After performing our new duet miles & miles at Chisenhale Dance Space in July, I became transfixed by a couple of questions: How did we untangle in front of you? How could we trust it was something to watch? Isn’t untangling a knot something about which you say “I can’t do this if I’m watched”? The untangling of a rope or string or other line or set of lines can be one of the most panic inducing dilemmas there is. Why would I want to play it out in real uncontrollable time in front of an audience.
The untangling is an unquestionable by-product of the forces and concerns we are laying out in miles & miles. Something about the attempt at linearity or organisation of a sense of life and its uncontrolability is at the heart of our performance work.
To reorganise a stream of consciousness unleashed into the world merely by being alive is almost an impossible task.
Undoing a knot is the kind of thing that might produce the declaration (even to friendly onlookers): I can’t do this in front of you.
The pressure of another’s gaze is unsettling to the mind of the untangler. Furthermore, what might be streamlined for one person to sort out becomes precarious with two as each sees the knot or tangle from a different point of view. The binocular aspect is just enough to tip the apple cart. But as we do work in tandem, we must exercise the capacity to refrain from turning on each other like over-heated rats in a crowded cage. And this is how we kept our nerve, by knowing there is a future to survive together.
. . . this will eventually be completed as an essay including (but not limited to) the following sections: the whole body through the loop, the performance of confidence & optimism, the technical terms we feigned to make it seem we were in control, and the vicarious thrill for the audience of our ultimate victory.