Our dancing with scores does not effect a simple causal relationship yet there is no doubt that, at times, there is an aspect of a score, let's say falling, which becomes physically manifest in our dancing with that score. These choreographic principles are assimilated into the body through practising with them. Perhaps in improvising dance, choosing what aspect of an idea or a score to exemplify is not as clear as thinking and deciding and then acting. I arrive at the session having already planned or written out what the words will be for that day. As an added bonus, slow motion is a great cool down and is easy on the joints. 6, 7, and 8: To the right going downwards, maintaining the level or going upwards. The choice may be blurred, not consciously decided, or may be a bodily response to the perceived meaning of a score. This kind of work of art can always be attributed to an originating artist. I was watching myself all the time. Crisp avoided labelling these verbal tools as ‘scores’ as she also avoids naming the dances that she makes as ‘improvisation’ even though the ‘choreography’ is taking place in the present during performance. I have borrowed the term, solo warm-up from improvisation practitioner David Beadle, whose workshop I attended in 2003. Throughout my research, I have been interested in how scores work within the way we practice as a group. If I am pre-planning or anticipating or searching for the next movement, the possibilities of what, where, how are circumscribed. Nor did I use my reading of Goodman’s theory to decide what my scores should be. Thus Rewriting Distance generates “ a world that is crescent rather than created; that is always in the making rather than ready-made.” (Creativity and Cultural Improvisation, Hallam & Ingold 2007, pp. Soon after working with Warby, I travelled to New York and Europe. Certainly this has been my experience of coming to terms with using scores in my own practice. As we then practice being witnessed by another, we learn how to consciously and willingly surrender to the experience of the moment and to be consciously and willingly seen in the midst of doing so. The score observes states that occur in the practice of Contact Improvisation and improvisational dance practices and follows the stages of arrival, development, and resolution that naturally tend to occur at Contact Improv Jams as well as other improvisational contexts, hence the name suggests the underpinnings of our practice. A: Writing exercise, complete the following sentences: Collective reading on the writing exercise and combining a selection of sentences from different individuals. ISSN 1322-76545. This one came out at the beginning of the Corona 19 virus. Something else that resonated with me in this reading was the discussion of the social/historical context of space and how that can influence our interactions with and experience of a particular space. Noticing the Small Dance gives the mind a way to tune to the speed of reflex’ (in Curtis 1994, p. 68). Perhaps it is really from dancing that dancing comes. Of course then you’re using the score, the score enters your body, so you have the score work your dance, make your dance (Satin 2009, p. 43). Olivia’s PhD, from Deakin University, was conferred in April 2013. something with nothing3. This project was based on group improvisation through practising with scores over a significant period of time. In an interview in 1994, nearly twenty years after the transcribed workshops, Paxton described the small dance. V – Valuaction: The purpose of an action, and how it helps the improvisation. For Mark Tompkins scores allow us ‘to do anything because at the same time, we’re supported‘ (Benoit 1997, p. 225). 9, 10, and 11: Backward going downwards, maintaining the level or going upwards. nothing with nothing, 6 consecutive solo improvisations:a) Focus inward – dancing for youb) Focus inward – dancing for the audiencec) Focus outward - dancing for youd) Focus outward – dancing for the audiencee) Alternating focus - dancing for youf) Alternating focus – dancing for the audience, Find a location high up where you can look out over the city, From here find a person somewhere in the distance they should be far enough away that you cannot read the expressions on their face only the movements in their body, Try to measure the distance between you and them, Try to imagine how long it would take you to cross that distance: 1) if you were walking 2) if you were running 3) if you were a bullet fired from a sniper’s rifle. Here is a series of workshops on exploring the idea of border. Satin, Leslie 2009, 'Focus on the Work: Yvonne Meier'. That hold could be tightened in times of need, that is, it could be consciously referred to, to initiate, adjust or affect the dancing in some way. The fluid, controlled motion is mesmerizing to me and takes strength as well as focus. Scores can generate movement material, or it could support us as ‘a prop, a ruse, a pretense’. By practising with a particular thought or intention even if that intention is just to dance, the body is becoming tuned with that intention. As I offer a new set of scores to the group I do also try to convey why I grouped certain words together, such as the ‘framing’ words. Steve Paxton’s small dance, which, as mentioned above, I first encountered in a workshop taught by KJ Holmes, is an example of a verbally conveyed score that has been shared and communicated between and by a large number of people reaching far beyond Paxton’s initial devising and use of it. They are a prop, a ruse, a pretense which, while giving me the illusion of ‘knowing’ in my dancing, allow me to not know. This insight existed because I was a participant in the project. What is hidden behind walls, doors or under the sidewalk? Where the cadences of time improvise themselves within various art practices simultaneously. In describing what that score could be, he says: It’s a line in space, a change in the light, the body falling[…]It’s a lot of off balance, being off center, the sensation inside an articulation, the speed at which I come near somebody, or at which I go away. The support that I hoped for, however, was not the direction or inducement to do anything in particular (or anything at all) but the momentum or opening to begin dancing. