FALLING Through DANCE emerges from initial research in two creative fields: dance and psychology. To be precise this is a cross-discplinary research project that engages with dance, somatic movement practices, existential psychotherapy and Gestalt philosophy.
The project has developed and opened out to embrace different perspectives on falling from a wide range of disciplines.
Falling is as physically microscopic as breathing out and as catastrophic as an earthquake.
Falling is an unfixing, a movement between one place and another, an uncertainty of in-between-ness.
The consequences of falling into gravity can be painful, dangerous, and can destroy lives, communities and infrastructures. Whether caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes in Hawaii, or the consequence of human greed and the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, or the outcome of terrorist activities, gravity reveals a powerful, stark and honest reality of bing live in the world.
Because of the consequences of falling, gravity can be mocked or disregarded only at our peril. It silently and invisibly affects us with every step we take, asking us to beware, to notice, to respect.
Western culture, for the most part, continues in an endeavor to resist falling, striving towards verticality, linearity and steadfast uprightness with all its moral underpinnings. Political and economic successes depend on rising, not falling and a persistent binary of positive/negative flourishes between the two terms. In Western culture we fight against falling, because of its association with shame and failure.
Falling through dance offers an alternative understanding of falling that provides the inspiration for this research lab. Post modern, physical theatre and live art performance, and somatic mind body practices advocate for an awareness and transparency of falling as a necessary and inevitable actuality of living and being. A core concern in contemporary choreographic performance is the relationship between performers and the ground, working with gravity, falling towards the ground, where letting go supports a form of recovery. And in the practice of falling we face fear, here and now uncertainty and a realisation that a sense of self emerges in our relationship with the environment. Letting go (falling out) of a fixed identity taps into a potential for unknown possibilities.