Photo: Josh HawkinsDuring supervision meetings, discussions have centred on ownership and authorship, as repeating themes underlying the research. Can I call the work ‘my work’? Or is this a notion of authorship/ownership that shifts due to the underlying principles of the work? By defining the work as an ‘open work’ (Rubidge, 2002) and relating to the idea of work being the nexus of all strands involved (Sanchez-Colberg and Preston-Dunlop, 2002), the ‘visible choreographer becomes one strand of the work, along with the dancers and the material. Similar to Martin’s exploration of the making of a dance (Martin, 1992), Before I decide (2011-13) has a clear artistic direction throughout the rehearsal process, which influences the performance process. However, it also has a strong collaborative element throughout the rehearsals and the performance process.
Rehearsals of Noises for the leg (Leeds, 2006), photo: Hester Cox
Before I decide (Leeds, 2011), photo: Andy WoodAdding improvisation to the performance process increases the input of the dancers/performers. Improvisation collectives such as Mathilde, a Leeds-based collective of five improvisers who integrate movement and sound (Mathilde, 2011), work on the basis of equal authorship and artistic direction. One could argue that there should be a similar agreement for Before I decide (2011-13) but the addition of power adds a layer of artistic direction of the ‘visible chorographer’. This raises the question of the difference between artistic direction and authorship and how I define artistic direction. I initiate the work, set the framework for it. I am the one who connects all ideas and elements, for example the conceptual ideas, the selection of performers and the performance venue. Cvejic questions,
White Bouncy Castle (1997) by William ForsytheComparing this idea to Forsythe’s White Bouncy Castle (1997) and his work with choreographic objects his authorship lies in the selection of the object and the set up he creates. Forsythe explains,