Monday, February 28, 2011

Changing Landscapes

On a REALLY exciting note:
Sam and Brittany, two of the wonderful dancers who are willing to join me on this crazy journey, are arriving tomorrow from Brooklyn and San Francisco, respectively. I cannot wait to begin running around this vast desert with them, experimenting with some of the scores I've been dreaming up over the past six days in near isolation.

I'll keep my observations brief today. I've been looking the way light can so dramatically alter our sense of depth and flatness. There are certain times of day when the rocks look like they are pasted onto flattened canvases, and other times when their depth could not be more pronounced. Yes, of course, this is determined in large part by the lens I'm using and the position of the sun in relation to the rock - but this agency of the viewer, photographer, or choreographer/dancer in this case, is such a crucial part of how we're composing the space! I'm thinking of the many ways this can be applied to dance. In our rehearsals we will establish a practice of becoming both passive parts of the landscape and active elements of a more interactive environment.

To me, the shadows in the above photo appear to delineate space on a single plane, dividing the photo almost graphically.

Similarly, this graphic silhouette seems very two-dimensional. It is much more striking, however, due to the extreme contrast in color and brightness.

This image reveals a greater sense of depth. The rock feels much more animated and confronts the viewer with its texture, color and shape.

I'll be back soon with news of upcoming workshops, performances and notes on our process!


  1. Hello Shayna,
    I am Echo Gustafson, sister of Tavis Gustafson, who you met in the last week or so. He fwded me your blog. Its very interesting. I am a dancer living in Santa Fe, also very interested in site-specific work and improvisation/butoh. I might be able to make it out to your performance, but if I don't, are you planing any video documentation?
    The body/form of the earth as related to the body/form of ourselves.
    I wish you fertile exploration with the earth.

  2. Hello Echo,
    Thanks so much for getting in touch! It was such a pleasure to meet Tavis last week. He mentioned some wonderful things about you & your creative practice. We are going to document the work, both the process and performance, and are tentatively planning on creating a dance for film. So if you aren't able to make it out for the performance there will certainly be a wealth of footage. I'll also be posting more videos and photos along the way, over the next few weeks. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!