‘flourish’ scratch night at Pegasus

Last night was Joe Lott‘s scratch night ‘Flourish’ at Pegasus studio.  Organised as an opportunity to show the early work in progress of artists selected for the ‘homebed’ programme.  It was Supported and funded by Oxford City Council, Pegasus, Arts at the Old Fire Station, and Oxford Dance Forum through Home-Bed.

The event attracted a full house.   Showing work were home bed artists: Jenny Parrot, Joe Lott, Emma Webb,  Marina Collard, myself and guest artists David Hudson and Ji-Eun Lee.

This was the  first public outing of some of the fragments emerging from my exploration of ‘Inertia’.  I showed elements I’d begun work on with Yael Karavan.  It was also the first time I have been joined on/off stage by fellow dance artist/videographer Naomi Morris.  Our presentation included, prop, text, live camera projection and shadow interaction. I also used the opportunity to ask the audience to think of and write down what gets them up in the morning, what motivates them in what they do.  The answers to these questions will be informing the development of  ‘ Inertia.’

It was great to be able to see the other artists’ work and have the opportunity to hear audience feedback.   I enjoyed Jenny Parrot’s brave and humorous monologue, the middle section of Joe Lott’s dance of the periodic table and the beautiful dancing of Marina Collard.  Emma Webb’s waiting woman again evocatively conjured ( and  I’m disappointed I won’t be able to see the full length version of dead man dancing on the 23/24th)

However, as I expressed on the night I feel ambivalent about scratch nights: what do you show?  how do you show work at its best when it’s not ready and when there is limited technical support and a studio setting with no raked seating which makes any floor work invisible… ?

One suggestion proposed to me by more than one person was not to worry about what you were ‘giving’ the audience so much as to work out what you wanted to get from the audience.  With this in mind I was pushy about asking for written thoughts on inertia/motivations which I could use as part of my reasearch.   What I gained actually is the spur of a performance deadline to focus the creation of new work, the shared support from other dancers and the energy of a live audience which reminded me that actually I love performing.  Even when I’m not ready.

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