Posts tagged with Beginning Middle End

Short reflection on a reflection

mei 5th, 2009

Michael Pinchbeck wrote a reflection on Beginning, Middle, End. This is one of his remarks:

Working with other artists, I have learned how to express myself and respond to feedback I was not used to receiving in new ways. Sometimes it was, as Adrian Heathfield describes post-event writing, a beautiful catastrophe of misunderstanding. We wrote letters to each other in our own languages, in our own handwriting. As Mole Wetherell says, the thing with letters is, by the time they arrive the whole world has changed around you.

The idea that, when time goes by and your letter is on it’s way to it’s receiver, the world around you changes, appeals to me. You get the time to reflect on your own idea before someone else interferes. When finally the answer comes you to tend to be less defensive in a way. You rather try to construct new ideas from your own letter, the letter of the other and your own refelction. This is one of the reasons Joris Weijdom and I started our conversation.

My way of working with Michael, often via Skype, Youtube and email, was sometimes difficult, but it builds in a certain patience as well. A patience very well needed in a creative making process, certainly in one where more people are involved. Time always seems to be short, being forced to take my time, is something I would prefer to build in to my future processes.

Introduction to Beginning, Middle, End

april 23rd, 2009

This is an introduction I was asked to make for the performance Beginning, Middle, End by Andrea Bozic, Julia Willms, Madalina Dan and Michael Pinchbeck. In November 2008 Michael asked me as a dramaturge for his part of a performance: End. End was only to be one third of the whole performance and while reading the proposal that was send to Springdance I wondered how I could ever be a dramaturge for only this part…

After last year’s Dialogue (this years Europe in Motion) Springdance commissioned for a collaboration by three former participants from three different countries to make a performance for this year’s festival.
Andrea, Madalina and Michael decided to propose a performance, which would both allow collaboration and autonomy. The title of this performance, Beginning, Middle, End, refers both to the structure and concept of the work and to the structure of the working process.

The working process of six weeks was preceded by virtual contact in which the idea was worked out. There were three periods with actual contact: 4 days in March (beginning), 4 days in April (middle) and 4 days in this week (end). In these week they were showing each other what they have been working on and figuring out how these three parts fit together to form one performance. The remaining time each maker worked on his or her own part. But they kept looking to each other’s parts, via skype and live. This looking played an important part in the process.
The three parts were allocated alphabetically: Andrea Bozic asked her long time collaborator Julia Willms to work together to make Beginning, Madalina Dan worked on Middle and Michael Pinchbeck worked on End.

So this performance started out of 3 words, both as form and content: beginning, middle and end. The question is what it means to have such a structure for both the making process and the performance you’ll see tonight. Next to collaboration and autonomy this structure also provided content. What is beginning? What is ending? What is it like to be in the middle? And how do a beginning, a middle and an end relate and interact?

In the end this last question is perhaps the question I was thinking of as a problem in the beginning while reading the proposal. Now I would rather see it as a challenging idea to work from rather then a question that needs to be answered. I would like to end my introduction with the following quote, which can be seen as a starting point for this collaboration:

Every moment has a beginning, middle and end, then dialogue will have meaning.
(http://www.abwag.com/beginning_middle_end.htm)

I wish you a pleasant performance.

An artist and his review

april 23rd, 2009

My press kit inside the artist goodie-bag I got yesterday seems to represent my split personality during Springdance. On the one hand I am being the objective journalist, writing my columns about the programme, atmosphere and side programme. On the other hand I am the dramaturge for Michael Pinchbeck’s End. Considered an artist, at least according to the batch I received with my goodie-bag, I morphed into another person in a split second. And is it not the task of the artist to present a subjective perspective on this world?

Of course two issues come to mind straight away. Can I be objective whilst being commissioned by Springdance to write about Springdance? How can I be critical about my own commissioner? The other issue is the question what it is to be a dramaturge. Does my subjective view matter for the artist I am working with? Or should I be able to objectify my own perspective on the performance. Should I try to represent the audience that will come and see the show?
In the end I prefer to mix up a clear subjective view with some elements, which I think are more objective. I try to use this approach in my writing, my research and my dramaturgical practice. Alternating in describing the subject matter and my own position in relation to that.

I can’t help thinking of Simon Ellis’s Down (working title). Ellis, one of the participants in Europe in Motion, not only presented his solo performance, he also provided the context of this performance. From the introduction, where I imagined myself in his place, having just introduced Beginning Middle, End myself an hour earlier, to the reviews, audience reactions and even the specifications for touring.

As an artist Ellis took the liberty to be lecturer, choreographer, dancer, critic, audience and PR assistant in one. Criticising both dance and the dance community, he shows, as the devil’s advocate, the ‘like knows like’ existence of this dance community. He left his audience powerless. Everything was already said. Interesting enough Ellis manages to represent several of my positions during Springdance & performance festival. And by doing this he got me thinking about my position(s) in this community.

In a way Ellis covers himself against any criticism from others, wrapping his entire performance. I could write a review on Beginning, Middle, End today…

Beginning, Middle, End by Andrea Bozic, Julia Willms, Madalina Dan and Michael Pinchbeck tonight (April 23), 19.00h in Theater Kikker.
More Europe in Motion: April 23 and 24, 20.30h in Theater Kikker.