Karen
Christopher

What never stops?

We've just posted Joe Kelleher's edited transcript of our post show discussion following our premiere of Control Signal 10 October 2013 at Chelsea Theatre. *Spoiler alert* There's some content information that might taint your mind. If you've never seen the show and want to go in cold some time in the future don't read it. On the other hand, it might give you the nudge you've been waiting for. We'll have some more performance dates coming up in the Autumn. It's not too soon to start dreaming.

Joe's piece is here.

Tags: Joe Kelleher, duet, Chelsea Theatre, Control Signal

Posted on Thursday, 1 May 2014 by Karen Christopher

Mary wrote something that made me cry 3 weeks later

The thing is, when it came in, her piece of writing, I was far away in California (looking at the sky) and the October performances at Chelsea Theatre were a distant glowing memory but the problems that were right in front of me were the ones I was focussed on and the life just before was pale or hazy and her writing brought it all clearly back into focus.

This piece by Mary Paterson about Control Signal (duet by Karen Christopher and Sophie Grodin) is revealing the heart of what we were working on and the way Mary has been able to articulate her experience of it hit me like cupid's arrow, a kind of beautiful pain.

Tags: Sophie Grodin, Performance Centre, Falmouth, Mary Paterson, Jemima Yong, duet, Control Signal, Chelsea Theatre

Posted on Sunday, 19 January 2014 by Karen Christopher

we asked for a 55-foot note and he complied

We said, answer the question: "what never stops?" We said, angular rhythm, something with a 55-foot note. We said, your idea. We said, a dialogue with contamination, with influence, with subsonic itch. We said, make it vibrate. Boris Hauf made some music for us and it is good.

Boris Hauf designed music for Control Signal listen here: TOPSY hear him live at the performances in Bristol or London.

photo: Jemima Yong

Tags: Wickham Theatre, University of Bristol, Jemima Yong, duet, Control Signal, Boris Hauf, Chelsea Theatre

Posted on Thursday, 26 September 2013 by Karen Christopher

the ebb and the flow of the way it goes in these final days

Leading up to our premiere (Control Signal, preview 3rd October in Bristol at Wickham Theatre, University of Bristol and then premiere 10th & 11th October at Chelsea Theatre in London) we are taking it fine, smooth, and with raggedy edges that scratch what itches and itch what doesn’t. It is easy and isn’t easy. It is fast and slow at the same time it is trying to hold a polyrhythm in your head. I hear that we are finishing. I hear it every morning. I hear it before I go to sleep at night. We are fact finishing but we are not screaming into the finish line, we are stepping. The steps high and irregular early in the past week. We stumbled at a few steps which were just ever so slightly misjudged. Forgot this, didn’t enjoy that. It was better the second day. And we tap-danced into the third day which felt like a dream dotted with laugh. So it goes in fits and starts. Adjustments to new versions. Long discussions about the pause or not the pause and this table is not going to work no it won’t well if it has to no, actually, not even then.

I’m certain it will feel like a free-fall when we finally crack the ice on this one but we will be ready and not forget to pull our rip cords and remember to look around us on the way to the ground. I think we are lined up to enjoy it.

Tags: Control Signal, duet, Sophie Grodin, Chisenhale Dance Space, Chelsea Theatre, Wickham Theatre, University of Bristol

Posted on Saturday, 21 September 2013 by Karen Christopher

Introduce the stars to an ant: a Wednesday talk for Chelsea

I'll be appearing at Chelsea Theatre's Wishful Wednesdays talk on 22 May at 7:30pm. I'll be talking. And more. They serve a bit of wine and cheese and it's an informal occasion to hear and talk about something the invited artist has chosen to focus on. Please come and hear and talk and fly a kite and chase a bit of sugar through my blood stream and grow a tree on your head and introduce the stars to an ant and draw with a cloud and push milk uphill with a sharp stick and add it to the coffee at the top. It's at the World's End (it's not as far away as you think).

Tags: Chelsea Theatre

Posted on Thursday, 2 May 2013 by Karen Christopher

Here, Gone & the promise of more to come

We've now received and posted written responses to So Below from two invited responders: Joe Kelleher and Mary Paterson. There are excerpts here and links to the full texts (below).

From Joe Kelleher'is piece:

‘As above, so below’ is a peculiar, two-ways-facing formula that implies at the same time a turning in to secrets and mysteries – a hermeticism in that sense – but also an involvement and opening out: from world to world, from one individual to another, from the individual to the universe, or from the place and time in which we find ourselves into spaces we have to access through memory, or sympathetic imagination, through what we are able to conjure poetically through gesture and speech, or faith. In Karen Christopher and Gerard Bell’s theatrical duet So Below other places seem to be constantly intruding into what is going on here; or at least the signs of such intrusion are there to be gathered up, tuned into, sniffed out.

full text here

From Mary Paterson's piece:

So Below is a duet that unfolds as if Karen Christopher and Gerard Bell know what’s going to happen, but they haven’t discovered it yet. It appears like a story glimpsed in a stream of words that have tumbled out of a book in the wrong order. To watch, it is surprising. To remember, it is full of sensory pleasure, like a mist of steam rising from a silver spout. 
Sometimes you can hear Karen’s footsteps before you see her: the sound is a crunch of boots on something hard, and it sounds of longing. You think: if only I could dance a ritual like Karen and Gerard and make absent bodies reappear. If only I could make the sound of Karen into something corporeal. They dance like they’re praying – swinging back and forth with the words of gravestone inscriptions falling from their lips, their tidy bodies folding and unfolding like envelopes of magic.

full text here

SO BELOW, a performance duet, is a Haranczak/Navarre Performance Project by Gerard Bell & Karen Christopher (2012).

Tags: So Below, Mary Paterson, Joe Kelleher, Chelsea Theatre

Posted on Saturday, 30 March 2013 by Karen Christopher

So Below premiere at Chelsea Theatre

It's finally completed and completed once again each time and it's never quite the same and you can't put it in a camera or even a hard drive (though Adam Levy's done a great job with the photos taken earlier in the week at a rehearsal)--it's all tangled up with being there. The performance is not just a series of ideas, it is also being there.

At a certain point there is an accummulation and this lands on the audience in a delicate way--it wells up or it curls in like smoke. And afterwards they say all of a sudden it occurred to me.

Beautiful audiences.

Tags: Adam Levy, Chelsea Theatre, duet, Gerard Bell

Posted on Friday, 19 October 2012 by

Big news: So Below performances Oct/Nov 2012

Tags: So Below, Gerard Bell, duet, Chelsea Theatre

Posted on Monday, 10 September 2012 by Karen Christopher

Lighting design for So Below

So slow this So Below. We are postponed again for performing but have decided to have the lights designed now so that we are ready for when we finally put this show in front of people. Chelsea Theatre provided space and equipment. The marvelous Marty Langthorne designed for us.

Tags: So Below, duet, Gerard Bell, Chelsea Theatre

Posted on Monday, 20 February 2012 by Karen Christopher

Work-in-progress: So Below

Yesterday, 20 November, we performed a work-in-progress of So Below at 3pm at Chelsea Theatre. We had a great audience with plenty of people staying for the post-show discussion. Many people gave helpful feedback. Joe Kelleher was there and said, among other things, something about parallax and I wrote that down “Parallax” and I asked, what do you mean by that? and he explained, but afterwards when I tried to remember what he said (because it did something in my brain) I couldn’t. I checked my notes and it just says “parallax.”
I looked it up.


Tags: So Below, parallax, Gerard Bell, duet, Chelsea Theatre

Posted on Sunday, 21 November 2010 by Karen Christopher