By Nichole Canuso, Nichole Canuso Dance Company
Nichole Canuso was awarded a $50,000 grant as part of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia to broaden people’s understanding of art and dance by turning the audience into a participant in an aural and visual performance journey called The Garden. Canuso recently returned from London, where she worked with a few UK-based artists or choreographic research that will influence the creation and development of several new projects including The Garden – set to premiere in 2013. Today she checks in with an update…
Some of this research is based around perception. What we perceive, the ways it lives inside our bodies forever and the ways our perception influences our actions. We perceive and we cannot go backwards from there. Only forward. Whether or not we consciously remember what we’ve perceived it has happened. Though the moments we perceive are forever passing us by, our perception is feeding our momentum forward. We use knowledge of the past to plunge forward into the unknowable future. In a recent exercise I had the image of a motor, a soft circular belt at the base of my ribcage pushing me gently forward; the world flying past and curling around to press from behind. The day of explorations fostered a decisiveness and listening in the group. Starting. Restarting. Starting in the middle. Performing as if we knew what was going to happen. The rhythm of listening and deciding.
As I near the edge of my time here in London, this phase of my creative research, I think about the ways my perception has widened. I think about these new perspectives living inside my body, traveling with me forever in some way or another. It has been two weeks of listening, absorbing, deciding, waiting, repatterning. In the dance studio, on the streets of London, in the tube, the museums, the pubs, in my quiet apartment, and in the long lovely moments alone.
In creating The Garden, an essential question is how to invite the audience to experience new ways of perceiving. We are thinking about the ways we can organize the content and the structure of the work to widen the audiences perception of the moment they are in, the dance they are entering, and the world around them.