Spacetaker’s recap on the SPEAKeasy

Dance, text, type, watch: This month’s Artist SPEAKeasy recap
Submitted by Spacetaker on Mon, Aug 23rd at 3:30 pm

This month’s Artist SPEAKeasy was a real treat. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a brief recap including where you can catch more of our two artist presenter’s work.

Ms. Lydia Hance, dancer/choreographer and director of Frame Dance Productions, kicked off the evening by using the Speakeasy forum as a Fieldwork workshop with a new twist: live immediate feedback to a live work-in-progress dance performance.

Everyone pulled out their cell phones, a few hopped on to computers around the room, and roughly half of the audience chose to either text, tweet or type their feelings and responses to a three-person live dance performance happening in front of their eyes by Lydia and two other dancers, Kristen Frankiewicz and Alex Soares. The other half of the audience chose the non-tech route and waited until the end of the performance to offer their feedback.

Lydia is interested in the differences and similarities between live instant feedback and feedback at the end of a body of work. She uses both sets of feedback to influence her choreography — in fact she plans to use our SPEAKeasy audience feedback to help her finish choreographing the piece.

Before the performance began, Lydia explained the type of feedback that is most helpful and critical in the Fieldwork model. Rather than offering subjective opinion-based feedback such as “I liked…” or “You shouldn’t do…” or “This was good…,” the more helpful type of feedback is experiential in nature, like this:

“When you did your work, I saw…”
“I was most involved by…”
“The work you did reminded me of…”
“When you did your work, I thought you were trying to…”

Most people stuck to this feedback method and the comments texted and tweeted in were projected on our screen behind the dancers. Things like:

“i feel impending doom…like something bad is going to happen…worried”
“i feel like flying, like i want to take off..but i cannot…its frustrating”
“It reminds me of snow capped mountains”
“i find myself trying to create a story”
“there is a fine line between extreme anger and extreme joy”
“I thought you were trying to put a club beat to the end of your movements”

At the end, one audience member commented about how she felt like she had to make a conscious choice between three things: watching the dancers, figuring out what to type on her phone, and then reading the feedback on the screen that other people were submitting. Some people found the instant feedback a distraction from enjoying the performance, some found that they were more engaged in the performance because they knew they were expected to comment on it.

You can catch the finished piece by Lydia Hance along with a short film that will accompany it during the CAMH’s Dance with Camera Exhibition, Points and Coordinates, on Sept. 16 at 7 pm. (It’ll be interesting to see if we can see how her choreography changes based on our SPEAKeasy audience feedback!)

Check out Frame Dance Production’s blog for updates and more about what Lydia and her crew are up to! This post in particular is fabulous as we learn that visual artist Donne E. Perkins is collaborating with Lydia and drawing new work based on the lines she sees in her choreography.

Many thanks to our friend and Spacetaker board member Ed Schipul for snapping some great photos and posting them to his Spacetaker album on Flickr. (photos above by Ed Schipul)

Tomorrow we’ll tell you about the 2nd artist presenter, Mr. Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola.



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