Challenging scenographic practice by looking towards other disciplines such as dance and sport.
It was a co-incidence that my research paper on scenography, dance, choreography and drawing overlapped with the development of my performance for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. But I’m extremely thankful for the timing. My performance is now almost ready and it’s taken me this long to realise that the work is a direct result of my paper, and how I now see and think about scenography.
My scenography is what I do when I create a performance. It’s a document; a drawing; a design; a performance; a piece of choreography. There are lines between each of the theatrical elements, but my job is to bring them together. Just as I must do when I skate. Scenography is a similarly creative and choreographic process; it needs a starting point and sensory inspiration, it needs a wash of vague ideas and plans to stem the fear of the blank space, like an artist starting a painting. And it needs a structure that involves creative play in order to explore how the different elements of this space/painting work together.
This is what I have written about in my research paper – now handed in – and which I hope will be published in the near future. When I worked on my PhD I felt like a mis-fit. A skater who wanted to say that her performance training and sports practice influenced her take on theatre design? Too strange. Too left field.
I wish I had had the confidence back then to push things further. To stand up for what sport, not just dance could bring to the table. But we’re nearer now and I hope that dance will be just the start. With the Olympics approaching it’s a great opportunity to watch how the different teams create their performances; to see which contributors could offer an insight into how scenography is created and performed.
My performance at the Fringe doesn’t fit any specific category. I find it hard to call what I do dance, and I can’t really call it skating, perhaps it’s a little of both. But what I know for certain now is that what I am doing is scenography.