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Its openness allows it to be a tool which can continually be re-visited by a dancing body that is becoming in its present. Other improvisational scores ask dancers to make choices Solo improviser Suzanne Cotto describes starting from ‘zero’ where she has no plan; she has not prepared anything. Through practising, a group of choreographic principles were developed by Crisp, which guide the way an improvising dancer generates movement. In our practising, we have talked about scores being generative of movement and also ways of noticing. tools for dance improvisation Tools for Dance Improvisation is intended to introduce or refresh some of the basic tools (exercises, practices, scores, games, concepts) of ZOO/Thomas Hauert’s work. I do not think that Goodman is referring ‘scores’ as I have experienced them in the past in the practice of others. In this paper I am asking: What is a score? Circle the earth scores – Initially, I had assumed that scores had an easily perceivable effect on dancing, for those dancing and those observing. I have encountered the use of scores–and scores with other names: plan, question, inspiration, (state of) play, structure, framework, libretto, (set of) tools, game (rules), substructure–in a range of contexts from the generation of movement material to their use as support in performance. It was much more than a tool for creating ‘interesting’, virtuosic or non-habitual movement; it could be a way of noticing and exploring the many experiences of a dancing body both in private and in performance. These are very physical situations, I can see them and I can touch them (Benoit 117). Over a period of a few years, I was involved in a project with Crisp, which she named the ‘d a n s e’ project. To help explore these ideas I refer to the theory of Nelson Goodman and discuss the use of scores by other dance practitioners including Steve Paxton, Yvonne Meier and Anna Halprin. Here are elements in improvisation in divisions of time, space, design, sound and choice. ‘But to take notation as nothing, therefore but a practical aid to production is to miss its fundamental and theoretical role’ of the score that has the ‘logically prior office of identifying a work‘ (127). what is their biggest fear? One of the challenges in using scores is finding the right balance between enough structures that you feel free to move, but not too much that you feel restricted. 2—3). As a large group, it’s great to assign rolls before beginning and give time to develop ideas. In working in this way, Halprin would have been able to vary her relationship to the dances she created (or within one dance) in terms of her specific direction to her dancers as well as varying the possibility for the dancers to have agency in the creation. All of us were isolated in our homes- so this score is meant for inside your home. Published by the Australian Dance Council – Ausdance Inc. Ausdance-approved insurance that meets the needs of dance instructors, studios, professional dancers and groups, independent artists and companies. Fourth Round 10 minutes- change facings of 1 spot within the dance (this could mean front to … When we discover a true sense of being non-selective, of having no agenda, in terms of what arises, more is allowed and available and the range and palette of expressive possibilities are expanded. She had been participating in Hay’s Solo Commissioning Projects. Using Ensemble Thinking group composition scores, we will make dances, and talk about why they resonate, and why they do not, the elements that drive a dance towards artistic critical mass, and those that do not, producing stagnation as an outcome instead. Other approaches offer structures for performing improvisation. In this work- we set up a space for improvisation that is focused on composition. One of the purposes that served was to let the dancers know what to expect. The system outlined in The Viewpoint Book is great - but you can use them in multiple ways to bring focus to a specific element. These impressions seem to be physical as well as imagined memories (Benoit 1997, p. 105). It was an idea that had been adopted, taught and utilised by improvisers, particularly contact improvisers, all over the world. The practice begins as the performer in an open space with a table and paper for drawing or writing begins to move, speak or write. Saturday, July 28th from 2:30-4:30pm at the Townlake YMCA in the large group exercise room on the first floor. You can decide on several verbal cues from the radio or TV to put yourself into motion again, like ‘virus’ or ‘pandemic. Choices: Go with the simple/ not always first idea/ when out of an idea- leave. A score is a map, a topography, a terrain. However, the score would not guarantee that the same dance would result from a subsequent dancing with that score. Gradually, the touching person(s) steps away to allow the moving person to dance unencumbered. 2 Open improvisation operates without the use of scores, leaving all decisions regarding space, timing, movement quality, relationships, and so on to be made during the unfolding of the performance. A score did not induce me to dance in a certain way, nor did it remind me of the way I had danced if I have used the same score previously. In his book, Languages of Art, Nelson Goodman discusses the concept of scores as linked to the idea of a stable, repeatable work, and in terms of his distinction between autographic and allographic works of art. Setting aside the desire to invent, to direct, to be creative, the mover learns instead to listen and allow. The more we practised the clearer it became to me that not only were the scores not directly shaping the dancing, but that I did not want them to do so. On other days, I abandon some or all of the scores almost immediately. make choices about what sources to include, move within and outside the working space, Video: pre-loaded images/ real time camera and projection, make choices about images/ light/spatial arrangement, bring focus – make change- open to change, Visual Design: Set, props and spatial dimensions, make choices about how the space will be arranged/ props/parameters. Text © Olivia Millard. For the past 25 years, Olivia has worked as a performer, maker and lecturer of dance. 2: Upward. We call this warm-up period the solo warm-up. This paper explores the use of scores or verbal propositions in improvising dance. Many artists in dance and theatre use scores in a variety of ways. Curtis, J 1994, 'The Man in the Box: Interview with Steve Paxton', Dempster, E & Gardner, S 2007/08 'Ros Warby: Framing Practice.'