January 24, 2017

Making Wallflower: James Monaghan – Dancer (Part 1)

I always say I’m not a dancer.

I am told that this is NOT helpful.

But for me: it is.

For me the dances in Wallflower are not the most important

Maybe I would go as far to say the memories the performers are sharing are not the most important.

It’s the invisible dance, a dance of conversation.

A toing and froing

A back and forth

A bloody circle

A glance, a shuffle, a doubtful laugh, joy, anger, confidence, embarrassment and indeed the deceitful, life affirming contributions…

It’s complicated, it’s pretty simple.

Everybody in that room is in what can feel like a pinball machine of cause and effect. Like when you’re meeting someone new and the energy is brilliantly high: you share anecdotes, intimate stories and tales of your past to learn about each other, yet each shift of the eye, tremble of a cheek, curved inches of the lips effect how you share this past. A past deeply connected to the present.

The only difference here is that the performers are doing most of the talking

Yet the conversation is equal.

We meet each dance halfway, we create it together.

The unspoken lines of communication within the space that detail and shape each moment.

The best and worst example I can give is how in conversation and during the performance I tend to externalise the process of my thoughts as they occur. This exposes and influences how I get to a certain position. For example, I often say, feel and think things I don’t mean or believe at all. But revealing this line of thought to another person allows them to see how I got there. Often they experience more clarity than I, and it’s through their clarity that I get a better understanding of what it is I am going on about.

Once someone told me, if a pin drops it changes my direction; I would argue that this is absurd and I was always heading towards the pin and beyond.

Memory and time does something funny in Wallflower.

A fusion of past self, current self and the evolving self, shaped by the present moment.

Wallflower is a Tango

James Monaghan is a theatre maker, performer, live artist, writer, occasional dancer, competitor, grandson, lover and human. 

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