Pramila Vasudevan and Aniccha Arts are known for large-scale durational performances in public spaces. In this project, Vasudevan’s interest was in extremely short timeframes: the splits of a second when our bodies involuntarily react to destabilizing physical environments, such as on a sailing boat. Together with Thomas Stoffregen of the School of Kinesiology, they created a setting where dancers responded to destabilizing manipulation of their immediate environment. For example, when a person stands in a room with moving walls, the usual effect is that the body involuntarily sways backward and forward in the direction of the wall’s movement. But when experienced repeatedly, people develop resilience and learn to resist the initial impulse. #1 of 30 addresses this adaptation: how do bodies succumb, and then overcome, the initial impulse? What choreography can be created from such movements?
In March 2019, Aniccha Arts created a two-hour iterative choreographic and sculptural study inspired by the kinesiological studies of Dr. Stoffregen. The team included Maxwell Hoaglund (sculptor), Sam Johnson (movement collaborator), Valerie Oliveiro (movement collaborator), Lela Pierce (movement collaborator), Jasmine Kar Tang (dramaturg), Chitra Vairavan (movement collaborator), and Pramila Vasudevan (lead artist, movement collaborator).
#1 of 30 was supported in part by the Mid-Career Professional Development Grant from Forecast Public Art awarded to Vasudevan.
Image: Pramila Vasudevan. Photograph by Bobby Rogers.