critical evaluation

In this evaluation, I have:

– Stated how the outcome of the project developed and changed from the initial masters project proposal and given some reasons to justify the deviation. Given a brief description of what the project turned out to be.
– Stated the learning outcomes, achievements and discoveries made during the progression of the project.
– Evaluated the potential successes and failures of the final performance piece. (it was written before the performance and assessment)
– Considered how the piece fits with current practice in contemporary dance performance.

masters critical evaluation

A New Genre

I saw a review in the Guardian guide booklet last weekend about the dance company ‘chunky move’ from Melbourne. A small extract:
‘…a pioneer within the arena of dance and new technology, having created a genre that is part live performance and part visual installation. In Mortal Engine, one of its signature pieces, a network of lasers and video projections react to the dancers as they move, triggering patterns of light and sound across the stage. Aggressively invasive of the dancers’ space yet richly beautiful in texture, these effects create layers of virtual choreography and drama.’

chunky move, 'glow'
chunky move, 'glow'

I looked them up on you-tube and was duly impressed… blows anything I can do out the water! – look at the dance film page on this blog to see the video I found. But still, I think what I’ve been trying to do… although it doesn’t look as pretty yet, is quite an interesting idea. It attempts to program improvised choreography, based on rules I follow whilst dancing… interaction with and avoidance of other bodies in space, and moving by singling out and following different parts of the music.

Altered states and film

Except from ‘Deleuze, Altered states and film’ By Anna Powell

‘For Guattari, aesthetics are viral in nature, being known ‘not through representation, but through affective contamination’. In its broader, verbal usage, to affect is to ‘lay hold of, impress, or act upon (in mind or feelings)’ or to ‘influence, move, touch’. Affection as noun is ‘a mental state brought about by any influence; an emotion or feeling’. Although it retains connection to more general meanings, Guattari uses affect in a special sense here and in his work with Deleuze. Affect also permeates Deleuze’s solo-authored cinema books, with both the movement-image and the time-image as distinct but congruent explorations of it.
Henri Bergson is the main philosophical precursor of Deleuze’s temporally based cinematic affect. Bergson accused early cinema of representing the flux of matter in time as a series of static ‘snapshots’ that, strung together by mechanical movement, prevent awareness of duration.
Despite this explicit distrust of the ‘cinematograph’, Deleuze identifies a fundamentally ‘cinematic’ philosophy in Bergson’s implication of ‘the universe as cinema in itself , a metacinema’. Both regard the world as ‘flowing matter’, a material flux of images and the human perceiver as a ‘centre of indetermination’ able to reflect intensively on affect.
For Bergson, perception is extensive and actual but affection is unextended and virtual. Unlike perception, which seeks to identify and quantify external stimuli, affection is qualitative, acting by the intensive vibration of a motor tendency on a sensible nerve. Rather than being ‘geographically’ located, affect surges in the centre of indetermination. Its pre-subjective processes engage a kind of auto-contemplation that participates in the wider flux of forces moving in duration.’

Quote from photographer Jeff Wall

I’m not sure quite how it can relate to my work, but I find his ideas on gesture quite interesting…

‘ The contracted little actions, the involuntarily expressive body movements which lend themselves so well to photography are what remains in every day life of the older idea of gesture as the bodily, pictorial form of historical consciousness. Possibly this this double magnification of what has been made small and meager, of what has apparently lost its significance, can lift the veil a little on the objective misery of society and of the catastrophic operation of its law of value. Gesture creates truth in the dialectic of its being for another – in pictures, its being for an eye. I imagine that eye as one which labors and which desires, simultaneously, to experience happiness and to know the truth about society.’

from an essay by Jeff wall I found on his web site, next to his photograph ‘doorpusher’ 1984