(i) body as ground
It is through the body that we meet the world and find and experience our place in it. It is through the body where we feel and respond to all that happens. As writer and choreographer Miranda Tufnell says, the body is the ground from which all our knowing of the world begins. And it is within our bodies where we discover the changes that are happening to us – where we can listen and respond to events in our lives – wherever we are and wherever we have been.
Make/Shift is exploring how contemporary choreographic practice might engage with refugees’ experience of displacement. As dancers we will often think about and regard the body as our first and primary home. Can our practice establish connections between the need to flee, to escape, to move home and seek another, with the experience of the body and all that is embodied.
Improvisation is our way into thinking and creativity – a place to commence our investigations.
Improvisation is thinking on your feet and through your feet.
Improvisation is thought in -the -making.
Improvisation allows new thinking to emerge.
(iii) writing from improvisation
Dancers whose practice includes improvisation work with movement that finds and takes inspiration from uncertainty, continuous relocation, varying modes of organic human travel, and a changing imaginative landscape. We are responsive to the movement language of other dancers and we journey towards frontiers and interrogate them, often finding that they do not halt progress or prevent access to the next move, but exercise our physical and mental agility to create or adapt to the exploration and questions that emerge in the improvisation.
After a short period of reflection we have often turned to writing about the experience of the dance improvisation – as a tool for reflection, and as a secondary process of understanding the experience of movement from the point of view of making the transition from one discipline to another, and to work with what writing offers.
Each dance improvisation will follow or reflect a theme, conversation, or score suggested by ongoing Make/Shift research and development. Our writings in turn combine reflection, situations recalled, metaphor and documentary description.