Dancer Linda Luke and I wanted to exchange our different performance and choreographic methodologies to discover the potentials of a shared performance language. In short our themes are to look at notions of the subterranean. In other words, sensibilities that are often ignored or not desirable in the everyday . Ideas of pessimism, of death, of what lies beneath the earth or under one’s skin. Aspects that aren’t usually brought to light. Spaces in our cultural reading that aren’t easy or comfortable to address.
The landscape gives birth to the creature / the creature gives birth to the landscape...
In PLATFORM 2017, we each created short solo works for specific sites at Articulate project space (Leichhardt). I went about making my work from conceiving of a creature and constructing movement, and from there, ‘filled out’ the ‘environment’ of the performance. Linda was quite the reverse, and developed her piece from the environment (working with clay stones from Lightning Ridge, NSW). Through the process of working with stones and space, a creature emerged. Both pieces elucidated a sense of the ‘subterranean’.
This process informed our conversation about site, choreography, landscape and how one aspect informs the other. We used these works as a basis for developing our duet performance in Melaka.
Constructs of Pessimism
We approached the performance creation within the framework of what I have coined 'constructed pessimism'. This means that, as we each encounter images and aspects of the performance that takes us to the precipice of pain, uncertainty, melancholy and sorrow never-ending, we commit to encourage each other to move deeper into this tapestry, instead of sabotaging or circumventing the chance to explore further. This way of working links to the project’s concept of subterranean, pressing on the membrane between living and dead; flesh and soul; animal and human; taboo and sacred; ancient and contemporary.
Below are images from Linda Luke and WeiZen's duet Subterranean, Cerita Pendek 1, 25 Nov 2017, MAPfest 2017:
' This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW. '
'This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.'
Daytime Site Improvisation by Linda Luke, Bukit St. Paul, MAPfest 2017
Daytime Site Improvisation by WeiZen Ho, Bukit St. Paul, MAPfest 2017 ...extrapolated from Stories from the Body #5 and developed further using methods explored with Linda Luke in Subterranean and Constructs of Pessimism.
Sound-Object Improvisation Event curated by Ren Walters, Bukit St Paul, MAPfest 2017