Re: demanding, ambitious, informed and inspired ????

Sita Popat (
Wed, 20 Oct 1999 20:20:32 +0100 writes:
>If you involve the audience itself in interactivity on stage it is easy to
>have the interactivity lift the performance in emotional or artistic ways.
>But if you do this can you THEN also maintain a script ?
>I'm not int the first place interested in audience participation, only
>because I limited my self into the subject, but I would also like to hear
>reactions on this last question.
My response to this last question of eline's is based on my current
studies on audience interaction in the asynchronous creative process on
the Internet. It does indeed become easy to involve the audience
emotionally (and I am talking here about potential audience, I guess,
since the process is asynchronous) because the audience can see their
personal influences and enjoy that feeling of involvement and empowerment.
It makes the creative process clearer, and seems to bring the piece to
life for the audience in the sense of a deeper level of comprehension of
what is going on.

At the same time, there is a tricky question of how far to 'hang on' to
the artistic integrity of the piece - to maintain a unity as artistic
director - and how far you allow the involvement of the audience to go.
Can choreography by committee exist, or do we simply end up with an
artistic camel? (As in a horse designed by a committee, if you don't know
the reference). Also, who are your audience/participants - do they have
any previous knowledge of constructing dance, or even of watching dance?
Have they any idea of what a script might be, or how to maintain it? So
much rests on the design of the project, which in my opinion should be
designed to allow maximum freedom for the participant within borders that
give the piece its shape. Designing this utopian project is of course the
big problem!

I am discovering that audience participation in the creation of an artwork
is unpredictable, undependable, terrifying, exhilerating. And I'm sure
this is true of synchronous and asynchronous interactive work. I am still
walking the tightrope of artistic intervention versus encouraging
participants' creative involvement. Does anybody have any answers? I'll
report back if I find some!

all the best
Hands-On Dance Project