A text I have read this week is Modes of Spectating (Oddey and White, 2009) because not only does it look at the potential of spectatorship in many modes of viewing, including video games, theatre, and sport, which is very pertinent right now, but because I knew it would assist me in my current creative process, which is somewhere between screen dance, video lecture demonstration, a video call and video documentation. Throughout, the authors contemplate many questions, but the most significant questions relevant to my research are “what do spectators of live / online performance want”, “what is the nature of spectating multi-media projects?” and “what level of disturbance is necessary for entertainments of the twenty-first century?” These questions push me to consider how the active /passive, seen / unseen, absence / presence of spectator will play a part in what I create and how the audience will see and perceive this performance. Further, I am reminded that as the artist I must consider the behavior of the spectator because “art reinforces stereotypes of behavior and how we respond to our culture when we spectate it” (p.10). I took a lot from this text but a few key ones are…

  • My solo creative process is an interior mode of spectating.
  • Instant replay allows the audience to see work over and over again which is both a benefit and a hindrance.
  • In a true improvisation, where audiences are dictating prompts for the performers, the audience might choose a location that is unknown to the performer. The performer must then find a way to connect to this environment as quickly as possible.
  • To establish a simple connection with your audience is to give them one simple choice. This could be their position of viewing your body.

On another note, something I am pondering this week is the various stages of my creative process from an emotional perspective. It seems to follow this theme…

This is Awesome 0-30%

This beginning part of a new work is always very exciting for me because I have an abundance of ideas that correlate to the research I am doing for the work. I am practically running to the studio to make a start, or as is the case now, my home studio. Movement combinations tend to happen fairly easily and everything looks as though it’s going to plan.

This is Tricky 30%

Every idea I had seem like they are not working. The setting isn’t right. The idea needs refining. I am getting ahead of myself.

This is shit 50%

My body feels extremely sore because of the extra training, it might not necessarily look like the movement needs adjusting, but because of the aches and pains it feels like it is shit.  At this stage, I just generally want to give up. However, this is the part where I know I must carry on.

I am shit 70%

Negative thought patterns stop applying to my role as a dancer /choreographer and begin to sway more towards me as a person, hence the “I am shit”. I absolutely despise this part of the process, but now that I have been through it quite a few times I am able to push past it at a quicker rate.

This Might be Ok 80%

After some sleep, proper nutrition and a FULL day of rest something has shifted. Ideas begin to flow again and there is a remedy to the faults found at the “this is shit” point.

This is Awesome 100%

Sometimes I don’t reach this point until after the performance so don’t worry if you don’t either, but this is the turning point where it all comes together; there is a sense of peace and an opportunity to breathe again. And, if you’re anything like me, you will have some sort of revelation about yourself and possibly set some “chill” strategies for the next time round.

The cycle repeats infinitum until I stop performing the work.

A workshop I attended this week was Building a Safe Space around Autobiographical Content with Louise Orwin. I feel like I am ready to take on a whole new approach to my creative workshops and have learned how to create a safer space for those who are dealing with sensitive and difficult issues. Thank you for Contra Project for hosting the workshop.

Rowena x


Oddey, A. and White, C. (2009) Modes of Spectating, Intellect Books: Chicago