michael j. morris


Autumn Quartet: Edges
9 January, 2010, 6:08 pm
Filed under: creative process | Tags: , ,

I suppose this has been a theme in my work since I created “Shades of the Edged Existence.” That piece was exploring our essential isolation as individual subjects, the nature of love and loss in an existence in which we are always only ever on the outside of one another. There was a brief action at the end of the duet I dance with Deder Gordon in in which she scratched and pounded my chest, as if trying to get inside; I wonder if the biting is just a further continuation of that action?

Maybe there’s an intrinsic violence to intimacy. The desire to get inside of something that is essentially closed off. The desire, the impulse to be inside, connotes violence. Clearly, after this week’s rehearsal, violence is a direction in which this piece could move. There were so many moments pregnant with potential conflict, combat even. And yet it was never my intention to create a violent piece, and community of intimate violence. It was my desire to create a piece that cultivated knowing, and in knowing, loving. So where to next? I think our direction may have something to do with softening the edges that we have found. Our limits, the outer boundaries of possibility within the action, within the algorithm, that we found this week lend themselves to violence. What might happen if we softened there, came to those places and rather than crashing up against them, biting as if to tear through them, we softened, leaned, listened against them, bit as if assuring love, as if promising not to break through, but to press into. What would that look like? What if we were to infuse this piece with softness and listening, with choices based on reaction or response rather than as action or provocation? How might it change?

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