Started working on a new piece today. It's a compost duet titled P.S.

I say compost because I'm taking two recent works that I made and reassembling them into a new singular cyborg creation. Pyrolysis and Shimmer, the two source material works, share a lot of similar thought processes in the way they were made. We talked a lot about abstraction as a process, which, as a I mentioned in my last post, I've started to question as a method of making because there's an inherent violence that I see in it. 

In the dislocation, hybridization, translation, and/or composting of these source materials, there are elements that are gained, elements that survive, but also elements that get lost. This is something I'm thinking about a lot.

Brenda Dixon-Gottschild wrote in her book "The Black Dancing Body: A Geography from Coon to Cool" that Approximation leads to Appropriation leads to Assimilation. A lot of the stuff Lauren, Alexis and I tried out today is exploring this exact frame work. I find myself very interested in the moment between appropriation (what I now believe to be synonymous with abstraction) and assimilation. 

Below are my notes from our first rehearsal, which took place today (May 7, 2018). Somethings will only make sense to me right now, but hopefully some of the language holds some things to move forward with:


Language as a barrier

Stormy Weather is my Avengers

Compost as a method of making

Gave 15 minutes to go over original solos for themselves

Ran the works side by side – SUPER INTERESTING

Lots of my choreographic tendencies show up including large travelling followed by stationary movement and rhythmic similarities both in the foundation of the phrase work, but also in the energetic arc of both solos: lots of chaos followed by moments of suspended/bound momentum.

Had them teach each other a portion of each other’s pieces – cross contamination of Foreign Materials

Heel toe standing phrase

Big drop swing phrase

Had them thread these new phrases (Foreign Materials) into their choreography – at a moment of their choice.

Negotiate the moment of contact between the movement that is and isn’t theirs: What changes? Either in the pre-existing structure they know, or in the material they're bringing in? How do the abstractions evolve? How do the abstractions react?

Had them create new material, or bring in material that exists outside of these composted works (P+S).

They teach each other these materials to each other

Materials get inserted into each other’s work, but not the originator’s work.

What is different about this and pulling from something that I gave them as “the choreographer“?

FOR LIFE OF A CYBORG TAP DANCER: Learned Leapy Alexis Phrase + Lauren Thesis Punches + Aysha’s heel toes + Shimmer’s big drop swings

Did a run of P.S. with new foreign materials – what’s the process of assimilating them into the work? What does it take to make the foreign materials feel non-foreign?

Charles Maybee