Open Field Study (all together now)

The night which is white and blue, an ocean.
The company works in shifts like sailors, submitting happily to the rhythm of the ship which, because it must sail day and night, is always half awake and half dreaming.

Directed by Ame Henderson in collaboration with sound artists Eric Craven and Anna Friz. Open Field Study (all together now) is a durational, site-specific choreographic project featuring 50 performers linked sonically using low-watt radio transmission. Curated by Michelle Jacques for Nuit Blanche 2007 in Toronto.

A distributed choreography, the work was developed in collaboration with five artists who in turn gave the score / system to smaller groups. These groups rehearsed separately, starting with the ideas of pedestrian movement and serial repetition as the base vocabulary. Over a few weeks, each group developed responses to the initial proposal. The groups then met and danced together in a public space for 12 hours, synching up where groups of dancers arrived and departed from pre-determined meeting points, at moments moving together in a kind of precarious unison.

This unison is pleasing in its failure. The arrival and departure from moments of unison make explicit structures, preparation, artifice, authority and submission, individuality, subjectivity.

The 30-minute score repeated over and over again, with components missing or added, as groups came and went from the performance space, completing a series of shifts over the course of the night. Constantly the same and constantly changing, the attempt at unison in the dark and with fifty people, the imprecision and the clarity of the act, the ridiculousness and the honesty of the task, and, as the instigator, the responsibility of having asked them to do it.

“When do we know when our work is accomplished? In Open Field Study (all together now) we danced (with breaks) for twelve hours through the night in a park, and though much can be said about the particular qualities of that performance (the lightness, the constant crossing over into non-performance with its rigorous core, the fragility of a structure that is both meaningful and non-sensical, appearing and disappearing, as we did) what needs to be said is that we danced for twelve hours in a park.” – Evan Webber

Sound: Eric Craven. Radio Broadcast: Anna Friz. Stage Manager: Sarah Lake

Created with and and distributed by: Eliza Burroughs, Sarah Doucet, Shelly Hering, Allison Peacock, Aimée Dawn Robinson

Performed by: Miranda Abbott, Keith Bridger, Susie Burpee  Eliza Burroughs, Penny Chivas, Frank Cox-O’Connell, Alison Daley, Jolene Devoe, Andrea Donaldson, Sarah Doucet, Victoria Cheong, Shannon Elliott, Megan Flynn, Ceinwen Gobert, Carlos Gonzalez-Vio, Cathy Gordon, Alicia Grant, Stacy Hannah, Shelly Hering, Kalie Hunter, Noah Kenneally, Kristy Kennedy, Sarah McQueston, Simone Moir, Mary O’Connell, Meagan O’Shea, Allison Peacock, Freya Ravensbergen, Aimée Dawn Robinson, Simi Rowen, Marika Schwandt, Erin Shields, Rebecca Singh, Kathleen Smith, Alisha Stranges, Maya Tecozautla, Marc Tellez, Bobby Theodore, Kendra Ward, Silvia Maria Wannam, Evan Webber, Alison Zimmer, Jacob Zimmer, Marissa Zinni

Durational Performance / Dance (2007)
Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Sept 29, 2007