. The participants are able to go on and perform that solo in the contexts of their own choice but they must first have practised for three months. In performing improvised dance, there is a difference between, on the one hand, not knowing while dancing, (not knowing what movement or impulse or relationship will come next), and on the other hand, searching for that movement. where scores are verbal propositions, usually relating to physical, bodily or movement notions, rather than being narrative or psychological, such as tangling and untangling or the noticing of being subject to gravity. what is the loneliest they have ever been? A solo improvisation a work could be considered to be autographic in that the score and the work would be devised and created by one person. Avoiding the labels of ‘score’ and ‘improvisation’ allows Crisp to discover and re-discover what her practice is and what it is becoming without herself, or anyone else settling on how the use of particular terms might determine what a dance is or could be. As described by Susan Leigh Foster, artists working with improvisation methods throughout the 1960s, such as Allan Kaprow and members of the Fluxus collective, and later dance makers in the Judson Dance Theatre, all relied on scores of some kind to plan or frame their events (2002, p. 44). Dances are designed by applying one or both of these fundamental choreographic methods: Improvisation, in which a choreographer provides dancers with a score (i.e., generalized directives) that serves as guidelines for improvised movement and form. The aim is to share meditation and movement across the gap of social distancing. everything with everything5. It is not, however, significantly different from the proposition he conveyed in that earlier workshop. The use of a score to support the possibility of not knowing seems to be shared by other dance improvisers. Participating or acting in this practice allows ways of thinking, understanding, experiencing, knowing that exist only while or at least because of the participation in this dancing. [from Rob Kitsos; see Joao Fiadeiro as another approach]. In the answer to that question, I suspect, lies the answer to the question of what a score is and what it does. Once I start dancing, however, I invariably allow that thinking to either fall away or into the background and instead see how dancing with that score might bring up its ‘meaning’ on that day. everything with nothing6. This forms the material for solo and group improvisation scores where internal landscapes transform into performative environments. where are they going? The possibility to dance while ‘not knowing’ exists in our way of dancing with scores. Goodman describes exemplification as being ‘possession plus reference‘ (1976, p. 52). I draw from my experience in Thai Massage, Contact Improvisation, Physical Theatre, Authentic Movement and contemporary dance … It is also useful to include a finite amount of time. Finding a felt sense of the moment, an uninterrupted connection of impulse into action, learning to self-witness, to stay aware of what is happening without prematurely shaping it, are all essential understandings for an artist. If you are a beginner or feeling uncomfortable with being asked to move … For example, you might be asked to improvise for a certain number of counts during the combination at the end of class, with the guidelines that you travel low to the floor or move in a circular path. One way to name the way we sometimes use scores is exemplification. Amongst my working group we sometimes talk about having a ‘light hold’ on the relationship between the score and the dancing. In order to discuss how the dancers with whom I have been dancing and I are using scores, I will first describe how we conduct our practice sessions. Each group is labeled “everything.” These groups may include several people. There is always a space to exit the playing space- reexamine- and make a new choice to enter again. Using scores in dance improvisation. Scores support me. The audience person moves into the witness chair, when the witness enters the performance space and the event unravels in this manner; as each participant moves through the various roles/time frames of performer, witness and audience. So you take a score and your mind gets relief. Second Round 10 minutes- vary the speed of 3 spots within the dance Third Round 10 minutes- add repetition to 2 spots within the dance (they can repeat as much or little as the choreographer chooses.) I do, however, use my emerging understanding of how verbal scores might work for others in various practices to ask again and again what scores are in my practicing. My use of the word ‘score’, though, is not a term that I decided upon; rather it is a ‘traditional’ word which I have learnt to use from working in practical dance situations, particularly in dance improvisation. The ‘fast’ may be the chosen aspect of something more complicated such as acceleration, which is being exemplified in the dance. Other approaches offer structures for performing improvisation. Improvisation scores are generally meant to be interpreted by the dancer, which can result in vastly different performances across dancers. As Goodman suggests, exemplification is potentially much more complex than its starting point as a word or a perceived meaning of a word. ), the noticing, List B: How or Where? How do they support the communication in relation to our dancing? Gérard Genette, referring to Goodman notes that the categorisation of a work as autographic or allographic is affected by both how it is produced and whether it can be reproduced: In certain arts, [autographic] the notion of authenticity is meaningful, and is defined by a work’s history of production, while it is meaningless in others, [allographic] in which all correct copies of a work constitute so many valid instances of it (1997, p. 16). These principles arose from dancing and were used both to describe what might have been taking place while dancing, and to suggest possibilities relating to how one might be attentive while dancing. Separate sessions assign rolls before beginning and give time to be shared by other dance improvisers ’. Together to four different improvisational scores, in the generation of movement and also of... Can assist here them down, however another, we see what our body has range... By comparison, a ruse, a pretense ’ a ‘ work ’ which or! 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