Curators Notes, Patrick T. Murphy, RHA Director:
Following on from our very successful presentation of the performance work of Amanda Coogan in 2015 the RHA wished to build on its experience of working with live performers and approached choreographer and dancer David Bolger of Cóis Céim Dance Theatre to conceive a project for the Gallery. David had a fascination for body language, “It is said that over 65% of all our communication is non-verbal, made up of our gestures, posture, how we sound, how we look” .The challenge was how to pursue that concept and translate it into a four week manifestation in the cavernous main space of the RHA.
David put together a team to create an immersive and stimulating environment. Core to the presentation was the video/photography artist Christopher Ash, and the composer Michael Fleming. Ash devised a way to use all four of the gallery’s walls and fill them with a gird of projected video images. Flemings music combined with the dancers to offer a fullsome and totally engaging experience to the visitor.
Each day at an allotted hour a member of the public was asked to join the dance troupe on the gallery floor and he/she was interviewed and videoed by Ash. The questions posited were regarding, love, fear, pain, delight, etc., and Ash carefully recorded the change of posture, gesture and facial expression in the subject as the answers came. The dancers riffed off these movements to create a choreographic portrait of the individual and once the subject left the setting a dance of image, music and movement ensured. It was magical. July, 2020.
LIVE PERFORMANCE TIMESTuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday | From 1:30pm Wednesday | From 6:00pm Sunday | From 3:00pm
(see below for full schedule)
In the first collaboration of its kind, CoisCéim Dance Theatre and RHA Gallery invite you discover a multimedia exploration of body language in a durational project that will evolve over 3 exciting weeks this autumn. Each day will bring a unique, immersive experience, as a new art work is created from live interviews, choreography, video projection, photography, music and dance.
This open, durational performance at the RHA Gallery is the culmination of 4 years of creative development. In parallel with BODY LANGUAGE, BROADREACH will conduct ARMOUR, a participation performance project led by Philippa Donnellan.
EACH DAY IS UNIQUE | THE PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE WILL VARY DAILY, CHECK BACK HERE FOR UPDATES | #BODYLANGUAGERHA
DIRECTION/CHOREOGRAPHY David Bolger
DESIGNER/MEDIA ARTIST Christopher Ash
COMPOSER Michael Fleming
COSTUME Arran Murphy
DANCE ARTISTS Justine Cooper, Ivonne Kalter, Jonathan Mitchell, Emma O’Kane and Jack Webb.
GUEST ARTISTS Deirdre O’Leary (Clarinet) and the La La La Choir led by Sam Kavanagh
Is it possible to choreograph a work based entirely on body language, being true to the spontaneous nature of our physical behaviour? For Body Language, CoisCéim Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director, David Bolger set himself a task with this question.
“It is said that over 65% of all our communication is non-verbal, made up of our gestures, posture, how we sound, how we look. As a choreographer I am naturally inquisitive about body language. The tells and clues that are sent out from our limbic system (the emotional brain) are unplanned, natural, honest. They make up our everyday kinetic conversations, which are naturally organised but not pre-planned. Choreography is dance-writing. A choreographer is someone who organises and designs sequences of movement patterns and creates choreography by writing with the body. Dancing is body language and body language is dancing.” -David Bolger
AT THE RHA
The Body Language project is an exploration and interrogation of non-verbal communication in the digital, aural and physical realms. It is a process. With choreography, video/photography by artist Christopher Ash, music by Composer Michael Fleming, and dance artists Justine Cooper, Jonathan Mitchell, Ivonne Kalter, Emma O’Kane and Jack Webb, it is a process of detection and consists of three unique cycles made up of DAILY, WEEKLY, and RESIDUAL:
- The genesis of the DAILY CYCLE is an interview with a member of the public. The subject’s body language is captured on film and becomes a physical score made up of still images. This is followed by live composition in real time with artists in the process of CREATION as they extract meaning and respond to the physical score. The cycle ends with a PERFORMANCE of the new choreography, film, photography and music.
- The WEEKLY CYCLE culminates each Sunday in the gallery with a look back at the interviews from the past week followed by a new CREATION and PERFORMANCE. Each week sees new developments as the work diversifies and grows. On Sunday 3 December a final presentation will take place.
- The RESIDUAL CYCLE, from 4 December to 10 December, will be an installation reflecting the lifecycle of the work.
Each day will bring more interviews, choreography and other artists, and will be an opportunity for you to see something new. We hope you will come back to discover how this new art work evolves and develops. Follow the BODY LANGUAGE journey on Instagram through the eyes of Christopher Ash | #bodylanguageRHA
(PLEASE NOTE | Times are approximate. Cameras will be live in the gallery and images may be used as part of the project.):
17 NOVEMBER – 3 DECEMBER
11am-5pm: PREMIERE SCREENING OF LATEST WORK – Video and sound installation of yesterday’s filmed choreographic response.
From 11:00am | PREMIERE SCREENING OF LATEST WORK
From 1:30pm | CREATION & PERFORMANCE – Live composition in real time.
From 3:00pm | SCREENING OF TODAY’S INTERVIEW
- NEW | Wednesdays | Gallery Open Late
From 11:00am | PREMIERE SCREENING OF LATEST WORK
From 6:00pm | CREATION & PERFORMANCE – Live composition in real time.
From 12:00pm | PREMIERE SCREENING OF LATEST WORK
From 3:00pm | CULMINATION OF WEEKLY CYCLE | CREATION & PERFORMANCE with guest artists.
4 – 10 DECEMBER, 11AM-5PM (SUNDAYS 12PM OPENING)
SCREENING OF THE RESIDUAL CONTENT – Explore the video and sound installation of interviews and filmed choreographic responses.
DUBLIN GALLERY WEEKEND EVENTS
IN CONVERSATION: DAVID BOLGER AND CHRISTOPHER ASH WITH AMANDA COOGAN AND FIONA NEWELL
24 NOVEMBER 2017 | 4.00-5.00PM | ADMISSION FREE | RHA GALLERY I
This exciting interdisciplinary event brings together a number of voices to talk about dance, visual art, performance and the psychology of sensory perception. We are delighted to welcome performance artist Amanda Coogan and Professor Fiona Newell, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, to engage in a conversation with choreographer David Bolger and designer/media artist Christopher Ash about Body Language.
RHA LEARNING EVENT | CREATING BODY LANGUAGE
25 NOVEMBER 2017 | 3.30 – 4.30PM | ADMISSION FREE, PLACES LIMITED, BOOKING REQUIRED | RHA GALLERY I
David Bolger invites children to join him and the cast of professional dancers to explore body language and ways of communicating through dance. Using specially designed ACTIVITY SHEETS you will be guided through a range of fun movement-based tasks and a relay process with others in the group. Together, you will create moves and short sequences and discover more about how you use your body to express yourself!
Open to all children aged 6 – 10, no dance experience is necessary. Parents are required/invited to stay and observe the workshop.
Places are limited to book a place please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE NOTE: Video documentation may be taken and included in the Body Language project and related social media, permission will be sought for this in advance. Listen to David Bolger discuss Body Language on RTÉ Radio 1, Arena HERE