Ann Carlson performs Blanket
On September 13th 2011, Ann Carlson held an informal showing of her research-in-progress for Ash and Artifact: What the Body Knows. Drawing from works she
choreographed over the course of her career, she performed six solos that were
not developed originally with the intent of being performed in one evening. FSU
College of Music’s Eppes String Quartet accompanied the performance live.
Among the pieces shared were Balcony, Blanket, Grass, Bird, Rodeo, and Premiere, which were created between 1984 and 2003 respectively. In keeping with her retrospective research, the performance collapsed time, as audience members were made conscious of her physically embodied history, as well as the works themselves (which also harbor histories) through the lens of the present. Carlson noted, “All of time exists in the present, and we have access to all of time in this moment.”
In addition to performing, Carlson shared contextual information on each solo and answered questions related to her research. For example, she revealed that she did not allow herself to reference any notes or media materials, while attempting to re- embody the works. Carlson noted that choosing to reconstruct the dances without aids challenged her to question where and how the body stores movement over time, as well as how a performer is able to access the information that has been stored.