Performance experience facilitated by Emma Alley and Jess Bernhart
Presented at 368 Ponce
June 11 2016
Strange Touch is a collaboration between Jess Bernhart and Emma Alley.
This performance experiment invites the audience to participate in short dance compositions. Two participants at a time come forward from the audience. Each participant is given a slip of paper with simple instructions. Neither participant knows the other's instructions, and in this liminal space, a dance composition is created.
The instructions that the participants receive do not necessarily complement nor contradict each other, but allow for strange outcomes, generative compromises, and unusual intimacies.
The piece raises questions: must we be complicit to create meaning? How does intentionality function in performance? How much does expectation create experience? How much control do we exert over the work we make, and how that work is understood? What is the meaning of a piece when both participants and audience experience and generate meaning completely distinctly? Who holds power in a performance, and how?