Movement – A Response to the MA Workshop

I took part in the MA ‘Choreography for Non-dancers’ Workshop on Tuesday 26th November, which deconstructed the perceptions surrounding movement, and explored the awareness of each individual movement that we make as performers. Personally, the workshop aroused an enquiry into what shapes societies perception of choreography and the limitations that affect body movement in general. Similarly, Peter Merriman has raised the question of “how (and to what extent) are human agents’ actions and movements choreographed, codified, entrained or constrained by ‘outside’ agents, structures, architectures and discursive regimes?” (2010, p. 428). I feel that this question is central to our understanding of choreography and its relation to contemporary performance.

Our performance of 33 Minutes will be sound-driven. However, in order to emphasise our theme of entrapment further, we are limiting our ability to move naturally, by tangling our bodies in the ‘dog lead sculpture’ installation. Therefore, our inability to move freely has caused us to think more abstractly about physicality, and how to present movement in a distorted state. For example, jerking hand or arm movements might help to indicate that our bodies, in the performance, are seeking freedom. In the warm-up, during the workshop, Hannah taught us to stretch every inch of our bodies and work every muscle to its limit. The restraints that we will have during the performance will, in effect, set us a challenge physically. We will be using our strength to push the boundaries that are caused by us being tied up, and help us to perform as rigorously as possible.

Libby Soper exploring small spaces

Libby Soper exploring small spaces

During the Contemporary Experimental Performance workshops, led by Dan Hunt, we have experimented with the use of our bodies, and how we are faced with limitations in particular spaces or settings. As a group, we have explored the different ways of responding to these spaces and the new choreography that they create. In a recent workshop, based on one-to-one performance, a number of class members inhabited small spaces around the LPAC. For example, the space underneath a table was occupied by Libby Soper, who invited a single audience member under the table, for a discussion. The work of Richard Schechner “overcame a sense of place in order to create a malleable space that the actors and audience could share” (Govan et al, 2007, p. 107), suggesting a need for intimacy in the audience-performer relationship. The workshop based on one-to-one performances also highlighted how the solo audience member and the performer can feel at one with the space, since there is a genuine closeness that develops within that setting.

By Sophie Bullivant


Works Cited:

Govan, Emma, Nicholson, Helen and Katie Normington (2007) Making a Performance: Devising Histories and Contemporary Practices, Oxon: Routledge.

Merriman, Peter (2010) Architecture/dance: choreographing and inhabiting spaces with Anna and Lawrence Halprin. Cultural Geographies, 17 (4) pp. 427-449.


Sculptural Textures and the work of Sharon Kelly

The sculpture that 33 Minutes aspired to create was imagined as one of a natural and raw look. Taking everyday objects and textures and amalgamating them into something that is peculiar but beautiful. Looking into ways of creating a sculpture that resembled a cocoon, the group experimented with many different materials. Beginning with black, red and blue dog leads with wire running throughout them to enable an angular aesthetic to the sculpture, the group made a prototype sculpture but ran into difficulty when trying to determine how to make the wire less obvious aesthetically. After deciding that wire was not the right material to use, the group also realised that the colours were taking away from something that was originally intended to be an organic looking mass of dog leads and therefore, decided that bleaching or painting them was the obvious answer, as this decision aided the scent of the piece which added another level of intrigue and meaning. When we had decided to have the sculpture completely white, we looked into ways of layering and texturizing the materials to create the organic look that we wanted. Sharon Kelly’s art work portrays cloth and garments in varying ways, Sverakova states that “the aesthetic function [of the cloth] isolates the object from the everyday use and fastens our attention powerfully to it” Kelly did this with garments and cloth; however, we would be using dog leads, coat hangers, toilet paper and baby powder. Although this creates an entirely different outcome to Kelly’s work, it has a similar goal. Kelly’s installations also encompass drawings of body parts, people appear to be trapped within the sculpture, this visual relates strongly with the vision that we have as a group of the sculpture. The difference being that we as performers would be ‘trapped’ inside the sculpture instead of it being pictures of people and body parts. 

Confirmation and Denial 1989

Confirmation and Denial 1989 (1) by Sharon Kelly

confirmation and denial 1989 (3)

Confirmation and Denial 1989 (2) by Sharon Kelly

Confirmation and Denial 1989 (2)

Confirmation and Denial 1989 (3) by Sharon Kelly

(Photo’s: – Confirmation and Denial by Sharon Kelly. Accessed 22nd November 2013)

The varying mediums within Kelly’s work provide an interesting feel, and the suspension of the piece is incredibly fascinating. The clinical environment in which they are presented is also a stimulating factor for the 33 minutes performance as it gives an unnerving and sterile feeling to the artwork, contradicting the feeling of the actual piece of art completely and subverting emotion. Kelly’s website states that the “ephemeral nature of the work, imagery and choice of materials were a contemplation on the nature of the relationship between art and life” (Kelly, 2013)This comment is completely relevant to the 33 Minutes sculpture as it is a contemplation of nature, rebirth and also an attempt at creating something that combines living people with an art work.


Works Cited

Sverakova, S (2009) ‘ The Aesthetic Function of Cloth in Drawings by Sharon Kelly’, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture. 7 (2) 204-215.

Kelly, S (2013) Drawing Installation [Online] Belfast. Available from: [Accessed 21 November 2013]



Waiting at the lights

An everyday occurance, but what goes on in all of these stationary cars? The thoughts that occur, the music that plays.

An everyday occurance, but what goes on in all of these stationary cars? The thoughts that occur, the music that plays.