Recently, numbered


33. Clicking sound of 130 beats per minute in our ears
February 22, 2011, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Dance, Music, Sound devices

Been working with Tara O’Con and Siobhan Burke on a series of movement patterns.  We have a work-in-progress showing on March 1 (7pm) at THROW, presented by The Chocolate Factory and curated by Sarah Maxfield.  Come see us!

Carl Riehl is in Chicago doing this show.  So for now, we’re left to our own devices for music.  Enter metronome.

I have always thought about using one in rehearsal.  It brings back early memories of piano practice.  Mrs. Crenshaw (whose home-based biz always smelled like pot roast and dust) would test out my rhythmic agility with all these testy practice pieces.  Generally, she’d interrupt with a “Uh-ah, go back.”  And back I’d go, refining a rhythm sense.

So I often associate an uber-taskiness with the metronome.  It corrects; it checks.  Yet, beginning the choreographic process with this unrelenting device as the only sound source has not necessarily been about correcting.  In this new context, it’s been part sanity, part madness. How, you ask? Well, when Tara and I began to disassemble head movement from our foot patterns, we were tripped out by our bodies’ ability to find fleeting patterns without having any way of describing how we were doing it.  We began to talk as our bodies tripped — saying things like “how am I even doing this?”  What the hell was happening?  (To quote Tara’s answer — “This is your brain on dance.”)

Also, Tara, Siobhan and I once started clip clopping down the street to the ghost of the sound of the metronome’s 130 bpm clicking in our ears. That was awesome.

And the sanity part. It has been in the recognition of time increments passing and the ability of the body step into a rhythm and find gradual change. It’s something I’ve vaguely understood as a listener of the music minimalists – Steve Reich, Terry Reilly, Philip Glass, etc. – but not as a maker of dance.

**Note to self: beware the cliche waters of modern dance or rolling your head over and over and over again.**

So we find ourselves in this territory of emergent patterns (where many have traipsed) – in a rhythmic landscape of simplicity, sameness and change.  I am both humbled and fascinated.

Advertisements

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I enjoyed reading this very much as I begin almost all my work with rhythm patterns which we manifest with our bodies. Rhythm allows our brains to organize complex, even conflicting corporeal patterns into chains of replicable information. It’s dizzying but wondrous. By the way, head rolls are fabulous. People have avoided them so long that NOT using them has become the default setting. Go ahead…roll!

Comment by David Parker

Hi David! Thanks for reading! My avoidance of head rolling definitely comes from my general fear of being derivative. Silly, silly fear. (Also, long live Margie Gillis! She’s such an amazing head roller.) It doesn’t help that I saw a show at BAM (8 or 9 years ago?) that combined head rolling with Shakespeare and this seemed inane to me. Sometimes I hold on to opinions toooooo long and take it into the work. Perhaps heads WILL roll. Oh wait, that’s another metaphor, isn’t it…

Comment by jilliancs

Bless you Jillian for extending that metaphor. I shall think of Mary Queen of Scots tonight. I’m envious of people who CAN roll their heads, at least while still attached to their torsos. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Comment by david




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: