Fearghus Ó Conchúir Choreographer and Dance Artist
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November 16, 2010

In the moment: dance and technology

I was in Dancehouse today to interview John Scott for Imeall.  John is collaborating with the renowned video artist and film-maker Charles Atlas on a new production, In the moment.  The studio was already like a technical rehearsal with lights, screens, cameras and banks of computers and processing equipment.  Charles has worked with Merce Cunningham, with Michael Clark, with Marina Abramovic and with Antony and the Johnsons.  He knows a lot, though he wasn’t giving much away when I interviewed him today.

When I watched the beginning of rehearsal it seemed initially chaotic and disjointed in a way I’d find difficult to handle.  However, little by little I saw John follow his instinct and make very quick choices about what should be going on.  Two pieces of material that initially sat side by side were joined together when John asked the dancer who’d just arrived off a plane from New York to improvise expansive movement across the whole space.  Suddenly the two separate pieces of material spoke to one another and a delicious hum of energy developed.  The dancers were very quick to respond to and amplify the new possibilities of the choreography.  It was great to see.

When you work mostly as a choreographer, you don’t really get a chance to see other choreographers at work.  You see the product of their work but not necessarily their process.  John’s energy is very different from mine but it was fascinating to see how that energy can make beautiful things happen in a moment.  I was reminded that there’s still lots I want to work on and that it’s a joy to see bodies moving in space together.

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