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Sensing the story: structure and improvisation in writing for performance.
journal contributionposted on 2009-07-01, 00:00 authored by Rea DennisRea Dennis
This article discusses the process of writing through devising in performance. It takes as a case study Apart of and A Part From in which muscle and sense memory – touch, smell, taste, sound and sight – were the points of departure for a contemporary performance piece on migration and identity. This was a practice-as-research project aimed to better understand the artist’s body (myself) in improvisation with memory fragments. Working from a non-verbal frame the writing experience began as actions in space, then new memories in my body, to maps on paper, to key word and some staging patterns, to systematic capturing of the textual, rhythmic and spatial structures in the emerging 30-minute performance. Various objects were incorporated to give aesthetic coherence of the piece. The article reports on the processes of writing in action, the writing and performing as lived experience and how the writing emerged from the spaces in between – self and other, self and object, self and space, present self and past self.