In that moment of hush, just before the curtain goes up, or buzz of lighting faders engaging begins, what is it that you expect? Is it the same as when you were on your way to the theatre tonight? Or as when you bought your tickets? Or when you first heard about the show? What do you know of what you are about to see? Names? Reputations? Past memories? Nothing other than a place on the bill next to something else?

Maybe none of this concerns you, but it seems to be at the crux of our process at present, particularly as this performance rests so delicately on another, one that exists in memory. Much of this is Bob’s memory, of course, and the muscle memory of Anne, Chris, Ken, Linda, and Paul, but also the memory of audience past. With what sort of gravity does that past pull this present one way or another? That being said (and this has been Bob’s concern for a couple of weeks), we can’t rely on that memory of audience past. What if they – you! – know nothing of what we are presenting, revisiting, and remembering? What has been a fairly constant effort has been both a wish and a worry about turning our process inside out, to reveal how the older performers transmit knowledge to younger ones, not only anecdotaly, but in the return to particular ways of doing and feeling through movement.

Audience expectations

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