On being immersed in the work

luke pell videoing dancer Mary from Croi Glan dance company. She is curled on the floor and he is behind her also at floor level.What a busy week. Maybe not ‘busy’, maybe I mean intense? Basically a week with very little time to think of anything apart from the work I was doing.

I was away immersed in exploring movement with members of Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company at the Firkin Crane, Cork with my collaborator Luke Pell, and so many of my #DoDiffDaily’s were linked to what was going on there.

A plaque outside the artists houseFor example, it was the first time I’ve ever stayed in an artists’ residence. There is a house just by the Firkin Crane just for artists to stay in – it has a rich heritage and some quirky habits. It’s no formulaic Travelodge and it has a whole kitchen, a washing machine, and more. Great to be able to cook your own food and share conversations about the work with the others in the house.

Only disappointment was in relation to the big stack of dvd boxes in the lounge. One night I wanted to switch off and thought crap films would really be the way to go having eyed up the boxes for a while. Spent five minutes selecting my ‘preferred order’ and went to get the dvd’s out. First box – empty. Second box – empty. Third, fourth, fifth – all of the boxes, empty. Why keep empty dvd boxes around to tease and tempt people? Grrrr! Had to go and have a bath with a book instead. Not the evening I had planned.

a lap top computer attached to a video camera downloading footageMost of the time though I was far too busy to watch anything other than our work develop. One #DoDiffDaily early in the week was spending 2 hours in absolute silence whilst I edited a movement sequence together on the computer, and another – later in the week – was spending six hours in a stretch editing, with only a break for pizza. Not silent this time though, two of us sat side-by-side, checking and commenting – the odd couple!

I was so in the bubble of the work that it meant I had a real change in attitude when I got news of niggles from home. Usually when there are skirmishes between family, I feel guilty for not being there, then I try and help and usually hinder – put my oar in and make things worse. This time I had a real sense of distance and also security that they’d sort it out quite well enough without me. It felt right for me to be where I was, doing what I was doing and I was able to stay with that feeling rather than swap it for the more routine ‘guilty mum’ one. Interesting…

a screen shot of Mary's video portrait. She is lying on a sheet smiling with her arms above her head.The final ‘work’ one this week was right at the end when we shared our work – four video ‘portraits’ of the dancers we were working with. The audience for the sharing was small, and I knew no one – that for me was the real ‘difference’. Usually when I work on something its first outing is to those I know, checking my perceptions against theirs. This time it was to strangers – the downside of making work so far away from home. As I said when I posted my #DoDiffDaily – I so wanted to be able to eavesdrop that night to find out what people really thought!

a bar of Tayto chocolate - made with cheese and onion crispsHeaded home on Saturday morning, so two weekend #DoDiffDaily’s to go. The first was eating chocolate flavoured with cheese and onion crisps – thanks Cork airport (its not a disgusting as it sounds, honest) and then Sunday saw the family flaked out on the sofa watching Les Mis (again). Different people love different songs and it turned into a highly amusing ‘lets mime to Les Mis’ afternoon as people took to the floor to give it their all. Can’t beat a family laugh then a chance to cry at the telly on a Sunday. Bliss.

All my own photos far the first one which was taken by Andy Ferreira and if you want to follow the blog along, do sign up at the bottom right of the screen (and if you want to find out more about me, check out my other site www.joverrent.com)

2 thoughts on “On being immersed in the work

    • Just start with something really simple. When you have 2 choices in front of you – choose the one that is new. It might be when buying food, or deciding how to get up in the morning, or even about what to watch on TV. Just try something different. It soon becomes a habit.

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