ways of forgetting in many ways spawned the genesis of FLOCK. This piece began with a few simple questions given to each dancer at the audition:Where are you going?
Would you take me with you?
Each of the seven performers who ultimately came together made up more than just a cast–they were a tribe, or a family. Something about their answers on that first day really resonated. Over the course of a five-month development process we asked ourselves: Why and how do we make ourselves lonely? What is human connection, and why is it so important and simultaneously so hard? Where does the desire to escape ourselves come from? And how does each person really feel about intimacy?
If we were going to make a piece about connection, then really connecting was imperative. There were many shared meals, a lot of laughter, some tears, many discoveries, and an enormous amount of vulnerability and risk that started at the audition and continued through to the end of the last performance and beyond.
Fourteen months after the first staging, the group reunited in New Orleans to re-work the piece, launch FLOCK, and start creating a film version of ways of forgetting. Keeping in the spirit of a tribe or a flock, the entire process of shooting became communal and shared. Dancers helped with technical production, costumes, and even camera work; everyone cooked together, slept together, and shared resources like cars, bicycles, yoga mats, and clothes. Communication (and miscommunication) between the group had its own language–even over social media–and the family grew as more people were drawn into the fold to share, create, and celebrate. One thing the process and the production of ways of forgetting does well is blur the line between performance and real life. Perhaps the most important question posed by the piece is this: When do we ever really stop performing?FLOCK will be continuing production on the film into 2016, and the seven original MOTHERFLOCKERS will be back in the rehearsal room further developing the piece for the stage, which we hope to premiere in New Orleans sometime in the new year.
Below is a brief video chat with two of the cast members, who share an internet romance both on and off stage, discussing the development of their character, its relationship to themselves, and how fine a line there is between the character one plays in real life and the character who manifests on stage.