Artefact 3 - Gjendin Ridge (2015)
performed with Mariana Camiloti, Antonio de la Fe & Petra Söör
Middlesex University, London
(part of the Seven Scenes in Tandem series)
Henrik Ibsen’s (1828-1906) Peer Gynt, was used in this piece of Instant Composition (performed once only) as a stimulus for channelling. In Ibsen’s epic poem/play, the teenage Peer is with his mother Äse, and Peer is spinning her a yarn about riding a buck along Gjendin Ridge — a vertiginous shard of mountain terrain. I chose not only to title the piece and make an image/flyer for it but to ‘cast’ the piece as if it were a play and had dramatis personae. In that vein, I assigned roles to the dancers — Petra Söör as ‘Owl’, Mariana Camiloti as ‘Under the Bed’, Antonio de la Fe as ‘Fibber’ and myself as ‘Valley’. These are not, of course, Ibsen’s characters but are characteristics of the play, or images that came to me through a soft notion of channelling. My approach was to work (in an aleatory way) with my first or second decisions and not to interrogate my choices either to justify or rationalise them too heavily. I did not suggest that the dancers read Peer Gynt, nor did I furnish them with any details beyond a short verbal description as I talked about my inspiration for the piece when we gathered the day before performance for a rehearsal that took the form of reconnecting with each other after a period of absence, moving to some loose and tight scores and exhibiting potential costume items. On the day of performance, we made final decisions about costume and made some decisions about timings, entrances/exits, décor and light having found objects to bring into the piece. Söör had brought a bag of apples from her garden. A lump of concrete was found behind the theatre along with a cart and other items just a couple of hours before the performance. In short, there was a distinctly aleatory quality to many of the decisions being made in advance.