Last summer I took part in a dance research project with Complicite – ‘Everything That Rises Must Dance’. Two weeks. A group of fifty women. Learning, dancing, trying things out. Magnificent.
Part of the project was to choreograph our own individual pieces based on gestures we had seen women do. I tried to remember my piece the other day. I remembered the dance, and the gestures I was trying to interpret. But not any details about the women I had observed, whose gestures are now cemented in my consciousness. No age, clothing, colour. Just the way they moved, and a vague memory of the place (oh yes, she was chatting to friend, and that one was on a train carriage on the underground…). No concrete details.
How odd. I wonder if I use the same process when drawing? Observing an object or movement, then re-interpreting it for myself so that it becomes fixed in my memory. When I draw a person running, is it an interpretation that I refer to rather than an original memory?
And am I using the same part of my brain to remember both a dance move and how to draw a pigeon?