Almost all of my process comes from either dance or clown, not from traditional drama.
Is clowndance a process, not a genre?
Journal entry, 06/12/22
Here's a video of my presentation for De Montfort's 2023 3 Minute Thesis event, where PhD students explain their research, logically enough, in three minutes or less. My title is Clowndance: Disrupting Perfectionism
In my last post, I talked about finding the state of play, communication with the audience and readiness for laughter that Athene Seyler in her iconic book The Craft of Comedy calls ‘bubbling with pleasure’ (Seyler and Haggard, 2013, p. 55).
‘Comedy, shall I say, is the sparkle on the water, not the depths beneath… But note, the waters must run deep underneath.’
- Athene Seyler
(Seyler and Haggard, 2013, p. 26)
At the start of each day of the Clowndance Summer Course 2022, I wrote a series of questions that I thought the day’s work might address. In true clown style, we failed to answer any of them!
Can deliberate failure- setting impossible tasks, allowing yourself to look stupid and un-beautiful- help dancers feel less frightened of failure, more comfortable with being vulnerable?
What if failure to do something is in fact an invitation, a provocation, to do something else?
I'm running the first ever clowndance course, in Leicester, UK, in July 2022, and I'm looking for dance artists and students to join me. We'll play, discover, experiment and throw some shapes.
Am I too gentle, too safe, to go to properly dark places? Is that OK? Can I push performers far enough to challenge and do justice to negative emotions?
… OR do we fetishize pain?