The making of Kittly-Bender - a blending of Clown and Dance.
The creation and performance of Kittly-Bender represents a major shift in my artistic influences and interests. I created Kittly-Bender after an intensive study period of Pochinko Clown. I am compelled by the emotional connection, and honesty that the clown builds with an audience. The joining of clown and dance has led me to work more specifically with a physical, emotional and spatial awareness to create Dance Theatre that invites an open conduit between audiences and performers. I do this by drawing on resonances between people in the room, my own projected world (the story of the work) and the modern world that shapes us. In addition to dance elements, magnifying the potential of collective experiences to the majesty of the stage compels me to create using theatrical devices. The character Kittly was born out of a desire to coalesce clown and dance.
One year has passed since the première of Kittly-Bender. As part of my postproduction process I have returned to early research footage, before she was Kittly. I am using this initial research as the starting place for the work I will present at Dance Matters. Once a starting place is found I allow the path of inquiry, to go beyond initial impulses, allowing a thousand thoughts to come and go so that I can get closer to the questions I want to ask and the points I want to make.
I set my sights on affecting those people who come with some readiness to be affected because I know they are offering me the greatest opportunity to grow this character and work. Within the discipline of performance art, the work of the performer is ever-evolving and ideally a parallel development occurs in audiences.
I have returned to these poems form my original research
I see the potential when the city lights go out
Sadness is useless
I am forgetful
How do they know the Places of the body
A Garden of onions, The fuel to feed the fire
For the placement, Someone will always be there to help you
Anything is possible
The perfect place to run to
Whose heart is the strongest
Start the fires together
Put it out alone
Did we ever end the war?
Only the birds can escape
A Door opened and I went around, peeing on the walls, taking forbidden photos, I remember nothing, my feet are hot, the air is sharp
And this is a video from some experimenting with Kittly a few months ago.
Photo of Jennifer Dallas by Melanie Gordon