In October 2012 I created a site specific work called Waiting, Shifting, Shoppers. This project was inspired by the everyday actions of the shoppers in a shopping precinct. the project was created through a series of workshops involving 6 participants from the community of Norwich. The performance took place in three different locations one leading to the next, all linked by a line of chalk. I wanted to work with both the general public as part of the work, as well as performers from the community in Norwich. Keen to leave a lasting impression in the environment I decided to map the journey of the performers 'shoppers' using a line of chalk which the spectator could follow. Each location had a different quality.
The Process Space 1- Blank canvas with 6 bollards The first space became about waiting, shopping bags, being present in the space and creating a spectacle. I was excited about the everyday actions of queueing and following also which became interesting to watch when isolated in an unconventional space. This section involved using cannon and repetition to highlight the reality of the everyday. This section also included the game "go shop", involving fruit, vegetables and forfeit's. Swinging shopping bags and queueing.
Space 2- Invisible Shoppers This environment was a hive of activity with daily shoppers using the precinct. An hexagonal design in the centre of the space was surrounded by shops on all four sides. The best way to engage with the space was to become invisible, as we would have to negotiate the use of space with the general public. I decided therefore that the performers should blend into the space by mingling into the crowd. This section was a structured improvisation taking the cues from the shifting shoppers and how they inhabited their space. I wanted the pathways of the shoppers to become part of the performance, permanent in the environment as a celebration of the shoppers. Chalk boxes were drawn which the public walked across, the time, pathway and description recorded in chalk. The public also became part of the performance as they joined the performers as they followed their gaze.
Space 3- Waiting at a bench This space was the least contained of the three and almost became a corridor space in that it was easy to walk through but not engage with. Benches marked the space, which gave a strong starting point for a more playful gestural section. Contact Improvisation was used to explore the idea of mis-communication between two people, as they wait to meet each other but never quite make the connection. As I watched the resting shoppers I noticed the way they all seemed to dance together as they crossed legs, uncrossed legs, folded and unfolded arms. These everyday gestures were the starting point for this section.
Studio: Improvisation, games, chalk, props, signs, laughter, choreographic tasks. On site: Observing shoppers, looking at spaces, moving in spaces, stillness