I would like to dedicate this blog to the ones who died before me and especially the performers I knew who died before their time.
I used to perform as an actor, dancer and singer in New York and elsewhere. One day I felt the need to stop and try and go back and give space to my own intuition. I gave up all I had learned and started making performances where I was basically standing in a corner with my back towards the audience, with very little movement and without words – and still trying to attract their interest. Evading any possible meaning became my goal: no story, no character, no narrative, and no social codes, not even my face. A lot of people walked out in the beginning, later on they stayed.
As Sontag said in one of her last essays, “acknowledgment” is a key role of the modern audience, and giving space is one of the characteristics of this acknowledgment. For the performer, doing actions that are clear, resonant and without specific meaning is a way to find this space, a place that is free and where unexpected things can happen.
How to create more space in the performance where something can happen without the performer being forced to control events or compel attraction? Here is the advantage of the times we live in: we may not need just to convince or persuade anymore.
While performing in this way it began to seem possible that the fact of immediacy itself could burn movements completely, with no ashes left. The actions left no consequences, no messages to be interpreted by the audience. Getting the message itself was not the issue any more. I had begun to find a way to collapse the distance between the performer and the viewer. In such a way the audience could be active in contemplating what they saw – participating in a mutually creative event – instead of just looking for messages.
Narratives are in the body as it moves: we just have to remain open for their appearance. For this some space or gap is necessary, in order to stay in the moment. That way the performer is not getting too far ahead of the present. After all, the performer is not here just to anticipate a rendezvous with choreography.
I began to consider the performance moment as a genuinely open event that’s happening while we do it and while we see it. I’m dedicated to this proposition.