A site-specific work: Performance with five video screens, recorded music, live music, dance and audience
The idea for Combine was to make a site specific work that could change and adapt for each location. That it could be something that could change. The title would always be Combine but the include the nameof the room or building where it would be performed.
David Thorp suggested to Tara Cranswick to invite me to make a project in the space. I loved it straight away. It was perfect for a new work that would involve dance for the first time. I then began to look for a choreographer. There were many choices I decided on Paola Piccato an Italian dancer and curator. She had a shared interest in Pina Bausch. I felt that we could work together well. We then set about finding our dancers and through Laban and Place websites we were contacted by eight young and enthusiastic dancers. Its important to me in all my projects to assemble a team of people who are keen to collaborate and importantly for me people who I can learn from. I think I am a good student. I was given a new book on Robert Rauschenberg, I poured over this book and carried it back and forth from my studio and home. I knew his work very well and saw a retrospective of his works a few years ago in New York. There were things I knew but also some surprises, I particularly liked his sculptures made of cardboard. Revisiting an artists works is always rewarding, because sometimes there are things in the work that you don’t connect with at first and then later, perhaps years later you get it. I was also planning a new project to be part of the famous Dartington Summer School. I found to my amazement that Rauschenberg along with Merce Cunningham performed in 1964 a piece at Dartington called Story. I tried to find out more about this work and contacted the Merce Cunningham Foundation but there was no images or information about the piece. I decided to call my work after Rauschenberg’s combine works.
Choreographer Paola Piccato
Live Music Fari Bradley
Recorded Music Ian Dearden Keegan Dewitt Dance Gurpreet Dosanjh, Anne Marie H. Kristensen, Helen Newhouse, Margriet Nguyen, Eri Odoru, Rachele Rapisardi, Tim Rawlins, Johanna Ryynanen
Live vocals Claire Barton, Sophie Kent, Georgina Mottram
Voices on film Sara Daintree, Flore Philis, Linda Hirst, Claire Barton, Sophie Kent, Georgina Mottram
COMBINE ON TOUR
A collaborative project with artists and students and the public This is a work for theatre, foyer and gallery spaces
Combine was originally commissioned by Dartington International Summer School and V22 in London 2012. Based loosely on the work of Robert Rauschenberg and Merce Cunningham. It also follows on from my own practice of site specific interventions. Since 2007 I have been collaborating with singers, musicians and composers first on a project called Broken Voices, which was shown in London. Liverpool and the Venice Biennial and then The Foundling, which was shown at the Foundling Museum in London and also in Venice and at the ICA in London.
Combine is a site specific performance work and the first work I have devised for dance and movement. It is a bespoke piece created for each location and situation. Using professionals and novices it is based on combining different styles and skills. The work evolves with the help and support of interested and dedicated people.
Art is an experience and Combine makes full use of this concept by making a work where the experience of the participants is paramount. Through workshops with key collaborators, artists, composers, choreographers, dancers, musicians and technical support, the work is developed through workshops led by key members of the Combine team.
Not everything we want to express can be expressed in words and even if they can, not all of us have those words. In a quote from Pina Baush, she says “I want to make something for which there are no words”. Dance enables a kind of expression that is both physical and explosive and yet gentle and private. Dance is the formalisation of something we experience everyday. We are involved in ritualised and repetitive movements, from our routines of waking, brushing our teeth, taking breakfast, our journey to work etc. etc. We observe others, on the metro or bus, in the street or in cafes. We are aware that information is constantly coming in our direction and we understand what it means even if we don’t or can’t articulate it. Combine attempts to make full use of intimate and public actions, movements and moments of stillness. It is a work about us.
Prior to arrival, discussions and contacts with all of the participating groups. These will include advance sound files on the pre-recorded music, lighting and technical plans. Also discussions with musicians and composers for the live parts of the music.
images by Tomoko Kinoshita