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.
Andrew Morrish began performance improvisational work, part time, with Al Wunder’s ‘Theatre of the Ordinary’ in Melbourne in 1982. In 1987 he co-founded the improvisational movement theatre duet ‘Trotman and Morrish’ with Peter Trotman. Together they performed 14 self-funded seasons in Melbourne in addition to numerous other one-off performances. In 2002 he relocated his work in Europe and now teaches and performs extensively in France, Nederlands, Germany, Switzerland and the U.K. and works with individual and small groups of performers to mentor their improvisational development.
He continues, long term collaborative relationships with Tony Osborne (improvisation) in Sydney, Crosby McCloy (writing and performance improvisation), Sten Rudstrom (performance improvisation) in Berlin, and Martha Rodezno (improvisation) in Paris.
He has been a Research Associate at University of Huddersfield since February 2006, and was appointed as an Honorary Research Fellow in December 2008.
In October 2006 he facilitated a research project on improvisation for 14 artists and a team of 4 researchers in ‘Precipice’ at the Australian Choreographic Centre, Canberra.
He has been a member of Neil Thomas’ Urban Dream Capsule, an extended ‘live-in’ installation in store windows.
Crosby McCloy has a MFA in Creative Writing and Performance from Bard College – Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. She is a passionate improviser, living, teaching, and performing her own work in Berlin since 1999.
She is a writer and performer who combines different movement styles, book arts and community performance with her interest in creative writing and the spoken word.
She has performed more than 40 solo works in venues in the US, the Netherlands and Germany. This is her premiere in the UK.