Designing the body of research – Prototype

This is the prototype of the first phase of The Amazonizing Project – an artistic research undertaken in the frame of the Home of Performance Practices master program at ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem, NL. The first research phase started in November 2019 and will continue until June 2020, when the research will be delivered within a performance setting.

The prototype of The Amazonizing Project – phase 1 consists of a written dance score and a video of the score’s first activation. The video stone jungle lamento was created from documentation material of the activation of the score in a public space: the suspended gardens at Centro Cultural São Paulo (BR).

Due to the time limit of the video, I have created audio recordings of parts of the score in order to frame the performance in time. I had to listen to them through earphones because the location was very loud. You will be able to hear the introduction/ meditation. I suggest watching the video before looking at the score.

The choice of location for activating the score was made considering the presence of human and nonhuman beings, organic and inorganic matter; besides the unpredictability factor of performing in a public space. These aspects created conditions for me to be challenged as a performer: the score demands that the performer remains very porous, so in an environment with so much stimuli, I had to juggle with attention, perception, gaze and all the unpredictable external factors.

During the pre-research phase of The Amazonizing Project, I began to understand “Amazonian corporality” – their way of being in the world – as a process of constant exchange with the environment; an ecological practice. Transposing this idea to a performance setting requires the creation of a body that learns how to devour the perspective of being permanently trespassed and transformed by both visible and imperceptible forces.

The score was written taking the solo dance score “No Time to Fly” (2010) by choreographer Deborah Hay as a starting point. It is the first step of a procedure that intends to use the feedback loop between writing a score and activating it, in order to rewrite it from an embodied understanding of its performative potential. Within the timeframe of The Amazonizing Project – phase 1, this score will be rewritten two more times.

The choice of Hay’s score was made based on its open form and its use of poetics and imagery avoiding representation. The poetics and imagery became entryways for its rewriting; for transforming it through the introduction of Amazonian societies’ ideas, their “technologies of the self”, mythic imagery and anthropomorphisms – at least the limited content I’ve been able to process during this incipient research phase.

All the drawings in the score are modified images from the “Motion Bank” documentation of “No Time to Fly”. They represent overlapped spatial patterns of three performers activating the score in different instances.

Choreographic and improvisational directives by artists Jeanine Durning (to being) and Steve Paxton (The Small Dance) were both inspirations and references for writing the score. Durning’s work deals with multitasking, opacity and exchange with the environment, a.o., reason why I decided to include in the practice some of the directives she proposes. Paxton’s Small Dance is a practice of observation. It is a practice of perception of a dance that is always happening but, is invisible to us in everyday life. In a way, The Small Dance aims to put the practitioner in touch with a primitive force as it exposes the invisible and, as a consequence, creates an awareness of the invisible forces we can rely on in order to move.

The Score