Over the last eight weeks I’ve been collaborating with a talented and inspirational group of choreographers, performers and musicians, including choreographers and dancers Bethan Peters, Maria Ghoumrassi; percussionist/vocalist Jimmy Cannon; and vocalist Natasha Lohan on a project culminating in a performance at the National Maritime Museum. Entitled ‘We May Be Some Time,’ it was part of Travellers Tales, and Greenwich Dances 2016.
A dancer’s own internal narrative and natural process of repeating and transforming motifs and gestures is in direct communication with the improvising musician and this needn’t be something esoteric and abstract at all. Included were sea shanties, tonal and groove based improvisations and atonal and non-metric playing too, as well as free group singing and intoning. Just before we started our performance, Matt, one of the dancers said, ‘Keep looking.’
It was a note to the dancers, but I found myself looking and listening with equal intention, and re-discovering how a point in space is the same whether you see it or hear it. Moments of silence and stillness carry almost more importance than the impulse to move and make noise. I’m reminded that to prepare for the unprepared, requires a lot of preparation.