California Roll

In 2005 German choreographer Isabelle Schad, French lighting designer Bruno Pocheron and myself scenography-dramaturgy formed Good Work Productions in Berlin. Our first production California Roll (2004) one of six works created is based on the visual foundation of appearance and disappearance, memory and pose. The scenography consists of a sculptured landscape created from discarded clothes grouped in colours and spread on the dance floor creating a composite aesthetic object for the performance. Referencing Goethe’s colour theory, the clothes created a surface that required the negotiation of new vocabularies of movement and body presentations. Radically shifting the choreographic intent and performers sense of their weight and balance through this materiality, the scenography directly imposed new sets of body types between performers and the audience.

The choreography was generated out of the search for a body presence through referencing various renaissance paintings and contemporary mediated body-icons (sexed and de-sexed). The thousands of second hand clothes prompted the performers to ‘pose’, ‘repose’ and ‘pattern’ the landscape creating an aesthetically pleasing ‘painting’ on the one hand and hard labored movements when traversing the soft landscape on the other. Overwhelming the performers and the visual senses of the audience what came into being was a ruining of the dance from its original conception. In some performances, the field of the dance was further extended and indeed doubled by mirrors hung from the ceiling that reflected the performers, audience and landscape as a combined topography.

Performers: Hannah Hedman, Bruno Pocherson, Isabelle Schad