Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Tracings" research

Something that persons outside of the dance community may not know is that most dancemakers do a lot of non-movement research in creating and preparing for the performance of a dance work.

My reading list for the creation of Tracings included:

Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigentic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life
by Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb with illustrations by Anna Zeligowski
Ghost Worlds: A Guide to Plotergeists, Portals, Eco-mist and Spirit Behavior
by Melba Goodwyn
The Knowing Body: Elements of Contemporary Performance and Dance
by Lousie Steinman
A Good and Happy Child (fiction)
by Justin Evans
The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories
chosen by Michael Cox and R.A.Gilbert
True Ghost Stories
Marchioness Townsend and Maude FFoulkes

In addition I did quite a lot of internet reading:

A New York Times bio on Marian Radke-Yarrow "The Anthropological Psychologist" 12/30/07
by Lauren Slater
A New Yorker article; "The Itch: It's Mysterious Power May Be A Clue to a New Theory About Brains and Bodies" 6/30/08
by Atule Gawande
"Brain Basics: Know Your Brain"
from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website
A Telegraph UK article; "Secrets of the Monster"
author unknown
The Stranger's slog comments on Seattle's pitifully impaled pigeons

Additional (unfortunately undocumented) web research on: epigenetics, pre-natal stress, maternal depression, trans-generational trauma, domestic abuse, peloria linnaria vulgaris (toadflax) and Carolus Linnaeus (founder of taxonomy), hauntings especially in the Seattle area, hydrangeas, the brain disorder Kuru found in the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea.

I watched:
a lot of horror (haunting only) films. Some good, some awful.
Fox Sports Network's "Sports Science"
Youtube videos of hockey player Clint Malarchuk horrific accident.

My research also included a lot of free writing, rumination on my own memories and stories told to me by others; including one from my father about when he "cast the demons" out of a troubled young man while on a religious mission in the "deep south" only to have the young man (several years later) go on to decapitate a man on main street over a woman.

Other life experiences that became research include:
I spent time observing and interacting with a tweenage girl.
Went to a wedding.
Mourned the deaths I had been avoiding.
Taught myself to cry on cue. Decided it was too painful to ever try again.
Sorted through my great-grandmothers sewing box with my mother.
Comtemplated the possibility of a guiding hand, a god-like presence.
Observed up close the lives of animals in nature. In particular nest-building and rearing of baby birds.
Made handicrafts and lists.
Experienced deep rage.
Spent time alone.

I compiled a inspirational music mix. The set list is:

Black Eyes and Neckties: Apparition (entire album)
Coco Rosie: Ghost Horse and Stillborn (entire album)
Cloud Cult: Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) (entire album)
Okkervil River: Another Radio Song, Forest, Black Sheep Boy, Garden, Missing Children
Elliott Smith: Bye, Don't Go Down, A Fond Farwell, Can't Make a Sound, King's Crossing, Memory Lane,Ostriches & Chirping
The Mountain Goats: Dilaudid, Up The Wolves
The Flaming Lips: Do You Realize?
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter: Doralee, Reckless Burning
Rasputina: Endomorph, My Little Shirtwaist Fire, Stumpside
The Black Angels: The First Vietnamese War
Neutral Milk Hotel: Ghost
Trailer Bride: Ghost of Mae West, Hope Is A Thing With Feathers, Shilo, Skinny White Girl
Me First And The Gimme Gimmes: (Ghost) Riders In the Sky
Erykah Badu: The Healer
Death Cab for Cutie: I Will Follow You Into the Dark, Soul Meets Body
Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts: In a Haunted House
The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir Obsessions
Slowdive: Trellisaze
Tegan and Sara: Walking With a Ghost

Oh, and I did some improvisational dance as well.

Original specimen of Peloria Linnaria Vulgaris from

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