Considering The Dance

Until recently, I didn't really consider myself a dancer. I like dancing. I've done some, but it doesn't always feel comfortable. I have a sense of seeing myself dancing, from afar and it looks awkward. It usually happens amongst a group of people. Strangers. In time, or not, with the music. And it feels like a performance. An awkward performance.

But I like to perform. I don't mind people watching me. But I don't like people watching me dance.

I like to walk. I feel comfortable walking. Mostly I can't see myself when I walk. But even when I do catch sight of myself, my gait, in a passing shop window, I don't mind. It feels ok. I don't mind people watching me. I like people watching me walk.

But I've started to think about the walk and the dance. Like the nightclub dance, the city walk happens amongst a group of people. Strangers. In time, or not, with the music - the city's hum and jarring beats. And it feels like a performance. It happens a lot that you look up or across and catch someone's eye. Directly. Were they watching me? Were they watching me walk? I don't mind. I feel good walking, It feels ok.

The walks I've been performing recently are about the everyday.
And then there are the everyday walks.
Up and down the stairs.
To the shop.
To work.
To the kitchen, from the office to put the kettle on.
Repetitive actions.

I'm dancing.
I'm repeating actions like I might on a dancefloor.
I'm dancing in time, or not, to the rhythms of my thoughts.
I'm dancing, in time, or not, to the rhythms of my surroundings.

It happens,  I'm sure to everyone, that as you're walking along you realise that another walker, coming towards you is treading the same line and you move to the left to avoid collision. But so do they. So you move to the right. And so do they. This is a street dance. With a partner. It can last for minute-long seconds, ending only with an embarrassed parting.

Today I danced with an office desk.  It was a big heavy desk, too heavy to carry. So I walked it from my van to the Gallery. I walked it, swinging it as I went, swivelling on alternate corners.  It was a street dance. It was a rhythmical dance. With a partner.

And I've realised I do all sorts of small dances, everyday, everyday dances. Looking for my keys, in the same places, checking and rechecking. Returning to my house upon leaving to check that everything is switched off, one, two three times or more - sometimes when I'm a mile away. Absentmindedly moving from foot to foot while I'm daydream-smoking on the Gallery doorstep.

This is still a bit sketchy in my thinking at the moment, but I hope to get the chance to tease it out a bit further this week, when I document some dancing / walking / movement work by Alison lloyd in her pre-exhibition work at Priimary.

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