work. An improvisational approach to making and performing the piece leads to the concept of ‘emergent form’ as opposed to a set choreography. The work exemplifies a ‘relational’ approach to performance, focusing on the interaction between the performer and her surroundings as a continuing dialogue within an integrated art–dance practice. Consistent with this interactive approach, the performance environment is conceived as a variable ‘kit of parts’, rather than a pre-determined set.
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Keywords: collaboration; dance; emergent form; light; relational approach; visual art

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent visual artist

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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