TERRAINSKIN: FOUR DIMENSIONAL FLOW
A response by Laura Murphy (Cork’s Dancer in Residence at Firkin Crane) published online on Dance Voices December 10, 2014
Four black clad persons move about the circular Musgrave Theatre at the Firkin Crane in Cork. One, Dara O’Brien, films the others: choreographer Mairéad Vaughan, visual artists Carolyn Collier and Aoife Desmond. They move and dance, interact with natural objects and sit around and draw. The performers respond to each other in real time.Meanwhile TerrainSkin is projected in triptych onto a semi-circular wall behind them. The dance film contains moving (in every sense of the word) images from nature. Streams flow, trees sway and hands crush autumnal leaves. Mairéad Vaughan’s dancing links her pre-recorded work to the live performance. The man-made integrates with the natural, moving without distinction. TerrainSkin’s fourth dimensional flow unfolds with time. The onscreen images develop as the black clad figures interact with their environment, subtly affecting the work as a whole, its space and mood. Painted white branches are placed as softly as Vaughan, Collier and Desmond move about. The sound complements the dance film’s pre-recorded score. TerrainSkin’s palpable atmosphere is nonchalantly improvised. Vaughan’s TerrainSkin provides audiences with a chance to be with nature in a gallery/theatre setting. There’s something meditative and spiritual about a work that asks only that we sit, spend time and observe.
Emanating awareness: Tracing the impact of Bharatanatyam and Iyengar yoga on my contemporary dance and choreographic practice - mAIRÉAD VAUGHAN
This article examines and reflects on the interdisciplinary dialogue between Bharatanatyam, Iyengar yoga and contemporary dance within the field of choreographic practice and performance. I detail the principles appropriated from Bharatanatyam and Iyengar yoga that have, in a layered and intrinsic manner, directly and indirectly contributed to a heightened kinaesthetic awareness within my dance and choreographic practice.This practice reflects a strong somatic and philosophical ideology, out of which multiple body-mind perspectives emerge. Moving away from the Cartesian fragmented and objective view of the body, this article presents a holistic body-mind stance originating from a non-dualistic experiential approach. The principles appropriated from Bharatanatyam and Iyengar yoga are highlighted through a mixed-mode framework that includes experiential writing and images in an attempt to evoke the immediacy of the moving body and its sensory experience, as well as the ineffable nature of the creative and choreographic process. These experiences are contextualized with reference to specific choreographic work I have created for my company, Shakram Music and Dance.
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