From Amy Voris.
'perch' is a dance about temporary states and locations and the movement in-between these things. It is about the process of building a home for the future -- of homing -- while feeling haunted by the past. First and foremost however 'perch' is a practice, performed regularly by one person, for a place. The movement score shifts between states of groundedness and innervation and hovers over the transitions which transform these states. With each practice the work bears witness to its immediate conditions and, in so doing, with each practice the work subtly adapts and evolves. In this way, the ‘form’ of the work offers a means of simultaneously practicing holding on to and letting go of what is known about the work and the world that it moves through.
'perch' was initially developed in a room in a former cotton spinning mill in Manchester. The dance accumulated itself slowly over many years, in response to the many layers of life which permeated its making. Two dancers, Katye Coe and Bridget Fiske, independently expressed an interest in learning the score for 'perch', which might eventually be performed in their homes. Although deeply flattered, initially I felt uneasy about passing on the work in this way, not least because of the prospect of ‘imposing’ an existing movement structure onto another dancer (since one of my long-term choreographic passions is the enquiry into how a dance might develop out of the specificity of a dancer). However, a few weeks into lockdown (and thanks to a conversation with Bridget), my perception of the creative potential of reconstructing the work shifted. The structure of the score cultivated a quality of concentration and provided relief in the midst of great uncertainty. The process of re-situating its content and spatial pathways into Katye and Bridget’s circumstances turned into a creative process in and of itself. For the daily developments in our domestic and professional lives punctuated the process of adaptation. The experience of living through a global pandemic is now inseparable from our understanding of the work. Similarly, in this way, we now understand adaptation as an embodied, processual and poetic practice, as the practice of persistently pursuing the shape of something while simultaneously responding to and absorbing circumstance.
As a whole, the process of adapting 'perch' has been revealing, stabilising and soulful and I am deeply grateful to Katye and to Bridget for the invitation to work in this way.