Plans, artist research and reflections with regards to all my work produced in my second year of university.
H F Gardner Artwork
I would like 4 of the translators to come out from the environment at the beginning as the group are being guided by the audio. In this section, they will be embodying the environment that they are currently in - on leaving their starting position they start to embody their character for the rest of the piece that directly relates to the performance space.
Mali (the Rock) is the first character to come out to chaperone the group to the space, she is lying in a green colored dress on the shrubbery taking this off to reveal her costume underneath allows the audience to show that we aim to camouflage and amplify the features of the environment. The next character is Ethan (Gravity) who starts in the rocks and tumbles down to join the group and then becomes his character more. The other two characters Anna-Rose (Wind) and Justyna (Rolling) begin at the same time - Anna-Rose in the distance spinning towards the audience and Justyna rolling on the rocks in the foreground.
I chose to hide the performers at the beginning to recreate the experience of beginning to notice elements of the beach when contemplating and relaxing there, I also wanted to amplify the energy of all of the elements and forces on the beach for the audience. As we walk closer to the site I want the dancers to more and more become more distinguishable as their characters - hence Mali starts off as shrubbery and then changes to the physicality of Rock and Justyna starts as her character because she is in closer proximity to the site.
The audience are asked to take their headphones off and that the translators would signify when they put their headphones back on - I struggled with ideas of how the performers could put their headphones back on - I wanted the performers to do it as a way of interacting with the audience to involve them in the situation that we have created in order to break down the 4th wall. I thought about using speech but then I thought this would ruin the soundscape as I didn't want them to speak actual language. We had a brainstorm and tried out a few movements to best make the audience sit down by the rocks and we came to the conclusion that if two characters sat down in unison and then got back up again and the other 2 characters directed them with a sweeping gesture in unison (using movements out of character to do this), that the audience would follow and sit down. After this the translators put the headphones on a few people in order to signify them to put their headphones back on and press play.
While the other 4 characters are interacting with the audience, I want the other 2 characters to come up from the horizon as they will be hiding in the rocks on the beach. This is to reinforce the fact that it is a new space with different characters in it. Within their character-based movement at full flow the characters head for the performance space with Mali - the Rock in the foreground acting as a point that the characters are attracted to. This allows the movement to use the full space and to play with audience perspective of the difference between the dancers in foreground and background. I drew upon our initial experiments with foreground and background where dancers looked more camouflaged with the environment from far away. Also it allows the audience to look into the horizon and notice the beautiful open space and the sun. Once the far away characters arrive in the performance space, I have directed them to slowly get closer to each other through dancing as their characters but to wait until the audience have a moment to fully distinguish between their characters. After this they interact via contact improvisation trying to keep their own movement qualities and show how they are different from the other person's. For example if I were to be Rock, I would maintain my shape as Wind span and brushed over the top of me in a roll. After this, I want us to move away from each other to highlight again our characters as solo elements and then sink into the sand, interacting with it until we're all on the floor. When the audience get up and leave I would like us to move away as well in our own directions. The effect I'm aiming for the audience to see after the performance is the view of all of the lines we have created on the beach from the top of the ramp, almost like we've made an abstract expressionist painting on the sand through movement. This was what I was initially going to draw on from using a drone.