It is the night before our departure from Yokohama, the bags are packed, the fridge is emptied, the sushi has been eaten, and I have enjoyed my final evening stroll through our neighbourhood and home (for stroll, read brisk walk, due to a rather noticeable drop in temperature!).
We performed our work at KAAT last Saturday and Sunday, and the week since then seems to have flown by even more than the time in the run-up to the showings. There has been a bit of a break, a bit of exploring, a bit of seeing other work at TPAM, a bit of feedback and contemplation, and a bit of time in the studio (and in the head) working towards next weekend’s performances in Brighton.
I am intrigued to see how all the pieces will be altered by the very different space at The Nightingale alone. It seems like both the specifics of the venue and the change in our geography will have quite an impact on the work. Scale, intimacy, pace, atmosphere, context, and a UK audience. I am particularly interested to see how this last factor will affect the engagement with the work. I’ve struggled with much of the Japanese work I’ve seen presented at TPAM over the last few days, and I’ve wondered a lot about how much that is down to cultural differences and references and conventions. Or how much it’s just that the type of work being presented at this particular platform is not really my ‘thing’.
Then there will of course be any changes/development we choose to make between now and next week. I have been thinking a lot about structure still, and the suggestion (from the feedback) that the two minute ‘sections’ of the piece (which are currently introduced some way in) could run all the way through from the very beginning – so that everything in the show essentially fits into a two minute period. I like the simplicity and rigour of this idea, but I also want to maintain a dynamic piece, and don’t want the pace to be weaker for the sake of this structure. Yesterday in the studio I couldn’t quite figure out how to make it work, but I will keep thinking about it and structuring and re-structuring, and looking at different options. It’s interesting for me to think about the relationship between form and content, and how far they can support each other, or at one point they no longer do. I don’t often make work that is as strictly structured as this.
Related to this, there was also a question raised in our feedback session about the explanation of the two minute device and whether or not this comes too early in the work, and whether or not it would be better for the device to be functioning and for an audience to discover its relevance later. As an audience member I like the satisfaction that comes with such a discovery, so I’m keen to explore this, but I also feel comfortable with the slightly more linear structure of the piece at present (roughly: board the plane – take-off – in flight).
So I think the next days for me are as above: structuring and re-structuring and looking at different options.
It’s not over yet.