Lucy Suggate on Spirit Compass

Lucy Suggate & Collaborators

 Spirit Compass: Where there is movement there is change

Part of Dance International Glasgow

4.30 -6.30pm
Late edition 10 -11pm

As we all buckle under the weight of the collapsing system, can we slip through the cracks and re-integrate, repurpose and reorganise in order to be more-than-human?

Spirit Compass is a live dance installation, an island and a temple of sorts which you are invited to inhabit and watch the movement go by.

This new commission responds to the increasing crisis and complexity of the 21st century. It searches for a remedy or an antidote to the over-complicated, never-ending bureaucracy, and the sedentary environments and technologies that are submerging us.

What can audiences expect from Spirit Compass?

 They can expect the amazing live drumming of  Tom Page, a comfy cushion or two,  There will be amazing Dance artists repowering & rebuilding ( Do you want names? I would like to include all names if possible?) . I hope it feels like a space you can rest, submerge into and absorb what’s going on rather than scrutinise. I think i want it to feel more like a jazz gig than a dance show. One of my favourite places in the world is listening to live music.
What inspired the show at first, and how did this develop during your process?
Making the work has been a process of drawing multiple threads together from a decade long movement and dance practice. I undertook a research project called Is it too hard to be (a) Human? Out of this research a  rather large motivating question came up around what to choreograph & how to dance in the 21st century; the age of overwhelming crisis, complexity, information and opinion? It was a question with which I could interrogate the past, especially the 20 th century and the   graveyard of  modernist manifesto’s as well as attempt to reposition, embolden the dancing body as we inhabit this bizarre, awful terrain we are in right now.
Can you explain a little about how the piece works as an installation rather than being labelled as a traditional performance?
I’ve tried to create and island and a temple of sorts, a place where Spirit Labour could take place, where deep listening occurs.   Because I like to work with altered states the duration, or the arch of work is different  than in traditional theatre. A lot of time watching dance I feel like I’m been held hostage, stuck in theatre seats. Its strange to me in  dance environments we don’t create more moving, flexible space to experience the work.
I’ve worked a lot in visual arts spaces and what I really like as a visitor is being able to meander, keep a kind of witnessing autonomy, change perspective, position, move on, come back. So maybe it’s about giving  choices about how you can encounter the dancing, I mean you can come in and just sit and watch or you could have a kip, or you can poke you head in and leave. Do what you need to do.
Is dance a good medium for grappling with the complexities of the themes that you are exploring?
 Sorry to be a bit general but I  do think  independent dance artists are dealing with a huge amount of complexity and precarity, everyday of their lives and I see artists making really important connections between the environment and the body. I feel like this work has been led by the physical practice, so we learn and figure out from the doing  so the materials feel appropriate and integral, but  wtf is Dance,  i never feel like I’m dancing in the traditional  formal aesthetic sense, its more choreomania. This is where language and description runs out…. I can’t think of the words to describe what goes on when i’m in a state of dance of deep movement.

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