Artist Preswyl / Artist in Residence

21/06/20 – 27/06/20

Charlie Ashwell

‘All The Way Down’ is a new research project, which poses dancing as a vehicle for thinking about abolition. The notion of abolition can refer to the abolition of gender, the abolition of capitalism, the abolition of prisons or the police, and more. All of these abolitionist movements have in common a desire for and belief in the possibility of a total transformation in the present state of things. I’m interested in how dancing enacts transformations which are as ambitious in scale and spirit as these movements.

The title ‘All The Way Down’ contains 2 metaphors that help me think about abolition – which I will use to generate scores for dancing:

1) Burning: an intense process of material transformation which emits vast amounts of heat and light and leaves no trace of what was previously present.

2) Appliqué: the process of sewing one piece of fabric on top of another – constructing or transforming something through a potentially infinite process of addition.

I am drawn to the metaphor of burning partly because of its associations with insurgent political movements – take the recent burning of cop buildings in the US, for example: where images of buildings in flames demand we imagine the total transformation of our society, beyond the need for police or prisons.

The metaphor of appliqué, on the other hand, makes me think about how identities are built and desires are made possible through addition – there is something liberatory in the notion that adding layers to an existing thing may eventually transform it entirely.These 2 metaphors will help me generate scores for dancing which both construct new kinds of presence and transform old ones. If we are constructed as individuals and as a collective, “all the way down”, we can be transformed; again and again and again.’

 

 

Charlie is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, dramaturg and producer. They make and perform their own work, as well as help other people make work, most recently as dramaturg and producer with Seke
Chimutengwende and Es Morgan. They teach dance technique, choreography and improvisation at the University of Roehampton, where their teaching practice focuses on dialogue, autonomy and imagination.

 

 

Prosiect ymchwil newydd yw ‘Yr Holl Ffordd i Lawr’ sy’n defnyddio dawnsio fel cyfrwng i feddwl am ddiddymu. Gall y syniad o ddiddymu gyfeirio at ddiddymu rhywedd, diddymu cyfalafiaeth, diddymu carchardai neu’r heddlu, a mwy. Mae pob un o’r mudiadau diddymu yma’n dymuno ac yn credu yn y posibilrwydd o drawsnewidiad llwyr yn y drefn sydd ohoni. Mae gen i ddiddordeb mewn sut mae dawnsio’n cyflwyno trawsnewidiadau sydd mor uchelgeisiol o ran graddfa ac ysbryd â’r mudiadau hyn.

Mae’r teitl ‘Yr Holl Ffordd i Lawr’ yn cynnwys 2 drosiad sy’n fy helpu i feddwl am ddiddymu ac y byddaf yn eu defnyddio i greu sgorau ar gyfer dawnsio:

1) Llosgi: proses ddwys o drawsnewid materol sy’n allyrru llwythi o wres a golau
heb adael unrhyw olion o beth oedd yno gynt.

2) Appliqué: y broses o wnïo un darn o ddefnydd ar ben y llall – gwneud neu
drawsnewid rhywbeth drwy broses o ychwanegu a all fod yn ddiderfyn.

Dw i’n cael fy nenu at y trosiad o losgi, yn rhannol oherwydd ei gysylltiadau â mudiadau gwleidyddol gwrthryfelgar – er enghraifft, llosgi swyddfeydd yr heddlu’n ddiweddar yn yr UD, lle mae delweddau o adeiladau ar dân yn mynnu ein bod yn dychmygu trawsnewidiad llwyr i’n cymdeithas, y tu hwnt i’r angen am na heddlu na charchardai.

Mae’r trosiad o appliqué, ar y llaw arall, yn gwneud i mi feddwl am sut mae hunaniaethau’n cael eu ffurfio a dyheadau eu galluogi drwy ychwanegu – mae ’na rywbeth rhyddhaol yn y syniad y gall ychwanegu haenau at rywbeth ei weddnewid yn llwyr yn