charlbury UK 2011

charlbury UK

finstock hall  /  july 2011


guest artist

miranda tufnell

For the last thirty years Miranda Tufnell has been pursuing a profound interest in the body, both as a dancer making performances, and as an Alexander teacher and cranio-sacral therapist.  She studied English at University College, London (First Class Honours) followed by dance training at LSCD and then Cunningham Studio New York. Other significant influences have been Alexander techinique, Contact Improvisation, Release work, Tai’ Chi.  Since 1976 she’s been making and showing work in galleries & theatres across Britain & abroad, often creating site-specific events with light & sound environments. Collaborations with dancers have included Martha Grogan, Dennis Greenwood, Eva Karczag, Tim Rubidge and Michael Sullivan; Visual artists, Tim Head, Stuart Brisley, David Ward, Caroline Lee, Simon Hyde and Chris Crickmay; Muscians, Sylvia Hallett, and sound sculptor, Will Menter.  Her performances from 1976-86 include, Other Rooms, Night Pieces, Split, Huge Veil, Urban Weather, Steps, & Silver.

Body and Imagination "For me there has never been one way, I have needed to explore between moving, writing, making, sound and visual imagery; between working with others in bodywork or movement and working as a performer – shifting between the poetry of metaphor and language, the sensuousness of making and materials and the feeling world of the body, to make visible the elusive multi-layered nature of our experience."  [more on Miranda Tufnell]



lin snelling 
day one
The studio is called Finstock Hall.  It was previously used for making gloves and now it is the town hall and meeting place for Finstock.  It is wonderful to be inside of because it is made of wood.  It has an A frame and its small and spacious and is elevated slightly at the far end of the room  where there is a small stage.
The first thing Miranda does is open the front and back doors so we can see and feel the outside landscape.  The draft is cool and is a reminder of something.  And so
I am thinking about wind, … and beginnings …  and the word window.
We warm up as all dancers do.  This is the time before we begin; each of us in our own specific way gather energy and warm up the body.
I am extremely happy to be here in this room with Guy and Miranda.  They have really just met.
·      Guy does Yoga Nidra and he walks and sounds in a circle.
·      Miranda does Tai Chi
·      Lin does Zikr dance with some chi gong and rolls around on the wooden floor
Guy and I then perform Repeating Distance for Miranda
Lin explains the history of Repeating Distance to Miranda, and so Guy begins and Lin witnesses.
It is very spacious performance.
 There are stories
…of gloves
…of hands
…of movie screens
…of stairs
…of wind
She, Miranda, is a bit overwhelmed when she realizes our offer is for her to join us.
We then re-begin with Miranda in the first ever practice of Rewriting Distance.
Miranda begins dancing
Lin witnesses
Guy is the audience
We then rotate this form twice through
The stories that emerge are stories about
stair sculptures
sweeping the floor with body
a field sideways
buildings … up … down
“she gave us our feet”   This is what I remember Guy saying referring to Miranda’s participation. It feels good to write this down.
Miranda was intrigued by the duet form and working on it more … (this is always something Guy and I are interested in) and she suggests the witness speak, and not the mover.
This is what we will do tomorrow.
In the evening we go for a huge long walk. Miranda mentions it will take an hour and a half and it takes three! We walk through the grounds of Blenheim Palace.  The huge old oak trees are majestic and look a bit like old craggy relatives; spirited and confined somehow to strange and elegant postures.
It is an adventure like much of the work we do in the studio.  There is a magical element that one feels when walking with her.  She brings everything alive by how expansive her vision is.  She sees many things.


guy cools
rewriting distance.  notes.  week 1 
(July 11th till 16th 2011, with Miranda Tufnell in Charlbury-UK)
Staying at Middle Farm/Taston. Walk through the fields: commons, sheep, purple corn flowers, red poppies, a farmer and his two dogs.
Some ideas to start from:
  • Show Miranda ‘Repeating Distance’.
  • To work each week of research with one particular medium of writing: scroll, overhead, chalk board, PC, …
  • To work with the notions of ‘erasure’ and/or ‘overlay’ (cfr. palimpsest).
first day

Introducing Repeating Distance.

Major feedback from Miranda:
  • Right balance between ‘shared memory’ and using ‘the presence’ of the actual space.
  • Differences in rhythm between Lin and me. Use these rhythm changes.
  • To focus more on the duet than on the solos.