Touching the thing that touches you with Charlie Morrissey and Lisa Nelson (2016)

Charlie Morrissey, live in the studio, shares recorded excerpts from and reflections on Skype conversations with Lisa Nelson, in part as they relate to touch, which was the theme of the 2016 Crossing Borders programme.

Charlie contextualised the talk in his own words:

I met Lisa Nelson in Vermont USA in 1992 while working with Steve Paxton. Alongside subsequent working sessions with Steve, Lisa was working with Image Lab –a group including Karen Nelson, Scott Smith and K. J. Holmes exploring Tuning Scores. Watching these sessions, and occasionally participating as an active observer were my first experiences of this work. In later years, I began to attend workshops, group sessions and to engage more deeply with the tuning scores in a number of meetings across Europe as well as exploring the scores in my own work and in meetings with others including Gill Clarke, Scott Smith, Henry Montes and Katye Coe. The work initially blew my mind in so many great ways – it brought attention to the act of perception in a way that simultaneously expanded the world of movement and performance to me, and overwhelmed me in what appeared to be the vastness of it’s potential. The ongoing conversation with this work has been a constant reference point for my research and interests in exploring movement, teaching and performance making.

With the Tuning Scores, Lisa has created a way for a group of people to come together and explore the activity of composing in space in a non-hierarchical context. Everyone comes as they are with their own tastes and histories and the players learn from each other through the activity of watching and doing.

Touch seems to be a key factor in Lisa’s work and has been central to my own – a way to connect to myself, to the world, and others in it through action. I find information in touch – the things I touch and the things that touch me, and I enjoy exploring touch as an expanded sense – one which seems to apply to other senses. Touch allows me to work with substance in a particular way – to find what is substantial in seeing and being seen, in listening, in my proprioceptive and interoceptive sensing of the world, and in my relationship with others and the environments I move through.

Learn More:
Article Before your eyes’ by Lisa Nelson

This talk was part of Crossing Borders 2016 and was presented in partnership with London Contemporary Dance School.