Work at the Cochrane Theatre continues. Over the last couple of days I've got my foghorn on and sorted out the running order, the poster and the promotion, which involved me, Hannah and others stuffing 300 invitations into envelopes in 1 hour. Think Challene Anneke, only less glamour: In the mean time, Hannah and I are still working away at THE DOCUMENTARY [Learning To Move] whilst sorting out the various moments we've devised for the Cochrane.
The Legend of the Nightmare Box
Audience, beware! The Cochrane has been infested by an old and deadly phenomenon known only as The Nightmare Box. Keep your wits about you - these grotesque parodies of the human form will bring nothing but tragedy to those that come into contact with them.
Back to Bl - PINK ?
Unbelievably, we're repainting the mannequin costume we made all those weeks ago (where, faithful reader, have they gone?) for the Crash Test routine, which we've decided to entitle 'Cassandra'. Our paper mache efforts have stood up remarkebly well. I hope this works out for the best. This is either going to be hilarious or go down like a lead balloon. FOOT WORK
We now have a location for our Psycho routine - the gantry in the workshop. Hannah and I have been blacking out the windows today with - wait for it - bin liners. Talk about recessionary times. This is theatre on a budget. The idea is that the backdrop to the routine is blackness, but the bin liners are sort of transparent, creating this barcode effect. It'll do mind, seeing as we found most of the bin liners in the Cochrane anyway (don't tell the technicians).POSTER PROWESS
I made the poster for the event. It incorporates the same font we are using in the documentary. I tried to style it on a 50s B-Movie poster. I quite like the surrealist poster quality to it aswell. The image is taken from one of the photo sessions we held in the white space a while ago. I felt very happy seeing it around the Cochrane and the Saint Martins Campus, so I got Hannah to stand in front of it to illustrate this point!


Today was knackering. Absolutely knackering. Production meeting in the morning, which I ended up shouting through, and then from 2pm-4pm, more shouting as Hannah and I hosted a Workshop to first, second and third year PDP students, inflicting unto them various techniques/methodologies/imagery and choreography which Hannah and I have honed, throughout the project. And it went very well indeed. I was slightly worried no one would turn up - but they did after much shouting. And we had some lovely feedback at the end - it helped that it was quite fun and fast paced and light hearted. We are dealing with serious body confidence issues, but it was great when someone said that at the end they felt they'd lost all inhibitions. And we made sooooo much noise, it was unreal. And I was sweating like you wouldn't believe - I really thought I was going to pass out (will have towel next time). So, we started off with everyone drawing one another: Then we got them to re-enact Beyonce's Single Ladies/MJ'S Thriller. This was followed by a routine involving each student becoming Human Furniture: Then we got them to physicalise components of music, so we again got them to devise a routine IN UNISON to the Psycho theme tune.

Afterwards, we asked them to create their own improvised routines using found objects (which included 3 toilet roll dispensers I had knicked from the bogs and 10 metal waste paper bins found in the corridor.)

This was brilliant actually, and was the most original and thought provoking part of the workshop and we should probably have spent more time analysing this. Finally, how could we not get them to do the AERIAL/BEETLE/CROSS routine. This was basically a sober and better choreographed version of the one we did on Friday at the PDP club night. This went down bloody well - 14 BEETLES stamping their feet in unison as they turned 360 degrees to Scissor Sisters - I was TERRIFIED. It was such a powerful feeling - we felt like a mighty army - the BEETLES could conquer anything. Absolutely amazing work today, so thanks to everyone who came.

THE PDP PERFORMANCE As promised, here are some lovely pictures showing the complete JOY/MESSINESS of the small movement workshop we held at the PDP degree show fundraiser on Friday last week - Hannah and I were very drunk as we led the assembled crowd in our three-part choreographed routine [Aerial, Beetle, Cross] to the Scissor Sisters new song 'Invisible Light'. This is me introducing mylovely co worker: What I love about these images is the complete happiness on everyones faces - we are all embracing ridiculousness of the moment. However, when we all turn 360 degrees doing the BEETLE to the final MIGHTY chorus of 'Invisible Light', its like the most EUPHORIC feeling. People moving in harmony with one another. All trying to do the same thing. All succeeding at what they are being asked to do!

