This is our second external challenge and while we are not committed to implement it, I would encourage us to think in a “could do this” way. Just to keep the options open.
Let’s break this one down a bit:
This challenge is about the translation of gesture into some other form. Such a “translation” happens on the media level (e.g. into sound, text, sculpture etc.) as well as the cultural level (as it enters new settings and conditions).
The particular cultural condition for us is: an Iranian woman is not allowed to dance in her homeland. Her dances in public spaces in NYC are dealing with this, but cannot really answer the underlying cause, because of the forced distance and the fact that she cannot get back. Thus, the task is to find a way to translate movements (and we should think beyond the dance we saw) into another form – ship this form to Teheran – and install it at a public space there.
This would be a one-way directed performance – and the first and primary target. However, the bonus round is to think about how local Iranian artists could react and collaborate with this dance on the basis of our transformation.
Another element to keep in mind are the conditions in Iran, the danger of any public performance and the security of anybody involved in such a piece (whether it is this subway or the plaza).
To add some notes from Michael: there are a number of massive challenges that hover under the surface of this challenge: e.g. transformation of time and place and context – all this in a cultural context we cannot fully grasp. Let’s focus on the particular set up with our client and not let’s not get overburdened by the big shift between these two worlds.
Second note: as we will have to communicate this back via Skype: be as visual and tactile and cinematic and dramatic and expressive … as possible in your concept presentation next week.