I first encountered dramaturgy as a participant of EMBED-Artist (2015), when I was creating a new piece of choreography Digital Tattoo (2015) within five days. As an artist supported by the South East Dance Emerging Artist Programme, I received a day working with dramaturg Lou Cope. This initial insight immensely influenced my approach to working. Being granted a place on TEST I feel I have gained additional skills which I can apply to dramaturgically approach my work independent of a dramatug being present in the studio. This will greatly influence how I approach the way I prepare and make work.
This blog post highlights some of the influences TEST will have on the redevelopment process I will be going through in 2017 on two pieces of cross-genre, digital dance works: Digital Tattoo (2015) & Conversations About the Digital (2016).
How can I utilise other people’s working methods to help me rethink through my ideas?
We looked at three models of self-dramaturgy: Richard Serra’s Verb List (1967-8), Mierle Laderman Ukeles Manifesto For Maintenance Art (1969) & AA Bronsen’s Queer Spirits and other Invocations (2011?).
By examining other artists methods of creating/thinking about their work, moving forward I can develop new ideas/ways of looking at my work through a relationship of triangulation, meeting through and generating new through the work of others:
Contextualised research into others approaches to working,
New outlook on ideas.
How can I notice what rules I impose on myself and my collaborators during creation and therefore become clearer on the affect this has on what I make and how I approach creating work?
Through a co-lecture where each person could contribute an example or idea about Creativity we questioned the role of rules within creativity. For me, at present, choreography is the outcome of multiple decisions, conversations and explorational games. During the redevelopment of Digital Tattoo as an example of an outcome of TEST, I am now interested in revisiting how my choreography has been defined by the restrictions I previously imposed upon the creation of the work. Do these rules lead to the creative output that I want fully or can I loosen them/tighten them to create a clearer intention or to surprise myself?
How does the process of creating my own manifesto help me to evaluate who I think I am as both person and artist and in what direction do I need to move in order to get closer to my intention?
I am a cross-genre (dance) artist,
I am an unfixable context,
I am professional artist/emerging/in the gap,
I am multi-mediumed,
I am a producer,
I am a facilitator,
I am undefinable and ever changing,
I am always generating,
I am unfixed,
I am me and at the same time I am many me’s
Manifesto 1 (2016)
During redevelopment, I will use this technique on each of the works as a whole and also specific parts of the works to re-evaluate the intention of each idea and movement.
Proposition of choreographer as DJ:
How can I better understand the material I am working with by taking on the role of DJ?
The technique of DJing could be considered a modern day composition technique which can stimulate new ideas or ways of seeing work. By reordering elements of work and bringing together new ideas from other contexts, I hope to discover new narratives within my creation and to better understand my intentions.
What am I not allowing?
As a choreographer often working within short time frames and small budgets, I sometimes find it hard to give licence to exploring my ideas through multiple generative forms, such as writing which was the primary technique explored within these sessions. This is often due to the pressure of creating an end result for a deadline. TEST has allowed me to discover new, more focused ways of being able to access these techniques and to understand where in my creative process it might be immensely valuable to utilise them.
How can I approach the preparation of my practice differently?
This process of redeveloping (Digital Tattoo & Conversations About the Digital) will be the first time I have ever redeveloped a work. This activity therefore already demands a different approach to preparing for the ‘re-making’ stage of the works development. Taking part in TEST has allowed me to feel more prepared for this stage of the works journey, has provided me with tools to determine where my focus should lie within this and how I can approach my work anew.
What can I extract from the outcome of these techniques?
I have learnt how to use language as a generative form that opens up new possibilities and understanding and have been given new ways to consider how words can be used to situate my practice and work. I will also give more importance to how I structure the documentation/realisation of my thinking through writing and how this unearths themes and movements towards certain directions within my work. Questions I will consider when writing are, do I group ideas together on the page, is there a hierarchy, are there any obvious connections, how do I order my thoughts, does anything repeat in order to better understand where my interest lies and what is important to me? Putting my ideas onto paper allows new ways for me to access and develop my thinking.
Image: Photography by Eleanor Kelly.
Katie Dale-Everett is supported by South East Dance’s Emerging Artist Programme, the Arts Council, is supported artist at Otherplace Productions, is supported by Screen South Ignition Network Centre for Film Work and is a Brighton Dance Network Featured Artist.
Facebook: Katie Dale-Everett Dance