So So Silky Silky Silk: Scoring Yellow Towel
A performance writing residency
in collaboration with Michael Nardone
04.09.2018 - 13.10.2018
In the performance writing residency So So Silky Silky Silk: Scoring Yellow Towel, choreographer and live artist Dana Michel joins poet and editor Michael Nardone in order to create a score of Michel’s iterative, improvisational choreographic work Yellow Towel (2013). This solo piece – which Michel has performed over the past 5 years and was recently awarded the Venice Biennale’s Silver Lion for innovation in dance – is exceptional for its excavation of a range of subjectivities and embodiments. Throughout, the performance’s principals of uncertainty and ambiguous signalling equally unnerve and enthrall.
‘I am always trying to run away from any pinning down of what I am trying to do or say,’ Michel states of the work. ‘I have made a space to kind of communicate that like a cacophony.’ In scoring Yellow Towel, Michel and Nardone begin with a series of questions to address the itinerant and obscure aspects of the work: What is legible in the movement of performance? What traces do its ephemeral moments leave? How to notate the duration of gesture, of utterance? To what extent, and how specifically, does the performance exceed any capacity for its documentation?
While focusing specifically on Yellow Towel, it is Michel and Nardone’s intention to address a number of textual and ethical issues concerning performance and inscription that are global in their concern: Who performs, for whom, and to what ends? Who writes, who records? What are the techniques and technologies that mediate performance? How might a score function as a vital element of a work without fixing in place its desired fugitivity?
Within the working context of the gallery, these concerns extend to the technologies of display, to the temporality and spatiality of the exhibition, but also to the performing body/bodies and the specifics of being in-relation in and with public(s) and the institution.
The two go into the six-week performance writing residency at SBC with an array of documents, as well as objects and materials used in the research and performance phases of Yellow Towel itself. Along with Michel’s diaries, documentary videos, transcripts of the choreography and iterations of her original script, these materials will inform the score, while also forming the basis of an emerging archive in the gallery. Over the course of the residency, Michel and Nardone will shape and add to these materials with recordings of conversations on their process of articulating a score for the work.
SBC will be open during regular gallery hours throughout the residency period.
In addition, please join Dana Michel and Michael Nardone on Thursday, 27 September, 6–8 PM at SBC Gallery, where they will hold a public presentation and discussion on the score-in-progress.
The performance writing residency So So Silky Silky Silk: Scoring Yellow Towel takes place within the framework of SBC’s 2018 Focus Program, after composer Julius Eastman’s Colors (for 14 women’s voices) and the practices of study and non-extractive listening.
September 27, 6pm to 8pm
An evening discussion with Dana Michel and Michael Nardone on the score in progress.
Dana Michel is a choreographer and live artist based in Montreal. In 2005, she graduated from the BFA program in Contemporary Dance at Concordia University in her late twenties. Prior to this, she was a marketing executive, competitive runner and football player. She is a 2011 danceWEB scholar (Vienna, Austria) and is currently an artist-in-residence at the National Art Centre (Ottawa, Canada). Dana also joined ParB.L.Eux as an associate artist in 2017.
Her first extended-length solo performance piece, Yellow Towel, was featured on the “Top Five” and the “Top Ten” 2013 dance moments in the Voir newspaper (Montreal) and Dance Current Magazine (Canada) respectively. In 2014, she was awarded the newly created ImPulstanz Award (Vienna) in recognition for outstanding artistic accomplishments and was highlighted amongst notable female choreographers of the year by the New York Times. That same year concluded with Yellow Towel appearing on the Time OutNew York Magazine “Top Ten Performances” list. Her most recent and critically-acclaimed solo, Mercurial George, was premiered at Festival TransAmériques (Montreal) in June 2016. Both pieces are currently on tour.
In June 2017, Dana Michel was awarded the Silver Lion for Innovation in Dance by the Venice Biennale (Italy).
Michael Nardone is the author of The Ritualites (BookThug 2018) and Transaction Record (Gauss PDF 2014). Beginning this autumn, he will be a postdoctoral fellow in the department of French literature at the University of Montreal, and an affiliated faculty member at the Centre for Expanded Poetics, Concordia University. His writings, dialogues, and editorial projects have been published widely, and are archived at http://soundobject.net.