Studio 405

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Because this trip was arranged quite late, it took a while for final ethics approval to come through from my university for things like formal interviews and video documentation. Up until then, this was the only picture I took. No human subjects!

There are many studios like this at the BDA – seven per floor (I think), on 7 floors: some are larger. It’s hot right now, and as you approach the building, you catch the sound of  49 pianos (give or take a Korean drumming class and a Danscross project or two) wafting out of the windows, and glimpse the slender backs and necks of resting dancers, catching the breeze.

Having got into the habit of not documenting the dancers directly, I’m minded to carry on in the same vein – by indirections find directions out, and all that. This is the view from studio 405.

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As they warm up at the barre, the dancers’ spines align with the tower (it’s closer than it looks in the picture), and their legs with the arm of the crane. Occasionally, while they are dancing, the crane swings in, right over the roof of the BDA – a graceful counterpoint, not unlike the relationship between this picture and the one below, in the posting ‘Another moment’.

So, as per ‘Notes on observing’, the process has its blindspots. But I guess this city/body relationship is the kind of thing an observer is predisposed to notice, born as it is of a wandering gaze, the sharpening and blurring of focus as one’s attention is by turns compelled and released. Marginalia? No more or less, I think, than the researchers themselves.

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