A reflection on Joe Moran's The Body at Nottingham Contemporary

A reflection on Joe Moran's The Body at Nottingham Contemporary

Seraina Dejaco is one of nine participants for Joe Moran's installation piece The Body. Here she reflects on her time performing at Nottingham Contemporary over the weekend...

"It seems a very long time ago that we rehearsed the piece on Friday. Practicing ‘seeing what you see, being where you are, seeing where you are’, working on different formations, paces and rhythms.

There is not much time to warm up before the performance on Saturday. We revisit the rehearsal notes as a group:

One person moves, everyone goes! There’ll be no slobbing!

Seeing where you are to let go of where you are.

Allow failure.

Be present.

Don’t try too hard to be creative.

As we enter the space to form an almost perfect diagonal line, I still feel slightly confused about order, cues, beginnings and endings. But the space looks beautiful and feels comfortable to be in.

As soon as we start performing I realise that my slight confusion is part of the piece. As soon as I start to relax and feel I’ve got it and understand it, it’s gone again. This feeling of never really getting the perfect formation or the right answer seems to keeps The Body (and the performers) alive.

Throughout the two days The Body shifts and transforms. It also changes with the other dancers performing Singular in the space. Watching them gives ‘it’ time to breath. It seems to build relationships and develop tempers. Every time we perform it, it has a different texture to it.  

To keep going on Sunday we spontaneously join the company dancers for a ‘Body Wash’ warm up and from then on things cross over a little bit. We join question time for Arrangement (I suddenly realise how much Joe likes questions) and the company joins into the The Body game and together with some curious audience members they change the rules and lift up the mood. We are very happy to join this new game.

On Saturday I didn’t hear the spoken words of the soundtrack and then on Sunday I hear the same fragments of text crystal clear more times than you can count.

I can see more and more.  I see the audience moving, I see the position of the lights, I can see the formation happening before the end shape, but the most amazing thing to me are the performers around me.

I see every smallest movement of their eyes, faces, heads and feet. I see 9 completely different presences, expressions and interpretations revealing themselves through our shared task.

We have been performing for 5 hours and 15 minutes.

On Saturday night I couldn’t find a comfortable position to sleep and rest my tired legs. On Sunday night I was asleep as soon as I lay my head down."