This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

> > Gini

The Incredible Presence of a Remarkable Absence

Lila Dance.

Saturday 10th November, Peter Catmull Theatre, Hythe: instepdance.co.uk

Thursday 29th November, Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth: paviliondance.org.uk

 

The Incredible Presence of a Remarkable Absence is the wonderfully apt title of Lila Dance's new 50 minute re-imagining of the world created by Samuel Becket in Waiting For Godot.

Entering the black cube of Salisbury Arts Centre's Main Space after the interval, the semblance of low mist at early dawn swirled from the dust covered floor. Four characters entered in hats of the pork pie/trilby/tweedy type and carrying small hessian sacks that spoke to me more of migrant hopefuls than Becket's shabby-chic end-of-the-roaders.

But the patterns on the floor as these eloquent bodies moved through the space, drew me in. The dancers connected with individual audience members, growing an intimate sense of involvement as they each revealed their peculiar personalities. Solemn or sad faces and sudden mood shifts created the uncertain atmosphere, but the Hat Dance made me smile and soon I too was involved in the waiting.

Swung between fragmented text and incredibly fluid, connected bodies I was drawn ever further into the stillness that is my own personal mode of waiting. The burden of these four uneasy characters killing time before my eyes, became my burden. I felt somehow in danger of loosing myself under the weight of it.

Disability, interdependence, manipulation, tenderness - issues that fought for attention while I watched, waited and absorbed movements that bypassed any kind of reason or rational thought, linking directly to my instinct and emotions.

By the end it seemed I had journeyed somewhere precarious and was not sure I would find my way back, my headspace now haunted with supplementary images of Munch's Scream and Kierkegaard's slightly odd love-letters.

Heavier than the pre-show handouts indicated, it really needed single billing. I needed to create space around it and in so doing, risked loosing sight of the humorous and sensual 'Not About Love' duet that had entertained me before the 20minute interval.

 

 

I am changed

or am I? Is it

my love that

changes me,

or your love

that sees me

changed?

I am changed

or am I? No, or

Yes. And yes

I am changed

without knowledge

of how or why;

only certainty

of having

changed.

 

 

Posted by Gini, 10 November 2012

Last modified by Gini, 10 November 2012

Origin and Insertion.

Having trouble with the precise positioning of Kosta's pecs, I decided to try Google. Before beginning on the life-size figures I did do a lot of research, which included borrowing medical tomes and studying anatomy on-line. However I never actually Googled a specific body part, and here at my first attempt found apparently exactly what I needed: Origin and Insertion, including details of the specific ribs these muscles are attached to and how they are attached.

This is particularly appropriate as I'm trying out a new way of putting the figures together, with all the defining muscles now underneath one skin layer. The problem of insertion was foxing me and resulting in Kosta's pectoralis major looking unnaturally high on his chest. Well, we weren't quite talking about the same thing, but I did actually find the Wikipedia article very helpful, and so did Kosta.

 

I'm having to work hard to stay focused on the sculptures because the Con.Text conversations are beginning to form themselves into text which is demanding visual interpretation. This, though very labour intensive, is fun and quite addictive, whereas the soft sculptures are physically painful to produce, but something I really need to do.

And then of course there is all the arts admin stuff, life, love, house'n home to keep balanced. These have to be glory days.

 

Out here, on the very fine edge

where pain, exhaustion, depression, are

held in precarious balance, I

risk being totally destabilised

by the ignorance of the witch-hunt

determined to demonise my need;

to expose a criminal cheat in the

monumental effort I make to

present myself as equal,

intelligent, creative,

attractive and

human.

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 28 October 2012

Last modified by Gini, 28 October 2012

London 2012: 3

Cultural Exhaustion eventually overpowered our group and a relaxing trip down Regent Street was prescribed to restore our energy. Out in the commercial world Chinese texts popped up here and there, 'made in China' clothes and objects brought soothing familiarity and the stress of strangeness receded somewhat.

Unable to help with the search for typically English food, I accompanied my friends into PizzaHut, where we battled our way through the complexities of ordering food we might recognise and possibly enjoy, from an unnecessarily complicated menu and a stressed waiter.

Pizza proved to be remarkably similar to a Chinese dish that is folded and eaten with the fingers, but the cups of tea that accompanied and preceded our meal did cause our frazzled waiter some confusion.

Arriving back at Waterloo we presented me to a man with the label 'assisted travel' on his fluorescent jacket. He accompanied me to our train and instructed the surprised driver/guard to get a ramp and let me on to the train: job done.

The same driver/guard took on the responsibility for getting me off of the train when we arrived at our destination. He did have other duties to perform first, luckily it was the end of the line.

 

 

Stuffed crust fingers wave modestly,

not daring to venture far from the plate,

but still adamant in their desire

to be noticed. Their small cheesy

claws protruding from stubby fat digits,

they hesitate, wave from the wedge

that is tidily folded and eaten

with gusto.

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 23 July 2012

Last modified by Gini, 23 July 2012

London 2012: 2

Via Westminster Bridge and a complex of old buildings with a clock tower, we attempted to reach Trafalgar Square. Olympic Detours and fenced off areas took us through Whitehall and a photo opportunity with some gentle, patient horses standing beside a big label warning that they might kick or bite.

Along our route, a long, long queue of London taxis, progressing slowly and very noisily with much horn honking, was the cause of much laughter.

The prominent Olympic Countdown caused mild amusement, but the young people drawing flags on the paving, and the 'would-be' statues standing motionless on soap boxes, attracted the most attention.

With a passing nod to the lions in the Square, we made our way into the National Gallery.

Secretly hoping to steer the party towards the Sainsbury Wing and Metamorphosis, I nevertheless resisted the urge to cheat and followed my guests on their whimsical travels through the complicated unsignposted space. Looked at through Asian eyes not much of it seemed to make sense, but the individual talents of the classical European artists on display, were much appreciated.

 

 

Do you have a guide?

Oh no, we have far too many rooms for that.

Well some way of finding our way around?

We are a very big place, we get many visitors

we could not possibly afford to do that.

Perhaps just a map of the layout?

There is a Plan. At the entrance. And her tone speaks:

idiot; but maybe she didn't know

they don't have one in Chinese.

And maybe she is unaware

of cultural diversity.

 

 

Posted by Gini, 22 July 2012

Last modified by Gini, 22 July 2012