Monday, 13 July 2015

T-Dramaturgy: Vera Tussing @ Edfringe 2015

The Place and Vera Tussing Projects present 
Summerhall (Venue 26) 5-30 August 

Vera Tussing’s T-Dance is a warm, gentle work that creates profound sensations.  Exploring touch and the cause and effect of tactility, the performers build a perceptible connection with the audience through subtle improvisation and spoken descriptions. 

“A fascinating journey to the way tactility moves our bodies.” 
Workspace Brussels

“..the sense of anticipation causes goose pimples, proving quite literally the effect
of words on physical senses.” 
London Dance

Four dancers explore the fragility and humour of touch. How are we connected even when separated by distance, time or context? How do we touch without touching?

What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?Vera Tussing: This piece grew fairly organically out of series of stage and gallery-based performance pieces we were working on, exploring perception and how the senses function in performance.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
Why not!!

Actually, this piece has a certain liveliness to it, and is built on a light-but-sensitive interaction with the audience that will be really fun to explore in the atmosphere of the Fringe. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with a crowd that has had a drink or two!

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
They will see us connecting through touch on stage, and then, with some luck, we’ll make an empathetic tactile connection with them as well.

The Dramaturgy Questions
How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
This is probably too massive a question to do justice to here. But, with specific regard to T-Dance, the piece is very much built in sections, each one building on and playing with the ideas developed before. The connections that are established onstage are gradually expanded to the point where they ask for some more imaginative leaps and possibly some physical from the audience.

What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work - have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition?
The most important influences in my work are my collaborators and the audience. The responsive nature of this work means that it very much lives in performance.

Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?
The origin and formulation of the work usually happens in a solitary way, with a long research and thinking period. The creation itself is an intensely collaborative process - but with is a sense of direction. If I manage to convince my team, I get the final edit ;-)

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
The Audience is the crucial, but constantly missing collaborator - the one that only turns up on the show days.

Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
The work itself functions very much as a question, or proposition or invitation, so I’d rather let that question ask itself.

Four dancers explore the fragility and humour of touch. How are we connected even when separated by distance, time or context? How do we touch without touching?
We question the limits of the body, and the mind’s connections. Without ever leaving your seat, you are called to inhabit the same imaginative space as us in an invitation to participate in an empathetic, exhilarating, imagined touch.

Commissioned by The Place Supported by The Place, STUK (Leuven), Workspace (Brussels), wp Zimmer (Antwerp), Graner (Barcelona) and the Flemish Authorities, (Belgium).

Eddie Nixon, Director of Theatre and Artist Development, The Place says about watching T-Dance, “all those moments when you have sat in the auditorium thinking ‘Please don’t pick on me’ are gently, lovingly ushered away. It’s like feeling the hand of an old friend touching your cheek.”

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