Chris Schlicting on Body Madness
October 19, 2015
Chris Schlichting in conversation with Danspace Executive Director Judy Hussie-Taylor, from 2011′s Body Madness Platform catalogue:
On ‘body madness’:
“I pursue behavior of the body that cracks outside of my accepted daily conventional behavior, exploring the secret lives in the body that might not otherwise have permission to manifest.
I work at an office, and my movement will emerge when I walk down a private stairway or sometimes in the bathroom. Occasionally when I think I’m alone I’ll get caught in the act of a sweeping movement and I’ll try to transition to a benign looking stretch to disguise it. To me, madness in work can be perceived as a distance between a reality of the imagination and what others are willing to acknowledge or consider. I embrace the moments of awkwardness or danger in an idea being revealed: evocative shapes, a tone of the body that supports or contradicts some emotional resonance, or sensuality that is supple and then tense.”
On wit and absurdity as strategies:
“I follow ideas earnestly and try to be committed to them fully. Juxtapositions emerge that I find funny, but the work usually arrives at those moments organically. I do try to be cognizant of the moments that strike me as absurd or silly and then push them to see how the new angles inform an action.”
“I aim to move between physical manifestations and more abstract ideas and concepts, such as building an architecture of gestures that evaporates or shifts into something more energetic or emotional in the body. I find durational change compelling—I like the game of seeing something, identifying it, and then watching repetition re-define an intention or a physical identity.”
Catch Schlichting’s nationally-touring work Stripe Tease, “a dance, crafted from the elegant layering of patterns and shapes in space, like a pen-and-ink drawing sketched in real time” (Washington Post) this Thursday-Saturday at Danspace!
Photos by Ian Douglas.