27/09/15 ‘Laura Laura Double Penetration’ double ended thoughts, Eve

 Photo: Eve Stainton

Photo: Eve Stainton

Laura Laura: Double Penetration by Immigrants and Animals with The Uncollective
Chisenhale Dance Space, London
27 September 2015



To dance someone else’s dance gives permission to own liberation, to squash existing tones, to whole-heartedly mimic, to flirt with ruining things, to be fickle and unprepared, to highlight the ‘attempt’, but mostly the act seduces you (me) down the path of the temptress that is rebellion. Performing ‘Laura Laura’ felt a bit like a one night stand; the kind where you know it’s on the cards but pretend it might not happen, even to yourself, in attempt to trick yourself into feeling completely in control. Feeling slightly used, even during, but feeling ok about it and scrambling to act like your sexy (?) self whilst secretly feeling nothing of the sort. Hypothetically.

Michael and I exchanged glances from across the loose circumference of an audience. On reflection, a familiar look that encompasses feeling empowered at making the glance visible, pretending to look like you’re feeling empowered and also freaking out at the thought of what the hell is going to happen when this thing properly starts and we have to leave the safety blanket that in this instance comes in the form of a mic stand. I was feeling invigorated at being different to Laura’s original self, a safety Jamila and Mira set up from the beginning, but also the pressure of wanting this to be a successful experiment, success here I guess quite honestly, is hoping they feel glad they asked us to participate at the end of it all. It’s a fascinating idea encouraging thoughts of ownership, the life of a piece, creative feedback, who decides on satisfaction and how taste, for me, can be quite controlling. ‘Double Penetration’- I think I could’ve gone deeper.

‘I’m in serious shit, I feel totally lost
If I’m asking for help, it’s only because
Being with you has opened my eyes
Could I ever believe such a perfect surprise
I keep asking myself, wondering how
I keep closing my eyes but I can’t block you out
Wana fly to a place where it’s just you and me
Nobody else so we can be free
Nobody else so we can be free'

Why do we dance for people? Does it feel like a gift? Performing is said to be a selfish thing, but how come it feels completely selfless? Not because shapes, rhythm- or non rhythm, emotions, thoughts and subtleties are coyly offered to others to do with whatever they want, but perhaps because it is beginning to feel like a kind of dignity sacrifice- which I guess is in relation to what I claimed it wasn’t…. Hmmm. It seems it is the ‘for others to do with whatever they want’ that is the problem, or the forward thought of this occurring. But prediction is naive, there must be the beauty of ambiguity, but somehow it doesn’t seem so beautiful right now. The performer makes the choice to present themselves for scrutiny. Show off. Am I being selfish to others and selfless to myself (or disregarding) which then, in turn, surely further enforces the self? I think this makes me a culprit of over analysing, but there’s something going on here that requires attention. Perhaps there’s some perverted satisfaction in playing the loser. It is a selfish vulnerability.

I’m tainted by martyrdom after our recent performance of ‘Laura Laura’, which has nothing to do with Laura herself, the beastly minx, or to do with the music cutting out half way through, which in fact was strangely comforting and created a ground to build upon. But something happened that night. My brain was bullying me and I was already on the pitch. Couldn’t we have resolved our differences earlier brain, because I’ve got to say it’s pretty unhelpful mid flow. Selfish thing.

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