Karen
Christopher

TwoFold: So Below

Photo: Manu Valarce Photography 2017

(in the style of a headstone text)
In loving memory of our old performance not seen for the past four years but not forgotten though some parts may have faded. Brought to us in a former time out of nothing we here this day come back to it now and see it for what it was and see the changes that a new time brings to it. Born 2011, with us for all too short a time.

It was fine to bring it back. It was a worthy task. I found that our old habits and failures with it were still intact. We can’t remember those steps or I always remember that bit wrong and as usual Gerard is better at remembering than I am. I don’t want to say that I’m lazy. But there is some part of my brain that wants to leave a space for chance and for falling but sometimes that means I’m in limbo and sometimes that means I am failing or sloppy. Sometimes it means I am heart broken.

Some of it didn’t translate through the time gap and had to be rehydrated. We found ourselves wondering why did we did it this way and whether we should hold on to that or figure it out anew.

It is as though it Fell asleep while we carried on to other works waking up this March eve to fill the room with earth and water.

We miss her smile, her cheery way,
We miss the things she used to say,
And when old times we oft recall
It’s then we miss her most of all.

Sadly missed — Never forgotten
Together forever

Tags: TwoFold, So Below, Gerard Bell, duet

Posted on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 by Karen Christopher

Performance of So Below as part of symposium: On Collaboration II

So Below, a duet performance by Gerard Bell & Karen Christopher
a Haranczak/Navarre Performance Project is being presented as part of On Collaboration II, a symposium presented at Middlesex University, Hendon Campus at 6pm Saturday 18 May 2013.

So Below will be presented at the end of the symposium day. We are inviting a limited number of people to attend the performance even if they are not attending the symposium itself. As part of this invitation there is no charge to attend the performance of So Below.

RSVP for the performance only here and instructions will be sent for where to show up on the day. There are a limited number of places which will be filled in order of responses received.

Tags: So Below

Posted on Tuesday, 30 April 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

Taking our pots to Falmouth 2nd November at Performance Centre

So Below has been dismantled and folded into two trucks and taken by courier to Falmouth. The objects sit there waiting for ourselves to arrive and get them back out of the big blue cases. This after waiting in the dressing room at Chelsea for more than a year.

The show will take place on 2nd November at Performance Centre Join us if you are near enough and please say hello afterwards.

Tags: Performance Centre, Falmouth, duet, So Below

Posted on Friday, 26 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

two women lying in water-filled canoes / a constant quivering / two figures surrounded by buckets of water

For me the work is about a central image I care about. The rest of the piece is a way to earn that image. There are layers of foundation and sediment around, above, and below that but somehow that is a central core that gives me something to go on . . . especially when everything is in flux (most of the time).

Tags: So Below, Seven Falls, duet, Control Signal

Posted on Wednesday, 4 July 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

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