SWAGGA introduced me to the idea of a score in relation to dance. As I understand it, a score is kind of like an instruction. It's also a way of describing choreography, like notation. A score can be a bit like a poem and exist in its own right.
I co-created scores as SWAGGA was being developed and made notes of them. Over the past couple of weeks I went to a couple of this guy Hamish McPherson's events, called All The Things That We Can Do. I wrote a score for someone taking a shower, to answer a question about what dirt means. Someone else wrote a score for me too. We danced our showers!
Scores are on my mind. I've been thinking about what choreographic scores for fat people, fat activists, might look like. As an experiment, here are some choreographic ideas for fat activists to improvise with. I thought about physicality; protest and agency; historicising fat activism and community as general themes. They can be danced solo or in a group (the third one is intended for a group). They can be long or short, repeated or not repeated, adapted for people's physical limitations and specialities. There can be music but I don't know what it is. The temptation would be for some pop culture thing that references fat; it would be good if people went for something that isn't corny or overexposed.
It would be a dream come true to see people doing and/or performing these scores, or developing others, maybe recording them, making them public. Would you like to have a go? How could this happen?
Fat Activist Score 1
Change the air around you by being.
Smack your thighs together, whomp fat against itself, against hands, against other parts of the body, against flat objects if you want to, but do not hurt yourself.
Create sweat and heat, warm up the place.
Stamp if you can, like Godzilla, Flabzilla, like a T-Rex, the Terminator or a Transformer. Create earthquakes.
Aim to make the building shake as you move.
If you have hair or clothes you can swish, swish them.
Aim for people to feel your presence without you touching them.
Allow yourself to vocalise your breath as you move.
Fat Activist Score 2
Make eye contact. Use your body to let people know that you are looking at them. Use gestures. Point. Look without shame. See.
Head shaking and other forms of saying no, refusing, interrupting and stopping things.
If the gaze is directed at you, move into it, make the most of it, give people something to look at.
Pay attention to the parts of the body where there is pain. Show what pain looks like. Tend to the pain, tend to others' pain.
Stop and rest. Start again.
Fat Activist Score 3
A group of people arranged in either a circle, a line, a square, a recognisable form of some kind. Standing, sitting, a mixture.
An originator makes a gesture and it is passed along, it moves back and forth. You can see it passing back and forth. People are still when they are not gesturing.
Another originator makes another gesture and, again, it moves back and forth in the group.
The gesture might pick up speed, people might lose interest in it and it becomes forgotten and lost.
Originators make more gestures which move through the group. Sometimes the gestures are adapted as they move. There are many gestures and many movements. Sometimes it gets really confusing.
An originator reinstates a gesture that was lost.
An originator invokes a gesture that they did not originate as though it belongs to them.
Different parts of the group become preoccupied with particular gestures and they do not move far, they stay. The group fractures along these lines.
The dance ends as the shape falls apart and everyone is caught up in the gestures, sometimes moving synchroniously with others, sometimes moving alone with their own gestures and original movements.