‘Wonderful nonsense and exciting insight’ with Andrew Morrish and Humphrey Bower

Andrew Morrish / Humphrey Bower Collaborations 2 - Text / Movement / Improvisation / Script. Image: STRUT Dance.

‘Wonderful nonsense and exciting insight’ with Andrew Morrish and Humphrey Bower

This past week, improvisational artist Andrew Morrish returned to STRUT Dance to co-present and facilitate Collaborations 2 – Text / Movement / Improvisation / Script. The workshop sees Morrish collaborate with renowned WA Actor/Director Humphrey Bower to explore a diverse set of relationships between movement and text.

With one artist coming from a background in theatre and the other in dance, the artists expressed intrigue and excitement to share how those practices collide with dancers and theatre artists alike.

You can catch Andrew Morrish presenting tonight at Ausdance WA’s Networking Night II – Making: Improvisation and Performance and performing this weekend with STRUT Dance in TERROR INCOGNITA.

We asked workshop participant Eliza Sanders to report back on her experience so far.

STRUT Dance Collaborations 2 with Andrew Morrish and Humprey Bower – Days 1 to 5

Wonderful nonsense and exciting insight. Those are the things that come to my mind when I think about the first five days in the studio with Andrew Morrish and Humphrey Bower.

Since Wednesday last week I’ve been exploring the use of text and movement in improvisation with a varied group of artists from around Australia. Starting each morning with a class, Andrew Morrish provides us with disconcertingly simple tasks from which emerge curious, hilarious and joyous experiences. Moving and making sounds which allow various levels of logical comprehension for those viewing. It has opened up conversations about the balance between content and expression, narrative and ambiguity. What can voice and text bring that movement can’t and vice versa? What does their combination generate?

Andrew is constantly encouraging us to ‘find our pleasure’ – to become aware of what brings us joy and let that inform our decisions. I’ve been spending a lot of time smiling and laughing.

Each day Andrew and Humphrey have performed an improvised duet for us followed by an open discussion about what took place. They’re using this as an opportunity to explore the potential of their new collaborative relationship and it is fascinating to observe how they negotiate with each other in the space. Even more fascinating is hearing them recap their experience with reference to the morning’s tasks and the participants’ questions. For me it is particularly curious as my primary collaborator comes from a theatre background and I come from dance. Not dissimilar to Andrew and Humphrey so their communications are actively informing a language that I hope to cultivate.

The afternoons have been dedicated to having the participants explore their own text they have brought to generate scores to perform. The shift to performing for the rest of the group in the afternoon has allowed insight into how having an audience changes and informs content and expression. There has been a real sense of freedom and support in the group so participants have explored some quite varied approaches and I’m enjoying learning from our differences.

Excited for the next five days!

– Eliza Sanders

Go to Part 2 of 2 (Days 6 – 11)