AERIAL: BEETLE: CROSS: Magnificent times.

These bastards are proving a hassel to make. We thought there was leftover hardboard at the Cochrane which we could use, but there isn't any more - so we made one prototype out of [yes, again, faithful reader] CARDBOARD. At first they looked alright, and then we painted them. But of course, paint makes things wet, and wet things bend. So, the one Nightmare Box we had was a bendy one. Not good. A solution was needed. We're turning these into a video installation instead, negating the need for performers to get inside the boxes on the night. Nice. Second thing - we did more paper macheing the other day. This, combined with the heat, has led to nasty things growing in our studio. Yes faithful reader, the mould (and flies) have returned! Hannah and I are right skanks.


We're trying to make ourselves symbols, icons - subconsciously affecting the minds of the students in our studio by hanging posters everywhere. They will know what position to pull when I call BEETLE in tomorrows workshop - Oh they will.



Hannah and I are documentary making, as well as all the other stuff we are doing. This is the more important part of the project, and this investigation is the definitive record of the stuff we have trying to be doing with this project. We want to distill an individual's performative quality: i.e, what is it about each one of us that makes us interesting as a performer. There's got to be one thing at least. And one of the ways we've done that is to get people from all backgrounds, with varying abilities, different ages, different races to each perform some of the routines we've choreographed. We're looking at how form remains constant where style is an entirely transient phenomenon. We aren't really sure where all this is going, but hopefully the documentary will bring it altogether. We've done a hell of a lot of research, analysis and experimentation with this project. Now we are inflicting our practise/methods unto others. Here are some grabs from the documentary: This is my twin sister, Miriam, doing the BEETLE in our living room. She's got quite gangly arms and a slighlty bent back (though not as bent as Poppy's BEETLE - that was wonky.) Miriam is (faithful readers will know) going to be our test subject who we follow all the way through to her performing at the Cochrane with us:

This is my MOTHER and FATHER doing the routine in their kitchen. They've got some good AERIAL action going on.

My MOTHER was quite disappointed with her BEETLE first time round that she got me film her doing it again.....

This is MOTHER and Miriam rehearsing the routine in the kitchen:

Again, this footage is priceless. I don't think I've ever laughed quite so much in all my life. Here are some interview stills [MOTHER wears a particularly nice pink top]:

And some nice Body Painting stills:

DEATH We've had so much going on the last few days but I'm pleased that we've still found the time for some experimenting. We recorded a short video on Friday in my local square outside FLAT TOUCHARD with a new mask and wig combo which Hannah and I have designed. Whats particularly nice is the hair from the wig moving in the breeze over the static and featureless face. The video only lasts for about a minute, but we manage to squeeze out an Aerial/Beetle/Cross/Moth routine. The design of the mask was inspired by the music video for the White Lies video Death (I like the Crystal Castles remix better...) Here are some snaps.

Finally, we've got into the Cochrane Theatre space readying ourselves for the performance which is [wait for it] NEXT WEEK. Yes faithful reader, next week. May 6th/7th. Election day! Day after election (where we maybe under a Conservative government - lordy...) Anyway, Hannah and I will entertain you through that dark first day of governmental shift with some recessionary inspired performance art. Today we had another recee of the space, locating where various things would happen and take place.

We got in the Innovation Centre and had a think - its an amazing space. What we've got planned in here is a bit of a suprise, but I can tell you that its called 'Swan Song'!

We then had a butchers in the rest of the theatre, testing out various things. What we've planned is basically going to be quite hit and miss, and we wont really know when and where and how things are looking until the actually performance. Here we are in the workshop:

And in the Car Park (think Crash Test, but on BIG scale...)

We've also decided to steal the Conservative Party's slogan - we felt it was more in keeping with our project then Mr Cameron's:

Other than that, we tried to devise a plan and a map of the space and where else we want to be. Its a bit rough, but it'll do. We've got so much work to do, its quite unreal.