David Pallant – Dance-Tech Oct/Nov 2020

I am using the Dance-Tech residency to research into audio choreography, to create a non-visual work which can be experienced remotely via headphones. During the period of lockdown, as life seemed to transfer almost entirely onto my tiny laptop screen, I felt saturated with (digital) visuals and turned to podcasts, music, guided meditations… Now I want to see how movement can also exist in that very intimate audio space, one on one.

Of course, many questions already: How nuanced can the body be via sound alone? What is the translation process when it’s for the ears and not the eyes? And how do you dance for a microphone all day long? (An early answer: don’t.)

I am slowly learning a new technique, finding out about different sorts of microphones, and the pros and cons of various audio formats. Usually a bit of a Luddite, I’m enjoying discovering some of the artistry hidden within technology.

It is so much quieter here than where I normally live, and all sorts of other sounds can seep in. But so far, I still often walk around with headphones in.


The new lockdown starts, theatres, galleries, almost all cultural spaces are closed. And we feel somehow very lucky to be able to continue working and living here (with new restrictions and hygiene measures of course). Open training is not possible in the same way anymore, which is a real loss, but there are still lots of enriching opportunities for exchange [ mit Abstand ] with the other artists here.

I was very happy to watch a live performance in Berlin on Saturday, but it was hard to hear from people how yet again they were having to put all their plans to create, perform and connect on ice.

One (completely selfish) silver lining: after some time of being able to re-experience live performance, I was feeling quite far away from some of the impulses which led me to research into remote performance in the first place. Now that we are once more in lockdown, they’re coming closer again.

Second selfish admission: it is somehow easier to spend time working alone*, if you know that many other people are too.

*Thankfully, I am not really working completely alone – I am collaborating remotely with sound artist Nico Daleman.

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