[choreography and performance, 2008]
This is full-length (15 minute) video documentation of Gertrud.
Gertrud is a solo practice-as-research performance. It is an imagined and performed conversation through time between the Austrian expressionist choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser (1890–1959) and Simon Ellis (1968–): a solo performer-choreographer.
1. To explore the potential of historical resources (interviews, writing, images) to develop a factional biography that in turn serves to critique experiences of solitude in consumer capitalism. This research aim was conceived as collaboration through time.
2. To investigate the performance of a) complex physical practices that draw on improvisation strategies based on various psychological states and the nature of remembering; and then b) framing these physical tasks with tightly choreographed scenography.
Gertrud investigates memory within practices of choreography and improvisation, whilst questioning how we might value the past and present. The open questioning of the role, function and value of performance and dance in 21st Century consumer-capitalism is voiced by the long-dead choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser (with text written by me). This multi-perspective approach to understanding and articulating the condition(s) of memory and remembering generates a coherent internal structure, and participates in current cultural and contemporary performance thinking about the nature and role of archiving, remounting, remembering and rethinking choreography from the distant and recent past.