Time’s markings/marking time/s: Rosemary Butcher’s Secrets of the Open Sea

Melrose, Susan and Sachsenmaier, Stefanie and Butcher, Rosemary (2014) Time’s markings/marking time/s: Rosemary Butcher’s Secrets of the Open Sea. In: IFTR (International Federation for Theatre Research) On Stratification, July 2014, Warwick.

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Abstract

Rosemary Butcher’s Secrets of the Open Sea is a new choreographic work merging archive material and current film with live movement. Inspired, she reports, by the perception of form in ruins, the focus of Butcher’s new work is the creation of new histories through her re-engagement with her own past work which is also – far from coincidentally – one history of contemporary dance. We report on Butcher’s creative process with dancer Lucy Suggate, which involves an active enquiry into what remains, a ‘looking at something that has its root elsewhere’, in a process of choreographic notation that shifts forward and backwards in time.

Working with the conception of ‘activities’, Butcher investigates the ‘doing of the movement’, aiming to show its construction, rather than ‘finished’ form. This ‘doing of movement’ involves the choreographer and dancer in a simultaneous working of layers of past and future choreographic ‘things’. The work – already in process – moves away from a central focus on the dancer’s body inhabiting its own space, to work as well with a sense of ‘imprinting’ the dancer’s bodywork onto the floor and into the air.

With these processes in mind, we explore Jean-François Lyotard’s notion of the technical as one constitutive aspect of the art work (‘L’Obédience’, 1988), arguing that in Butcher’s process we can see her engagement with an abstract yet rational choreographic dispositif, allowing us to speak about an inventive ‘dance’ that explores developments in visual art but remains identifiable as such. We discuss how Butcher’s creative process employs a layering of temporal materialities while remaining ‘new’ and draw on Jakub Zdebik’s writing on the productive function of the diagram in art-making (Deleuze and the Diagram, 2012) as well as Lyotard’s “autostructurisation” or ‘working through’ strata of materials.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts > Dance group
A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts > Theatre Arts group
Item ID: 16473
Depositing User: Stefanie Sachsenmaier
Date Deposited: 28 May 2015 16:31
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2017 16:27
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/16473

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