Sunday, September 16, 2012

international reflections

Sitting cross-legged in Ahmedabad poised for the return to Oz
after six weeks of continent hopping
sometimes dancing, sometimes chair-pushing
connecting in hops, skips, bumps
my skin has mapped meetings in bruised intricacies
temporary tattoos with lasting deep tissue images
(Edinburgh's deltoid, Gothenburg's shins, Delhi's ribcage...)

The solo in Edinburgh became a true interrogation
a black hole of an interview room with space for only a handful of victims
I began the season with it empty except for my body,
sometimes laying mid-floor, sometimes blurring the edges
and as the days progressed, added or subtracted chairs,
static forms—4 grouped for a card game or 1 laying askew as though a scuffle has occurred—
the interactions with audience became much more loaded and intense framed in this darkness,
(than the tunnel in Adelaide)
and yet still some trust developed over the 30 minutes
so these strangers became collaborators in my unpacking,
bits of joy jumping us in unison, pieces of longing connecting our hands and cheeks
the added final image of my ghostly self on my stripped back body helped spear the black, pierce an opening in our minds to another time, location, identity beyond that show's hundred moments

The showing in Gothenburg at the independent space 'Atalante' was a combination of my solo dove-tailing into a duet with Melinda Smith. I began in the foyer (as my colleague Ami Skånberg Dahlstedt did her introductions in Swedish) muttering and rolling, crawling my way through their legs and into their laps before leading them into the main auditorium. The "needs cleaning" warning that came up on their projector (I had forgotten to turn it on again pre-show) had me down scrubbing the floors before the mini me projection eventually came on. My 15 mins, ending with the final ghost image, led into Mel entering the space in her wheelchair (while I changed costume) to shift the landscape before I re-entered for a further 15 mins improvised trio (2 bodies and 1 wheelchair).

Returned to Darpana Academy, Ahmedabad, site of my Asialink residency six years ago and my Indian home on a few occasions since... Mel and I did a showing of our duet on Thursday 13/9 for the Darpana company and some of the students, followed by the 2 films I made with/for Mel—'A Beautiful Day' and the document of her 'Cultivate' arts access grant.

I taught five workshops at three different schools in the past week and Mel and I did a talk and performance at Apang Manav Mandal, a school/organisation for children with disabilities.

Mallika has invited me to collaborate on a project with her next year (now to raise the funds for travel...)