Auditing Dance

i really like using one access point to assist with and influence another, and to see what interesting things develop. For example, i love that the images i made for doing access audits and layouts influenced and changed my All Bodies Dance experience; and that that changed dance experience connected so clearly for me to another totally different kind of project a friend was doing that involved a red thread/twine as an assistive device, and that that connection, influence and change is influencing another art project i’m engaged in right now around access. i just find that so unexpected and challenging and actually a lot of fun!

i decided to play off of the to-scale icons i make for my accessibility auditing, in order to help me remember the various and constantly changing moves in the creation of some sections of a group piece in an All Bodies Dance performance in June of this year. i wanted to augment the written notes i was taking, to be able to see more clearly what moves looked like, not just in my quick chicken scratch notes that i could barely read afterward.
One of the nice things about using these is that it gave me a chance to easily move images around (in google docs, but it could be done many ways), to switch one move for another, to make simple and complex changes, and to remember them for next practice. As well, the to-scale nature of the images (including the rope!) gave me a different view of the actual space we take up together, which allowed me to explore and practice more even during times when i couldn’t be in the dance studio; made it possible for me to predict problem areas to note for next practice; and allowed me to share it with the other dancers.

Often, i struggle to step out of my head for a moment and just stop analyzing and processing and thinking so hard about everything to the point it becomes a bit of a jumble; but sometimes, stepping out of my body for a moment and getting this different view is incredibly clarifying, particularly when i need to remember more than just my own moves.

So! Here are some simple black and white diagrams (these are jpegs of the google images, so a little fuzzy and not movable) from an overhead view, of a person in a mobility scooter (me!), and a standing person. Both are dancing together with a red rope between them, sometimes in one of their hands, sometimes both hold it; sometimes each is at an end, other times it is laying on the floor between them in some way.. The dancers variously face one another, are turned to the side, or circling the other. When the dancers move positions, each has a particular dotted line and/or a lighter shaded diagram to represent the movement.

Each move section is numbered and accompanied by the text under each image:

Rope Duet_01

1. AS “HORSES” DRAG OFF: Hold one end of rope, R scoots out first. Start SLOWLY. Speed up approaching end. Allow a moment of TENSION in the rope, to its fullest length
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2. R “reels” B in with 5 pulls, start slowly, increase in speed and intensity. we still don’t acknowledge each other. B sets up out of R’s sightline
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3. B starts S’s w/their end of rope; R keeps hold of other end & S’s into position. R begins to swivel to the right, R tosses their end forward, a bit to the left, we IMMEDIATELY begin next part
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4. we each begin to do our own dances. repeat 3 times; each time we turn more towards the other. B moves downstage a bit too, so we can be at same level by the 3rd one
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5. facing each other, we have a moment of finally seeing / recognizing each other we then simultaneously REPLICATE the others’ piece as close as possible, X 3
B’s piece: -open hands -> fist hands -> don’t look (shield face then down) -> pull up fists ->push down hands (more harsh)

6. After we’ve done our replicas, B goes upstage left, gets rope & gives one end to R, then goes back to position so we can begin our MASHUPS. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 7. As B does their mashup, i’m gathering rope into right hand. THEN: B watches me do my mashup and they gather rope into their hand R’s mashup - side head open hands shake - instead of my scoop, do B’s “hiding face hand drop” - pull up hands into fists - two arm scoops into “press down calm hands” ----------------------------------------------------------------- 8. if B doesn’t drag rope behind, can they circle without me getting tangled? THEN: R: begin turn & follow B next ----------------------------------------------------------------- 9. R drops rope. B goes ahead. rope trails behind B

6. After we’ve done our replicas, B goes upstage left, gets rope & gives one end to R, then goes back to position so we can begin our MASHUPS.
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7. As B does their mashup, i’m gathering rope into right hand. THEN: B watches me do my mashup and they gather rope into their hand
R’s mashup: ->side head open hands shake ->instead of my scoop, do B’s “hiding face hand drop”->pull up hands into fists ->2 arm scoops-> “press calm hands”
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8. if B doesn’t drag rope behind, can they circle without me getting tangled? THEN: R: begin turn & follow B next
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9. R drops rope. B goes ahead. rope trails behind B

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