by Katharine Hawthorne

We start rehearsing for Reluctant Light again tomorrow, after a month long break. Part of coming back to a rehearsal process after a break is remembering — remembering the physical structure of the piece, your place in it, and your working relationships with all the collaborators.

I recently did a several day Tuning Scores workshop with Karen Nelson in which we worked with ‘replay,’ a score in which an initial improvised experience is repeated. There were several different versions of the score: one person performed two gestures and the group repeated it back; we worked on a duet and then replayed our experience for our partner; we danced an extended solo and had it repeated back to us.

Replay is a score in which a faithful ‘realistic’ memory is not only unnecessary, but potentially hinders an intuitive response. It is more meaningful to have the feeling and emotional tone of an experience reflected than the precise sequence of steps. I am fascinated by this tension — how faithful repetition is actually not as satisfying as repetition that takes liberties and expands on the personal dimensions of one’s experience. I have been blessed with a near perfect memory for recalling steps, directions, and movement mechanics — but I am often frustrated by the resulting limitations of verbatim recall.

So, as we return to the studio tomorrow, I hope not only to bring my memory of the work done thus far, but to also allow for it to open and grow. Let’s replay.