the d a n s e project

d a n s e  is a project that Rosalind Crisp has been developing continuously since 2005 in collaboration with Isabelle Ginot, Andrew Morrish, Marco Wehrspann and other French, German, Swiss and Australian artists. Each of these encounters opens new directions in the work.

“The  d a n s e  project deals with a volatile group of choreographic principles which guide the way movement is produced by the dancer. Its compositional causality is unpredictable. Movements may come from any part of the body, at any speed or level, with any force or direction, for any duration, … at any time.  It is about dancing.

The choreographic practice focuses on the making of movement, rendering visible the constant decision-making of the dancer. The practice is not about memorising movements, but rather, about assimilating a dynamic set of principles, through practice, which guide the dancer in each moment of their decision-making. By focussing their attention on how the movements are forming, the dancer is constantly confronted with the present moment – with creating the movement rather than representing it.

Part of the work involves embodying this dynamic set of choreographic scores to produce the movement. The rest of the work involves a practice of listening, playing with the rules, bending them, breaking them even, in order that the person in each dancer might resonate.

As soon as I notice that I am starting to make an habitual movement, I redirect my attention to another part of my body or employ a different speed, direction, size or effort in that movement. I practice constantly changing the speed, level, direction, effort or part of the body that is initiating the movement. I retard or briefly suspend the commencement of movements, or interrupt the flow, in order to create a short space-time during which I may register, and make a different movement choice to the one I was about to make. The goal is to incite the dance artist to focus their attention on the process of creating and not on representing, to deflect them from their habitual movement pathways and to enlarge their range of movement choices. The result is a perpetual deconstruction and reconstruction of movement vocabulary. “The dancing IS the work”. Sometimes gestures recognisable by their reference to the human or animal, and often humorous, fall out of this process. Inside the world of  d a n s e  these gestures are only ever fleeting. They do not last long enough to become solid, opening instead a world of continual potentiality.”

Rosalind Crisp

“d a n s e  is a modality of work that  Rosalind Crisp has been developing since 2005. It is about a way of working with the body and an ensemble of unstable principles which guide the production of movement. These principles are continually transforming, constituting a language that is both rigorously identifiable and constantly mutating.
d a n s e  is not a piece but a world in constant evolution. This process of work is the basis from which pieces or performances crystallise, reflecting different moments or facets of the process, and which we term ’sites’. Each piece or performance is born of the confrontation between the practice of  d a n s e , other artists, a particular space, or a specific question. Each of these meetings carves a new direction for the work, giving the particular form and substance to each site ….”

Isabelle Ginot, dance researcher