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invisible dances…from afar: a show that will never be shown

Bock and Vincenzi

invisible dances…from afar: a show that will never be shown. Photo by Henrik Thorup Knudsen.

On the 20th March 2003, in a ‘dark’ theatre in London’s West End, Bock & Vincenzi presented: invisible dances…from afar: a show that will never be shown.

In the empty auditorium sat just one person; the poet and theatre maker Fiona Templeton. As she watched, she recorded her experience of this extraordinary two-hour long performance, so that an audience might later hear it on the telephone. The nine performers knew that if they stopped performing their audience would have nothing to describe and that if she stopped talking that the show would disappear. Individually the dancers explored different relationships between the external body, communication technologies and absence. Through personal earpieces they responded to different ‘soundtracks’ drawn from internal sounds of the body.

Later the vivid and haunting account of Fiona Templeton could be heard as a sound work for the telephone, by dialling the number advertised on fly posters designed by artist Duncan MacAskill.

invisible dances… from afar
was made with Frank Bock, James Brown, Rose English, Joanne Fong, Valentina Formenti, Tim Gebbels, Doran George, Lisa Haskel, Ian Hill, William J Hulley, Nanette Kincaid, Henrik Thorup Knudsen, Gill Lyons, Navraj Sidhu, Luke Stoneham, Chris Tandy, Koen Van Geene, Simon Vincenzi and Chahine Yavroyan.

Commissioned by Media Art Projects and in association with Dance 4 for Nottdance.

invisible dances…from afar was presented at NottDance International Dance Festival May 2003, Dance Umbrella, London October / November 2004 and SpringDance, Utrecht April 2005.

“… a first for dance”

The Guardian, 2004

Memory is place with the eyes closed.  There was no memory then.  The present filled the place with its doing and disappearing, its constant replacement.  Literally without time for reflection, I had to become the present mirror of that place-time.  Seeing became speaking, first via thought, then speech itself, voice captive, breath rasping.  Voice in the auditorium, in the stead of hearing.  Red Gas.  Failing.  Falling.  Black.  Staining.  Scoring.  Scarring.  Out.

I was in Moscow in the hostage theatre, the bloodbath, I was at the fall of the stable world, I was in hell.  I was in Hiroshima, I was inside the secret and frightening desires of others, done-to and doing-to.  I was in the war, I was in the past, in the future, because only now.  I was in the inhumanity that only humanity makes possible, and vice-versa.  Nothing needed to be pretended, because we know these things.  I was at total theatre, I was at the schau-platz, the show-place of the psyche, I was at the carnival, I was at the initiation.

It passed through me.  It is only debris, but it is all there, same matter in a new form.

Edited from “On seeing invisible dances… from afar
Fiona Templeton 2006

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invisible dances…from afar: a show that will never be shown. Photo by Henrik Thorup Knudsen.