Archive for August, 2013

Day 9 – Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

Hip hop! Hoops! Help! Today I’m feeling great. Lots of inspiration from different sources. I even had Callan Fleming, a good friend of mine, visit the Ada Studio to watch me work, and make some suggestions for new directions. Couldn’t have come at a better time! Love it.

Day 8 – Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

Something old, something new. I’m doing a little bit of a re-development of ‘Yodel’, a scene from my previous solo show, Not On My Watch, because it fits so perfectly with the concept of First Things First…and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do it again – not when I found the song in German!

Day 7 – Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

Sunday is a day of rest, so no video blog for that day. But Monday! The start of the week and we’re back into it. I met an awesome musician yesterday, and today he’s visited the studio for a bit of improvisation. Very very cool.

Things are starting to take shape!

The Forerunner

Off to Studio Frangenheim to witness the marvel that it Julyen Hamilton in his solo show, The Forerunner. In an hour of improvising text, movement, to a stunning recording of a piano improvisation, Julyen took us on an incredible abstract journey of pondering the future.

Simple, elegant, and highly impressive for a man his… (er, well let’s just say he’s not 20 anymore!) The work shows extraordinary amounts of control over all aspects of the performance.

In a performance where everything is at such a master level, it was the text that particularly stood out for me. Improvised text can often feel a bit lame, stupid, like the ramblings of a mad man. But Julyen’s brain somehow creates text that is coherent, poetic and deeply profound. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was scripted, being delivered with such focussed energy and perfect timing.

There’s no other way to put it. The man’s a master.

Improvisation Xchange

TREAT. Treat is the word. It was an absolute treat to go and watch the wonderful Improvisation Xchange showcase performance.

Featuring Aussie dancer Rosalind Crisp, along with German dancer Andreas A. Müller and Bo Wiget from Switzerland on cello. The three of them created a fantastic hour of seriously entertaining improvisation.

The audience, with our shoes off and sitting on ‘islands’ on the floor (small rugs scattered around the room) were close enough to the dancers to even get a little spray of sweat. All part of the deal.

It’s fantastic to watch improvisers at the top of their game. It isn’t like just watching someone do what they want and force you to watch. It’s a highly developed skill that draws the viewers eye around their body (or instrument), creating ever changing worlds and inviting us in.

There were many laughs, and many nods of approval from the audience. And, of course, this being a contemporary dance crowd, plenty of “mmmmm’s too when magical, unplanned moments of brilliance occurred.

I’m not kidding. Treat.

Day 6 – Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

A few people have asked me some questions about the residency, which I’ll try to answer in the next few videos.

One of them was to show you guys around Ufer Studios a little more, so here it is!

By the way, if you want to ask me anything about the Tanja Liedtke Fellowship or this residency, just send it through to info@josephsimons.com.au

OR

Ask me on TWITTER or my Facebook page.

Day 5 – Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

At the end of the first week, it’s time to reflect. When I’m making a work, whether it’s a solo or not, I refer to the structure as The Emotional Skeleton.

First Things First will be a solo about experiencing something for the first time. So I want to create a piece that begins uncertain, excited and unsure and then gradually, through repetition, moves towards being confident, predictable and even mundane.

That all sounds very deep compared to the apparently frivolous final product, but that’s just it. I’m very serious about comedy, and I love to analyse it, and it’s effect on the behaviour of an audience. It’s fascinating.

Day 4 – Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

While First Things First is a solo work, there are plenty of other people to consider too…like the audience. Part of this project is an investigation into how to build an audience. I have no trouble getting people to stand and watch me when I’m improvising on the street. So how can I get those people to buy a ticket to the theatre?