tags: Dance Improvisation Practice, Leralee Whittle Contemporary dance, textural threading
Textural threading is a technique I devised from decades of performing both improvisation and diverse styles of choreography. TTT enables dancers to thread unexpected actions together and adopt various body alignments in relationship to gravity and spatial planes.
When using TTT, threads of information are accessed in and around the body. Threads of varying texture, size and direction are sensed or realized at the hands (sometimes with assistance from the imagination). In turn, the body/field and physical forces simultaneously inform the hands about potentials. Threads are initiated, stabilized or released at anchor points around the body, in the ground and in space. This enables the dancer to work with both contained and expansive space parameters. The dancer can intend lines into a contained space parameter to work with articulate weight shifts and body texture changes, or out into the space for larger actions. While dancing, threads can supply information about changing energy lines and forces related to the skeleton, muscle tissue, the nervous system and the energy field.
This video shows 15 minutes of practice. It’s neither a rehearsal nor a performance.
Changing tensions of threads affect physical texture and the dynamic changes as body systems support each action. One can drop threads to pick up on emergent dance vocabularies, delineate changes in the space by mobilizing threads from anchor points or intend pathways through the body into space and vice versa. Threading can tap the nervous system resulting in charged, involuntary actions.
Along with physical forces (relating to the physics of the body moving through space), in practice, contact with other performers and the audience via threads of information in a shared performance field can activate social forces (behavioral, relational and conditioned response) while creative forces (inherent aesthetic, unconditioned expression and localized eruptions in the body) emerge, compete, or share time and space with social forces. Sometimes the interaction of forces results in splitting attention while other times aspects align in an imbued, singular action.