Group Dynamics and Visual Sensitivity (2010)
with Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Jesse Harold, Abby Harris & Jeremy Holmes

As advertised, an experiment in group dynamics and visual sensitivity:

Ursula leads the audience in a visual warm-up involving a series of still tableaus that link together to form a live graphic novel. It is a visual warm-up that prepares viewers to truly see dancing, which forms the second half of the piece. It brings all of the audience members in the room to a similar state of mind and a similar quality of attention.

This work is based on dancers’ practice of warming-up and preparing their bodies for the physical work ahead. It also builds on the contemporary dance history of approaching seeing as a physical practice (for example, Simone Forti’s exercises where dancers move through space looking at the spaces between bodies, then at the bodies themselves, then at the eyes). Group Dynamics, however, examines the seeing practice not of the dancers, but of the viewers. It warms up the audience for their physical work of seeing.

When the audience sees movement for the first time, they are visually prepared to take in every detail of an exquisite solo, equal parts task-based and virtuosic. This is one of the sublime aspects of watching a performance: the shared experience of seeing, together with a group of people at the same place at the same time.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa’s “Playing Favorites... of 2011”
Danspace Project Body Madness catalogue excerpt
Danspace Project writer-in-residence - Huffa Frobes Cross
Culturebot - Jeremy Finch
InfiniteBody - Eva Yaa Asantewaa

Excerpt #1

The creation of Group Dynamics and Visual Sensitivity was made possible, in part, by the Danspace Project 2010-11 Commissioning Initiative, with support from the Jerome Foundation. It was developed during the TOPAZ ARTS Choreography Residency Program made possible, in part, by the New York State DanceForce with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts.

This work was recreated by Danish artists as part of the 2012 NOT Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark.

A film of this work was screened at the Manipuri film festival Re:PLAY 2012.

DRAWING by Jesse Harold