Friday, 25 September 2009

Documentation, score and creation

Last evening, I went to a seminar at London Metropolitan University.

Recording the Performance
Investigating Performance and its Documentation

-Is it possible to effectively and truthfully document the live performance?
-Is this process different for performance based research than for other performance?
-Can the work, as documented, stand alone without further academic writing to support it?
-What does the process of documentation reveal about the work?
-What are the ethical and legal implications?


Last May, I was part of Weave research project, which is part of this whole series of researches into documentation. I know 'documentation' is a large issue among academics in performing arts, and I don't know too much about it.

How I am related to the issue is; when I was finishing MA in 2002, I had to show the documentation of the process and also the final performance. There was a question about how I can document- writings, journal, video footage, drawings etc. Then I had a big struggle of translating what I have gone through into what other people would understand. It was a headache.

While I was listening to the presentations and discussion in the seminar, I have realised that this blog is also a documentation. A documentation of events and thoughts I have gone through.

By the way, Documentation is not equal to presentation. There are two kinds of documentation: one is to present my idea to someone. The other is to digest my experience and to go further from there. I see more potential in the latter. The idea agrees with a focus on the process rather than the product, which has lots to do with dance creation.

Deborah Hay, an American choreographer, makes written score as part of her dance practice. Move-write the score- move again- write the score again... the activitiy goes on and goes up like a spiral.

A British choreographer, Rosemary Butcher also uses a kind of score, but for her it tends to be pictures or drawings to start with then once you had a departure, your memory makes a score. The moments you remember are the source for next move, then new things come in, then you have another moments you remember... and the activity goes on and the moements remained get compressed and crystallised.

The potential and importance of documentation are so huge. I have been trying to find my own way of blogging but it is actually means my own way of documenting. It reminds me my old day when some one taught me how to take notes in classroom. It is like that. How you document really matters.