The Middle Ages
From 26 January to 6 February 2015 Andros Zins-Browne is working on his new creation The Middle Ages in our studio at wpZimmer. Together with dancers Sandy Williams, Jaime Llopis, Kennis Hawkins and Dragana Bulut he will be working on the choreography, lighting design and costumes.
The Middle Ages is a performance for five dancers about a time which is inherently ‘middle’ – ambiguous, fluid, either both-and or neither-nor. Through an (over-the-top) use of costumes and a rigorous investment in movement, the performance attempts to occupy an ambiguous place and time, where historical references overlap and fold over one another. The performers’ time-travel through the history of movement becomes increasingly layered and abstracted, while the speed of the performance, or rather, time in general, becomes warped. Actions and events are compressed and stretched by the performers, lending an uncertainty to the time which the performance speaks of and the timing in which it occurs. Drawing on sources as far-fetched as time travel, historical costume dramas and reenactments, and the theoretical physics of the uncertainty of time itself, The Middle Ages asks, not what are we, but when are we? When is now?
The project research started in January 2014, with the support of wpZimmer, Nadine, and Kaaitheater. The aims of this research are to develop a new language of structuring time in choreography which is neither structural, nor improvisational- but co-determinant amongst the performers. Inspired by theories of time and time travel in theoretical physics, Andros seeks to make time scores that the performers ‘play’ during the performance. The second aim of the research will be to develop a language of historical references, and a research into how to layer and abstract them. The question here is how can historical dance not be a quotation or set of quotations of historical choreographies, but an abstract embodiment of historical times. What would it be to ‘dance the 70s’ not as a set of commonly recognized references, but as embodied qualities in and of themselves. The practice for this will develop visually, via costumes and a research with costume maker Sophie Durnez, and physically with dancers Sandy Williams, Jaime Llopis, Kennis Hawkins, and Dragana Bulut.