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  • Writer's pictureashlee

An update on developments

Two dancers performing in a white dance studio with a black floor. One dancer sits and looks at the other beside her, who is folded forwards at the hips as if she is bowing.
Olivia Wikner Photography

Another jump to the present, but just a quick one this time…

I have just come out of a full-time development – the first one for this project. And yes, I know it was only in the post before last that I mentioned I was applying for funding to make this happen, and now I’m saying that it’s already happened! But I’ve been even busier than usual - as well as this project, I am currently choreographing for ADP, and I’m getting married in a couple of weeks!

I will get around to filling the gaps in the tale, but for now, let me share a quick little something between posts...

For this development I collaborated with Beth Lane, who is a dance artist based in the Bega Valley on Yuin Country, a uni mate and a great friend of mine. Our creative process was largely based on the practice I’ve been describing on this blog, and so we generated a fair amount of written text along with the dancing. We collated some of it into a rambling poem, which served as a sort of program note, or at least a window into our process, for a mini-showing at QL2. Here it is, enjoy!

(PS, we will be performing our work-in-progress Implications [working title] at Cahoots Lab at the Courtyard Studio on April 16th if you want to see us in action!)

Two dancers stand near each other midframe, visible from the waist up. Both are looking off to the right with their arms held up at different angles.
Olivia Wikner photography

Every moment is as important as the others

Treading and treading water and hunting for something

Surely that’s the answer to all our problems

If I don’t do it early, I’ll regret it

Was that a dance?

I have all these companions

Dance is boring, find an occupation

Get distracted by the inevitable renaissance opera unfolding

I’m in standing and there’s the expected tension remaining when you freeze mid post-modern tragedy

Inevitably my brain dissolves

Come back to your damn body

NOISE – I’ll give you attentional distractions.

I tumble away sending a ripple of chattering teeth through my body. They lasted a little while – particularly around my armpits, but I lost them just below the pelvis.


The huge possibilities of distances between things & the unfortunate realities of the tightness or catch

Careful, the only way is down

Delicacy and pleasure hovering above the surface

The yawn space. Maybe it’s the yawn space to release the tension

The removing responsibility & the holding responsibility

The holding space & the expanding space

Filling it up & filling it out a little bit

Attention endurance

Map the room with your awareness

The choreographic hat

Building hieroglyphics

Make it about the objective stuff

How to climb back in? Just jump

A long, arduous, slow Shakespearean tragedy by dance 4

Repeat – repeat – repeat – repeat – repeat

It’s a little bad dance event

Potential for absurdity

Underwater predator

I’m aware of exactly what I’m slicing through, like a chef quality Japanese knife

I’m obsessed by the back space

The diagonals are now underlining everything. The underscore

Mud is better because it’s substantial

Do I let this thing be something that pops up now and then or do I intentionally cultivate it? Train the thought processing like I train my body

Drop your bloody arms

For sore arms – I didn’t bloody drop them.

The mud was drier than yesterday

The score is the admin I haven’t finished

Settling on a meander

Holding on by a thread

Borrowing – borrowing – begging and stealing

Letting the brain improvise while the body moves

Accumulating questions & calling on them like movement scores

*Put a pin in that for a second


It’s an argument, not objective truth

This is it! This is the dance!

The gaze is the main event

Is there a way to get the audience to check in with their own attention?

You can’t just notice the mud because it’s not actually there

Non-sensical objectivity

Leave that but cut to the meat of the next thing

Too tired to retain any unnecessary action. Maybe fatigue is good

Colour the body scan

The puzzle of the nervous system and the adrenal ride

Curl the tail - Curl the tail - Curl the tail - Curl the tail

Lead with the armpit – knee cap (trust the thighs) – pelvic wings – sit bones – guts

I followed the rhythm of my stream of consciousness

The work is the work. The work comes from the work

Don’t give away your agency

I dance to find out why I dance

Be everywhere all at once

It’s a duet

Open passages


Collapse upwards into gesture?

Perform your abstract score as if it’s a narrative


Scores – Underscores – Overlays – Tools – Contexts

What fuel is there to feast on?

Fall and the body follows

Discover a gesture

Transition into knowing

The body is doing the thinking

Tapping into the next stage of not thinking

My body knew the score

What’s down is down so what’s up is up

DIFFUSE into the floor so what’s up is up

Back fury not front fury

A little bit more of a study

A Puttanesca warm up

Almost uncomfortable, but also kind of lovely to sit in

Also a question about tone, but in different words

I’m only just realising now how different that is for me

I’ve heard this before

Time and space for things to happen in


Return, Repeat, Reflect

Safe is Not an Interesting Terrain

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