Touch Radio 133 | Pascal Wyse

18.09.17 – Pascal Wyse – tic-tac-toe – 9:26 – 320 kbps

“tic-tac-toe” was written for Gilbert Ratcliffe, who in 2017 was a final-year dance student at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire. For this performance, called “You Watching Me?”, choreographed for a small group of dancers, Gil wrote:

“My research was centred on the physical and mental manifestation of my journey with Tourette’s Syndrome. I explored it through the collaborative process between choreographer and dancers to see if we could create a non-narrative, abstract dance work that was able to elicit an emotional, performative response.”

Gil knew what the broad structure needed to be, and the dancers had ideas about sounds that would resonate well with the subject – but there was lots of freedom between those staging posts. I loved how the dancers only needed occassional markers, between which they related to the sounds but weren’t bound by them. No need for anything as prosaic as counting out beats.

Gil’s research involved talking to lots of people with TS, and reading through it I got keen on the simple idea of the electrical impulses that run through the body as it moves – whether voluntarily or involuntarily. In the end, it’s all a synaptic dance.

I recorded the feet of the dancers as they rehearsed, so that the piece could conjour up unseen dancers around the stage. Elsewhere metal spins against metal, balls bounce to a stop, there is a visit to the sea shore and a recording I made of the old editor of the Guardian being “banged out”, in the tradition of old Fleet Street.

The painting is courtesy of Gil’s mum Melanie – an artist and painter who has often worked with dancers.

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