Emergent meaning through language and movement with Andrew Morrish and Crosby McCloy (2011)

Improviser Andrew Morrish and writer / performer Crosby McCloy interview each other on performing and teaching, writing and dancing.  Responding to McCloy’s questions, Morrish reflects on over 25 years’ experience as an improviser, teacher and performer: from setting up a series of ‘terrorist cells’ for ‘geeky improvisers’ in different countries in order to share and nurture practice, to resisting the ‘moralistic impulse’ of the older performer to deliver a life-affirming message for ‘the younger generation’.  Responding to Morrish’s questions, McCloy traces a thoughtful path from growing up in Memphis, Tennessee through her transition to Europe, via Arnhem, to Berlin: with dancing as a constant in her life, opening out into language and semiotics, toward her present practice, where writing and movement converge.   

Together, Morrish and McCloy consider the interplay of language and dance from a variety of perspectives, including the roles of literary imagination, memory and movement in improvised performance, and the poetic and communicative possibilities of speech in performance in different countries and languages.  In framing the different ways that language comes to mind in performance, teaching and conversation, Morrish and McCloy bring together their particular interests in maintaining a discursive approach to performing and teaching, and the different modes of practice these engagements with others require of them.  Through a series of expansive exchanges, form echoes content: as it unfolds, this talk aptly demonstrates Morrish’s approach to performance as a ‘looping, associative’ process, through which ‘the free-associating brain will create patterns that become meaning’.  

This talk was part of Crossing Borders and WinLab 2011 and was presented in partnership with London Contemporary Dance School.