The Internet is a Trickster

Neither good nor evil, breaking conventions and norms, changing form, not fully human. The holder of great knowledge, but not to be trusted.

"[they] are always marginal characters: outsiders, as they cannot trust or be trusted, cannot give or share, they are incapable of living in a community; they are repulsive, as – being insatiable – they are characterized by excessive eating, drinking, and sexual behavior, having no sense of shame; they are not taken seriously, given their affinity with jokes, storytelling, and fantasizing."

Arpad Szakolczai, Liminality and Experience: Structuring transitory situations and transformative events (International Political Anthropology 2009)

Keeping society in the liminal state by imitating stability and structure without actually providing it.

 It changed again guys...

It changed again guys...

Ritualizing Objects

We've been working with ritual in our Monday rehearsals.

 Megan's

Megan's

I told them we'd be working with objects a little late that morning, so a lot of these things were just in their dance bags.

 Not mine.  I knew in advance so brought things from my house.  Bread seemed appropriate for rituals, so I had an excuse to stop at the bakery on the way.

Not mine.  I knew in advance so brought things from my house.  Bread seemed appropriate for rituals, so I had an excuse to stop at the bakery on the way.

After arranging the alters, we all explained the meaning of them to each other, and then had to answer questions.

 Sarah's before

Sarah's before

Highlights: Sarah's on-the-spot myth about the little boy in the cornfield.  Megan realizing that her relationship with the book in her bag is actually an ongoing ritual she hadn't been aware she was doing.

 Sarah's after

Sarah's after

Dance rehearsal is best when you discover something about yourself that you didn't know before.

Definition

Liminality: "In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word limen, meaning 'a threshold') is the quality of ambiguity of disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete." (Wikipedia)

A non anthropological example of liminality to ponder could be the following: as of today, Wikipedia's article on liminality is 3x longer than the last time I looked at it. I pinned it down by coping it into a word document. Who knows how it will change when I look again in 6 hours. Is Wikipedia the most liminal website on the internet?

 I am positive this page wasn't here this morning...

I am positive this page wasn't here this morning...

Starting

Liminal is the title of the newest dance piece being produced by Everything All At Once. We started rehearsals the first week of January, and the work will premier in July at ODC Theater in San Francisco as part of the SPF8 festival.

The concept grew out of research done while I was in residence with the Art Monastery Project in Italy this past summer.  We were hosted in the small town of Caramanico di Terme in the mountains of Abruzzo by Residenze Teatrali (ReTe) a local arts organization. The Art Monks are in a multi-year cycle of creative explorations that follow the daily rituals of western monasticism. This past summer was Dawn.

 View of the valley from the main street of Caramanico.  Ex-Convento di Clarisse, where we lived, worked and performed, is the cluster of buildings in the right foreground.

View of the valley from the main street of Caramanico.  Ex-Convento di Clarisse, where we lived, worked and performed, is the cluster of buildings in the right foreground.

Not being an early riser, dawn has never been a time of day I feel inspired by, so I was surprised when the theme proved so fruitful for me as an individual artist, and for the group as a whole. The collaborative research and making that we did turned into Prime, a surreal, movement-theater show performed this past fall through-out Europe by Neva Cockrell and Raffi Sacks of Loom Ensemble. 

The devised and collaborative process meant that I came home with many snippets of ideas, movements and images that hadn't been incorporated in the show (or had become unrecognizable in their incorporation.) Emma Jaster, fellow Art Monk and trusted collaborator, joined me in conceiving the bones of  Liminal,  a piece born from the threshold of Dawn and expanding outward into the universe of transitional spaces, chaos, unknown consequences, and heightened possibility.

This blog is here to track the rehearsal process and give you a window into the many investigations, discussions, random occurrences and flashes of insight that happen as part of the artistic process.