Introduction

Jess CurtisWelcome. This is a multi-dimensional web archive of the performance project Dances for Non/Fictional Bodies. It is an experiment in the act of remembering. It hopefully can also function as a tool for those who didn't see the piece to imagine what it might have been like.

It is also an improvisational choreography of clicks and links; as you move your mouse or trackpad around your desktop in different pathways and poke, press or click on images that interest you, we hope to draw you into a digital web of records of our thoughts, feelings, and actions that will hopefully provoke interesting thoughts, feelings and actions in and through you.

Engaged in Questions

This project was engaged in a number of questions. We asked ourselves how our imaginations and our bodies interact? How do the ways we imagine our bodies shape and change both their cultural relevance and their material actuality? How do our bodies shape our imaginations? Can re-imagining our bodies and re-embodying our imaginations be useful tools for making society more open, just and satisfying for us all?

Our laboratory was a meeting of diverse bodies and performance practices. The range of sizes, shapes and styles of training that made up our bodies was broader than in many "dance" based companies. Our differences forced us to question the ways we imagine ourselves and each other and to imagine and negotiate new ways of dancing and playing together, not just in spite of, but actually in celebration of those differences.

This Project was an Experiment

At the same time the project was an experiment in collaborative process. What kind of non-hierarchical and decentralized structures could we use to create a performance work that mobilized the full imaginative capacities of a diverse creative team? Could this type of decentralized collaborative process be satisfying to all the members of the artistic team and create a satisfying experience for an audience? How could we meaningfully invite the living audience and their very real bodies into the collaboration of sensing and making sense that is the work and play of performance? Now we can ask how these images and words might resonate in your body the body that sees them later on a screen.

I hope that you will enjoy and be challenged by whatever in our project has brought your body to sit at your computer and receive some of the traces of other times and spaces that our bodies inhabited. I hope even more that some of the things you see here might inspire you to get up from your computer and go make the dance that your 'non/fictional body' wants to make.

Jess Curtis
Artistic Director, Gravity