The second stage of the public testing is over. The best part of PSOYMP research process is its cyclical structure, which allows us to integrate learning from our experience from each stage. Without it we would have failed miserably. However, we now have – what we believe – a solid choreographic/digital system as a base to continue developing the content.
The entire system that we had build for the first stage was re-worked. The digital became a crucial and functional tool for us to solve problems rather than a decorative or unnecessary gadget.
The audience could favourite their stories and the most favourite stories were selected to be transformed into dance. The dancers responded more flexibly to the stories, creating short sequences based on the characters in the stories or on the active and/or the emotional content suggested by the stories.
This time we focused on talking the audience through short creative processes, developing movement together with sound/lighting/video environment into several mini performances throughout the evening. The audience was offered options choices based on our artistic judgement of the situation what might work. The audience, for example, voted democratically for which dancer’s movement material would be developed further, whether they wanted to make the material to travel, add more dancers or structure to it. They decided whether to build lighting for the piece and/or focus on the sound/video environment.
In my opinion, to develop PSOYMP the content and the pace further, it is time to test it with a variety of non-dance audience groups. Based on my observations from the feedback we have gained from the two events, it seems that those who are involved in creative industries prefer slower and deeper engagement with the creative process, whereas first-time attendees find a shorter, snappier pace more engaging. We need to clarify whether the audience’s role is to participate in the project or to collaborate with us. It is also time to start focusing outside the theatre space and focus on the public face of the project.