Reflexive Considerations – Translation as a Choreographic Tool

I have been thinking a lot about translation. This is somehow odd for me as translation from one medium to another is not something I am interested in as a choreographic tool. But in the research I am undertaking at the moment. Perhaps translation is just not quite the right word.


Recently I interviewed English dancer Mickel Smithens about his experience in working as a dancer in a variety of modes and situations, as teacher and as performer. How he builds information through a variety and combination of sensory receptors: using touch, pacing,rhythm and memory creating a spatial filed that he can move in and with others with limited sight. Intrinsic to this is the parallel physical feedback that he uses developed through long experience in Contact Improvisation and Skinner Releasing, both disciplines that train a deep internal awareness.


I presented with Fleur O’Hare to the Research Unit in Public Cultures at the University of Melbourne, a summary of what we have been working on so far in this project, and it struck me in the discussions following that the language I use to endeavour to communicate what I think I understand as an artist, and how it may be construed through the lens of another discipline may be variant. This is particularly pertinent to my interests at the moment in the modes of communication between the myself and the dancers with whom i work and the myriad of possibilities both verbal and physical.

– Shelley Lasica