This is a series of episodes culled from a recent piece.
How to make sense of what you’ll see?
For some time, my periodic solo ventures have represented stations along the path of a continuing adventure, illuminating one person’s efforts to navigate between the process of ongoing movement investigation and experience of the world, narrating tales of the singular and familiar territories being explored. Think of them as journals of encountering and engaging, or travelogues, with each portion a postcard from or odd short story about what’s been in play. The occasional use of title cards, on the easel or off, stems from an element sometimes seen in silent movies…signs along the highway.
My interest is in how the (moving) body resonates amidst and attempts to mediate what is and is happening around us. A politics of possibility, where everything is on equal footing. Responses with or without overt references commenting on the day to day. And instead of the grand gesture, I’ve become fascinated by the small, the slight—what this reveals, and the constant re-configuring of which is daily life, albeit construed artfully.
Part of making these pieces involves allowing the accumulated material—whether set or improvised—to provide clues as to how it might best take shape. Listen…and the components find their place in the progression over time. Yet by pushing the material, you push the eventual form. The act of dancing/moving can “mean” many things, and my task here continues to include honoring and enhancing the conversation about this.
There’s an innate musicality to the body both internally and in relation to others and our environment—and it ought to be heard. While composed/improvised/found sound often can act as a wonderful initiating, directing influence, providing immediate and specific context, I have taken to employing it more sparingly, to shade certain moments only when called for. On the other hand, among the driving forces leading to the creation of this work were the filmed performances of musicians Ravi Shankar, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding at the fabled 1967 Monterey Pop festival. Curious.
Created and performed by David Appel
This performance was at Dixon Place in New York City, December 5, 2017.