A confrontation with a man cruelly throwing stones at a duck was the catalyst for Nicola Gunn’s solo work “Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster”. That encounter — and the misunderstandings inherent in it — inspired a piece in which communication, and miscommunication, take centre stage.
Interview: David Pallant
How do text and movement relate to each other in this piece?
I think the audience might try to make a connection between those two things at first, and wonder if the movement is meant to illustrate the text — and sometimes it might be. But I see it more as though the movement attacks the text — sometimes surreptitiously, but at other times with a more explicit aggression. The entire concept of the piece relies on this duet between text and movement. It was my intention that the movement be somehow unnecessary — unnecessary action. That’s the phrase I used to describe the violence of that man throwing stones at the duck.
Tell me about your process with choreographer Jo Lloyd ...
Our practice works with subconscious desires and the effect of language on the body. Jo is very attuned to my natural physicality, and has an incredible ability to take information, translate it, and then throw it back at me. While making this piece, we spent a considerable amount of time in the studio playing with the idea of unnecessary action, telling the story of the text over and over again to see how the body reacted, and also using the body to attempt to shift the energy of the text. Jo is also one of the funniest people I know, so the process is mainly one of pure joy and absolute pleasure. Pleasure is also a very distinct mode within the performance.