Returning Choreographic Fellow | Oct 28 - Nov 15, 2015
Morgan Thorson’s current project, Still Life, is a dance installation that uses extinction as research material. Taking this subject from a scientific reality and into the realm of physical imagination implicates human mortality, the life span of the dancer, and the dynamic qualities of death including inertia, stillness and decay. Specifically, Thorson is investigating the temporal and physical elements found in both performance and death, such as anticipation, endurance, totality (or embodied aliveness), survival, comfort, absence, stillness and decomposition. From her research, Thorson will create a long-form, ensemble choreography that investigates dance as a living and dying thing.
During her residency, Thorson will continue to compose a dance cycle—a looping pattern of choreography—that very gradually breaks down over time. This form uses repetition and subtraction as a mark of time to ritualize what is gone and create something new. The cycle repeats until it disappears, so that the choreography itself is actually dying. Thorson will also work with composing moving stillness, studying the way a still body decays over different intervals of time. Both of these segments allows the piece to extend or diminish in duration, so that it can adapt to a variety of performance conditions. Additionally, Thorson will research the spontaneity of real-time directing, signaling different sequences or modes of moving to the performers. Her goal is to cultivate extreme alertness in the performers and create something from nothing.
While at MANCC, Thorson will work with School of Dance students, teaching an epilogue to the developed material. She plans to meet with Religious Studies, Anthropology and Cultural Theory scholars to examine the cultural embodiment of loss, mourning and rituals for the dead.