Alongside fellow C-DaRE choreographers and researchers Siobhan Davies and Rosemary Lee, I’m trying to look at aspects of the political in dance practice: not the overtly declared, titled and trumpeted political, but those things touching upon the ethical, the resistant and the idealistic, which are intrinsic to what we do. And these parts of our practice are often so familiar that we don’t notice them, or we feel them as political but we can’t easily justify that feeling.
Part of this research for me has been to initiate a performance called Any Table Any Room, led by myself and my long term collaborator Matteo Fargion, which will invite four other artists to join us onstage in any city we perform, with the question how do we negotiate ourselves as individuals onstage, or ourselves as part of an enforced group.
Last week we finished the piece with the help of four artists who are teaching and/or researching at Coventry University: Katye Coe, Nicola Conibere, Simon Ellis and Colin Poole. We invited each artist to prepare by creating 6 terracotta clay objects, modelled from things they found at home. The piece follows the form scheme of a well known piece of contemporary classical music, with 60 gestural materials using the clay objects, drones on smart phones, mouth organs and a series of songs from texts about community and the impossibility of community.
What begins as a chaotic field, is invited to self-organise in a way that remains unspecified and unpoliced. And often we find some form of unison, and this unison contains the most essential question: when is this coming together a generous giving up of self into a wider field, and when is it an imposition upon our own supposed freedom?
– Jonathan Burrows