action is primary is an improvisational performance practice I have been developing since 2010. It can be performed or used as a training platform, alone or to support (seemingly) separate creative research.
As a practice, it embraces attention as form, emotion as shape, and vice versa. it embraces presence as fluid, malleable, choreographic, and integrated to the form of a given moment. it embraces physical identity and the omnipresence of embodied reality. it values agency, accountability, not knowing, failure, and working to/past/on top of the edges of things. The central tenant is to "hold what you are doing at the center of what you are doing, even as it/you let it move(s) towards new centers."
As a performance, action is primary has taken several different performance forms (below images L-R):
In 2010, I began researching performative experience as a formal material through regular, long form improvisation alone in the studio. Quickly, the imagined and projected presence of viewer arose while I was dancing, patterns dissolved, and notions of choreographic organization realigned to the composition of a particular, momentary interior and exterior dialogue. I started performing it and practicing with others to find language and ultimately tasks for what we were doing/looking at.
The score is:
do what you need action is primary: hold what you are doing at the center of what you are doing, even as it slips towards new centers
1. single focus, multiple body 2. intervention 3. authentic melodrama 4. visualization 5. talking 6. all previous five at once
action is primary - practice curating attention while action is primary residue
As the practice developed, new questions arose about how to work with it that drove each performative iteration: Could it be used as a group form? If you keep poring into the materials of a given moment, how do you widen your scope to make a time-based performance? Can a group of people work collaboratively to build individual solos from the practice? Can this attention be taped into and practiced on a daily basis, to enact and articulate one's momentary, changing, somatic relationship to the world? If the practice is always holding and pulling away from its center, if everything is available material, what is being moved away from? Click on the links above to read more.
In the developing the action is primary practice, I have been blessed to work with the geniuses of:
luciana achugar Kristel Baldoz Eun-Jung Choi Danielle Currica Alison D'Amato Jeanine Durning Christina Gesualdi Gregory Holt Meredith Horiuchi HeJin Jang Drew Kaiser Jungeun Kim Iris McCloughan Eroca Nicols iele paloumpis Marissa Perel Annie Wilson Marysia Stokłosa Michele Tantoco Christina Zani