Re: Live-I Workshop -Feedback

Mary-Lou Michael (
Fri, 06 Feb 1998 07:54:47 +0000

Mark Coniglio wrote:
> Live I Workshop Journal -- Days 4 & 5
> =====================================
> I will condense the final two days of our workshop into one message, since
> they were both primarily about implementing the student's studies.
> On the fourth day, we attempted to set up and run through everyone's piece
> during the course of a 1 1/2 hour class. Dawn and I underestimated the
> amount of time required to do this, so everyhing was very hectic, and we
> didn't get through all of the pieces (specifically, we got to 12 of 14).
> Moreover, the students had very little time to actually experiment with the
> interactive environments that they created. This was the biggest problem of
> the entire process in our estimation, because it is the time that is spent
> playing with a specific combination of technologies that informs the
> performer/choreographer about how use it to best express their idea. In the
> future, this I think that we will need to have three times the amount of
> time that we allocated (4 - 5 hours) so that we can give the students a
> chance to experiment a tiny bit, at least. In the ultimate scenario, they
> would have a lab in which to try these things out during the course of the
> week, but that was not the case during this residency.
> We met with the two students whose pieces were not completed on Friday
> morning so that they would have a chance to work on their material.
> On the final day, all 14 students performed their studies in an open,
> informal showing which was attended the rest of the dance school and a
> handful of other interested parties. Moving from piece to piece went much
> more smoothly than on Thursday, which was gratifying. Both Dawn and I were
> very pleased with the students work, and what they were able to achieve in
> such a short time. Here are some general observations on what we saw:
> I found it interesting to see how the MidiDancer led the performers to move
> in a very particular way. Since the it measures the bending of specific
> joints, the performers moved in a way that emphasized those joints -- in
> other words, they were being controlled by the technology to a certain
> extent. One dancer seemed to overcome this, however, and simply let herself
> move beautifully while simultaneoulsy keeping an awareness of the sounds
> she was controlling -- letting the sound inform her movement. It was nicely
> done.
> Dawn noted that she had wished that there was more movement in what the
> students had done, but that this was probably impossible given the time
> constraints of the workshop. We are guessing this is because the students
> were a bit overwhelmed by all of the techical regalia that they had to
> deal with, and that if we would have had another week we could have helped
> them developed the movement aspect of their studies further. Perhaps we
> will get some feedback on this subject from the students involved.
> Upon reflecting a bit about what we learned from these students, I think
> both Dawn and I were impressed by the extremely clear and perceivable
> relationships between sensor and output device that were established in
> most of the pieces. This may be for no other reason than because the
> students are new to all of this stuff. Yet, it caused us to think a lot
> about how a creator's sophisticated understanding of the techological tools
> can lead to an abstraction of the sensor/media relationship, and how this
> abstraction can go so far as to obscure the audience's perception the link
> between movement and media. (And, even for the performer?)
> So that's it for this workshop. I hope that my reflections and thoughts
> have been of some use to the readers of the this list, as it was certainly
> informative to me to put them down on e-paper.
> Ciao,
> Mark
> ================================================================
> Mark Coniglio, Artistic Co-Director |
> Troika Ranch |
> ================================================================
Dear Mark and Dawn,
I think what you have done with the students is really fabulous! The
workshop that we did here in Adelaide, although not as elaborate, was
similar in some ways.
I found that the students needed a lot of time to experiment and
'play' around with the equipment before they could get 'stuck into'
choreographing. It makes sense when you think about how people learn.
The first thing you do when you have a new tool, medium, whatever, is
'play' around and try new things! This takes a really long time.
The students need to really understand the potential and possibilities
of the equipment before they can work with them 'successfully', for
want of a better word!. I really wish I could have seen these
workshops, students can be so inventive. ...and I think we need more
artists, like you two, who share their knowledge with young people.
Well Done!