Nearly three months after theaters began to close, we dont seem any closer to returning to normal and instead face the reality that this crisis will forever change the way we dance and our world. The slow creep of coronavirus has made it difficult to see where we are and chart where we might go next.
Although I carry dice in my backpack, I dont use them. I guess they are there just in case I need to summon the goddesses. And, though I teach the use of chance in dancemaking, I personally dont use it with the intentionality of, say, Cunningham, where I ostensibly give over authorship to the universe. My work is sort of the opposite: the place where chance enters and is welcome is whatever I can capture from real life in rehearsal.
A lot of the time I start with a new phrase, movement, or idea, but Ill also bring along old material that feels interesting, that could be worked on more, or failed in another piece but I want to bring it forward, because part of the nature of a project-based company is that we dont have a repertory to rehearse. That always inspires me. Were not like Mark Morris Dance Group, working on a new piece in the morning, and rehearsing old pieces in the afternoon. What were working on is what were working on.
A specialist in self-portraiture, who often works with masks, Gillian Wearing has always been invested in that barrier between the private and the public. Here, shes severed, superimposed. Her flailing arms, her private dance, detached from passing crowds. The Peckham public barely regards herand she jiggles on regardless.