Colour & Music Links

Dancing, Painting and Traces of performance.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the great thrill of convening a conversation between the innovative choreographer Siobhan Davies, Myself and Michael Stanley (The current Director of Modern Art Oxford). I became aware of Siobhan Davies’s important work many, many years ago whilst at college and went to see performances of hers of the music of Volans and Reich and the way in which the performances gave the music a visual power made a lasting impression on me. Like Merce Cunningham before, Siobhan Davies has opened a unique dialogue between artforms, which as she talked about during the conversation temper, meld and shape each other.

More recently though I have become aware of her exciting work with visual artists resulting in a show an important show called Collection, which was a collaboration with the Victoria Miro Gallery, a series of works based around a score called ROTOR and most recently Commissions which are a series of works relating to dance and movement and have just been on show at the Bargehouse in London including great collaborative work by Marcus Coates and Lucy Skaer. The conversation between us concentrated on interfaces between artforms, the nature of practices and the correspondences there of.

Conversation with Siobhan Davies and Michael Stanley

The whole conversation did make me think about how dance informs my own work and is becoming very much part of what I do. I experienced dance closely from childhood and spent early years of my life amongst Ballet dancers (interestingly led by an inspiring polio stricken choreographer called Liz Twistigan Higgins). Someone said recently of my performances that I often appeared to be dancing, especially when retouching or doubling up on a certain brushstroke. I have been thinking of how painting and dance can become interlinked and In a performance shortly at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, I will be exploring this further, working live with a dancer reinterpreting the pioneering graphic score Treatise by Cornelious Cardew as part of a celebration of the great composer’s work.

Coming back to the Siobhan Davies conversation though…  whilst researching the artwork for the talk, I came across the spellbinding work of Anri Sala , and just the other day saw a magnificent show of his at the Serpentine, the focal piece of which is interestingly from the Collection show and features a Snare Drum digitally reading a performance, leaving traces of sound. The show encapsulated all that we had talked about within the conversation. It was a truly cross sensual show using music, dance performance and film ….experimenting with the gallery space in a unique and special way. It is these traces of a performance, which resonate with my own practice as I continue to seek a way of presenting my own work precisely and simply.

POSTED: 11/16/11 11:48 AM