There’s a discussion going on at The Kinetic Interface of Great Dance about the audience’s role and participation in Cedar Lake’s upcoming installation The Copier, choreographed by Jill Johnson. Doug states in his post that he would like to be involved in a more physical way, and thinks the installation could be an opportunity for community dance. Perhaps it could, but this depends entirely on Jill’s vision. Because she is closely collaborating with the dancers – and gave them various tasks during the first rehearsal as a starting point for exploring movement possibilities – I have a feeling that Jill’s vision for the installation is evolving. If this is the case, incorporating the audience in a physical way might be challenging.
Interacting with dancers on intellectual and emotional levels – selecting what to observe, deciding how and when to shift around the space, processing what is being conveyed, and reflecting on how it makes you feel – can be just as significant and meaningful. As I mentioned in my comment on Doug’s post, this type of involvement is more individualized and internal, and therefore not as visible to an observer. My recent quotation of the day about defining choreography, which came from Jill Sigman and the jillsigman/thinkdance blog, seems particularly relevant. Sigman says:
“It is not about how my foot is pointed or my arm is curved. It is about what invisible thing we can make happen together. We claim the space, like reclaimed land, and make something happen in it.”
To me, the most striking word is “invisible”, suggesting that an individual’s contribution to a dance – particularly to an interactive installation – doesn’t have to be physical and immediately noticeable to others. The audience’s participation in and contribution to The Copier might be more intellectual than physical (although there will undoubtedly be physical interaction as the audience and dancers move around one another, and as individuals copy others), but they’re still altering the energy in the space and engaging in a proactive way. It’s a different, less visible form of participating in a performance, but equally satisfying.
You can be a part of The Copier between August 20th and 23rd by ordering tickets here. For a special blog reader discount, enter “BLOGCP” where it says “discount code”.