How a non choreographer
directed non dancers
to express a subject they have no experience of.
The idea of dancing my PhD was brought by my friend Rut Jesus when I was working with her on a wiki-like installation called OurCollnnectiveMinds. The dome represented a wiki structure who would allow the public to hang concepts and create links inside the space. The collaboration of many hands was required to built up the structuure. And, to play with it : a personnal sensitivity and some interactions skills to deal with collective representation. So I had this in mind when imagining how dancing my phd should look like.
I was also reading two inspiring books : Le maitre ignorant, by Jacques Rancières and Je suis une école by Boris Charmatz
and got exited by the stories of mutual and emergent instruction that they were telling.
I got quite curious about the notion that you can teach something that you don't know.
I thought that it could work if i would keep transparent, honest and reflexive about it. also
By sharing from where you come from and what you are learning in the process
and somehow, By just doing it !
So I gathered some old friends from Lille, north of France, where I used to study.
And they brought some friends, and friends of friends.
I also wanted some wiki-contributors and free software developers, that would give some input about what it is to contribute to the content or to maintain a software.
I could convince two of them that I met in a Local User group.
So we had two days
to explore our possibilities of expression with our bodies,
to develop a self and a mutual confidence,
to understand what was the essence of my 300 pages thesis and
to built together a 5 min dance about it.
The dome were reduced to a simple circle on the floor, also representing the space of dancing interactions.
The developers proposed a minimalist shape and aesthetic of the code
The contributors worked on proposing original contributions, alone first, with the other then.
They improvised and invented together what would be the possibilities of fight, discussions and collective creation.
It was quite fascinating to see how everyone quickly became pertinent, understanding or questioning the global picture as well as I would do. My pregnant friend couldn't dance anymore the 2nd day quickly became an amazing assistant director. JS, also known as jsbB,who was passing by, happened to work at the Radio. He recorded the sound of the process and took some good pictures (included in the making-of).
Only Noémie knew how to make a movie.
And we all learned a lot from her.
She said she also learned from this improbable collective and emergent way of conducting a project.
We all teach other a lot about what we ignored.
We danced sentences, embodied dialogues, and felt, with all our minds and body, the complex mix of sensitivity, attention and confidence that is required to improvise and negotiate contributions to a collective project.
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