I'm going to be sharing the latest version of Meat Space Diaries #4: ODE with the help of Bethany Wells Bak and Nat Newburger and a couple more folks still being cast. I can't tell you how excited we are to share this juicy tidbit with you, and to hear your questions and noticings.
You are invited!
Saturday July 18 4-5:15 pm
Living Hope Dance Lab
815 N. McLean Memphis TN 38107
Based upon my experience working with pigs on a small organic farm in Arkansas, I have created a score that engages the humor and pathos of inter-species relationships within the culture of meat-farming.
Come see Meat Space Diaries #4: ODE before it sets out for its world premiere.
Kimberly, I'm sorry about the hasty reply I gave you! And the fact that I am going to use this opportunity to write a blog entry for my website WHILST responding to you, bodacious being.
So in a nutshell, this piece we are developing is a vignette within a larger creative work called Meat Space Diaries, an accumulating performance work that looks at relationships through the lens of agriculture and meat production. I was lucky to get to know 10 pigs that were being raised for meat in Proctor AR, and that experience inspired me to take a closer look at America's relationships to the actual labor that goes into their consumption requirements and preferences, and how casually we turn a blind eye to what is actually a very intimate, perhaps even graphic and certainly quite meaningful step-by-step process.
For this 14-minute scored improvisation, called ODE, I am collaborating with Nat and Bethany (and you?) to give viewers some insight into the dynamics in play when farmers 'herd' an animal to new pastures. On the farm this was always an utterly entertaining spectacle, and quite touching to participate in. This piece is a bit of a 'riff' off of that idea while still endeavoring constantly to keep true to the ambiguous role played by all the parties in situations of animal husbandry. Then, of course, it turns into a bit of tongue-in-cheek revelry--bittersweet revelry I think... :-)
Anyway, I hope this piques your interest. I would love your eyes; and if I can have more I'd love your body too! :-) We only have one more rehearsal, so we could try 'teaching' you the score, which would be great practice for me because in Portland, I have to fill two of the parts with new cast on the DAY OF the performance, so the score needs to be translatable for a new person.
Please holler any questions or initial thoughts, or just let me know YAY or NAY to:
Saturday July 11 12-2pm work=through: watch or jump in
Saturday July 18 4-5pm attend the showing and perhaps facilitate feedback if you are interested
Location: Living Hope enormous gym sanctuary at 815 North McLean
Big hugs and much gratitude for your consideration dear.
It's exciting to build a work in such a way that the word 'choreography,' which is supposed to mean 'writing dance,' gets to be relevant in a new way. So often it means 'having written,' rather than 'writing' itself. Writing itself is contextual, constantly negotiated, where as that which has been written awaits interpretation but has ceased to change.
With "Meat Space Diaries #4: ODE" I am courting changing and clinging to the essence.
In rehearsal we go in and start writing where we left off, getting a significant portion of new material out there, then spend the rest of the time circling back around and through: zooming in for a more petite etude or experiment; witnessing; marking badly (something I call a poot-through :-) ) which helps me see structure, then noticing what we felt and who we seem to be in the aftermath. Letting sparks fly and catching those that are useful.
Why am I doing this? Those new to this site might well ask.
My experiences working on farms and in the cubicles of corporate america have given me great curiosity about the nature of embodied labor.
And I just so happened to rescue a pig from slaughter. My experiences learning about the tenderness and violence and delicate negotiations that happen in the production of meat from the lives of animals--have fueled this project, Meat Space Diaries, an accumulating performance work about relationships, essentially.
I'm using humor, of course. I can't help it. And lots of scored improvisation that is nonetheless quite thoroughly rehearsed. (for the most part... :-)
I hope this helps clarify, even if it doesn't make it any easier to see this in your mind's eye. I hope we can get together in the flesh, as it were, and then you can ask me with your own vocal chords. Or below in that little reply box. That works too.
Friends, Bethany Wells Bak, Nat Newburger and I are shaping up "Meat Space Diaries #4: ODE" for its premiere at the Body Mind Centering Association's North American Conference on July 23 in Portland Oregon. This piece of the larger work investigates the relationships created by agricultural practices. In particular, the relationship between the herded and the herder.
We met in Living Hope's "gymtuary" space last Saturday, an enormous gym space lit by huge windows, 50 foot ceilings, and all the room we could hope for was ours.
I've just cast a colleague from my days at St. Mary's school, Maesie Speere. We performed in TROJAN WOMEN when we were 16 and 17, she was Hecuba and I was Andromache. WHAT A HOOT!!
more to come...