Monday, November 13, 2017

Vancouver Dance History (2006-2016): Post 39

In addition to commissioning Natalie Purschwitz's amazing installation (now on full glorious display in the lobby of The Dance Centre), one of our more inspired ideas for how we would disperse and animate aspects of the interviews that we collected for our Dance Histories Project during the upcoming Dance in Vancouver biennial was to pull quotes from each of our interviewees and, with their permission, iron them on to T-shirts that also had that their name and interview number on the back, like so:

That's the front of Deanna Peters' T-shirt, and the back of Jane Osborne's, carefully decaled into place at an ironing party that Justine and Alexa and I had at my house last Monday morning. Over the rest of that week, I completed the rest of the 53 total T-shirts (in my earlier summary of the folks we'd interviewed, listed here, I left out Kelly McInnes and Olivia Shaffer, both of whom Alexa interviewed, but whose videos she hadn't been able to upload to our shared Dropbox folder from her phone). Yesterday Alexa and Kate Franklin and I distributed about half of them to the current students of Modus Operandi following their Sunday hip-hop class at The Dance Centre:

For the second half of this part of the project is that we're asking volunteers to wear one of the T-shirts during the week of DiV, and also to learn three shared gestures, and however many additional ones they'd also like to embody--all culled from our video interviews with Vancouver dance artists; whenever they're at The Dance Centre, or wherever else they might be in the city, our T-shirt-wearing volunteers are then invited to either slip these gestures covertly into routine conversations and interactions, or else to deliberately interrupt and/or open up a space through the repetition of the gestures. In this way, the discursive histories we've captured through our interviews will be reembodied and redistributed through this double act of transfer.

The Modus students all seemed eager to participate, and also proved amazingly adept at learning some very complicated gestures. Next Monday we'll have a further T-shirt and gesture distribution session at The Dance Centre with a bunch of dance artists (including several of our interviewees) who are keen to participate. Together with the sound and video installations we're also planning, it will hopefully be a lively complement to the regular DiV programming.

Everything kicks off on November 22nd. You can check out the full schedule here.


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