development process II

daily journal 08 - 12 October



9:00 – 10:30 - WARM – UP.


13:30 -14:30pm - Lunch break

15.00 – 16:00pm - Comments on the presentation.

It was difficult to choose since all the works were good. There are some people who will be in Ouagadougou and some who won't and this also influenced the choice. Only 4 Kenyans can go Jackson, Jared and 2 others.

There were 4 projects that had greatly developed.


Work done in 2009 and Jemo Mweu was involved in the improvisation. SHIFT CENTRE.

After designing the transparent backdrop, the piece had to tour and he as a sceneographer had to tour as well. Also he would receive pictures of the space and then depending on the size of the space he would redo the plan and decide on the number of audience because if there is to many people and it multi directional it can cause trouble.

Two problems were encountered;

  • Light
  • Paint.

So we kept the screens but the light became the paint.

When you lit it – it became a performance space and there was general lighting to ensure the audience wasn't in the dark.

The audience would gather in various places so each spectator chose their performance. There were girls who liked a particular dancer. People smoking in a corner. Children who would dance when the light went down. There was a very wide range of audience attitudes.

E.g. if a performer sat beside an audience member and then they are being watched by the audience since it became interesting in terms of who is audience and who is the performer. The transparencies were dividers and they were also mirrors.

Dispositive – you construct a strategy to get to make a possibility in order to destroy it.


Using sound that you would not normally use. Scale. How scale varies with proximity.


9:00 – 09:45 - WARM – UP.


  • Choosing space to work within
  • Making signs
  • Gestures
  • Movement
  • Individually and as groupings

10:00 – 10:53.

Each participant has a minute to build a series of signs.

  1. Seemed more like dance. Mentor comment – it was a sequence as opposed to a sign.
  2. Mentor comment – seemed like a sign.
  3. Mentor comment – an example how movement can become a sign.
  4. Mentor comment – What functions as sign? What works well and what works less. There is use of a lot of effort, which interferes with the sign. Also, use of direction, was that deliberate or not?
  5. It is around sign and posture. Mentor comment – Posture is not necessarily sign. A sign is consisted of posture, gesture, movement but a sign can consist of just a posture.
  6. Sawa some signs in the dance. Saw moving signs. Saw a succession of signs. Something I can follow after even if it is not there. She understood that it was to be sign in continuous and not crystallised sign. Mentor comment – It was different from an earlier one because she managed to extend the sign. Sign is not necessarily one gesture.
  7. Saw sign in different states – she repeated the same sign but the state was changing. Three signs in different states in continuity. Same thing. Reasons - Chose three actions and saw what they could do with those actions. Hair, crawling on wall and . ... The foot movement was meant to be a transition. AS she continues with feedback, she wonders what is the relationship between sign and dance? Is dance a succession of signs? Dance can be a series of signs. Mentor comment – An interesting way and solution to use the sign. What are the stages of that? Where they signs or making an improve? So it evolved to another level. All movement should be necessarily. Are the signs generating the situation and we are reading into it? Entire performance can be one big sign. Sign is two way. Half is on the stage and half is owned by the person perceiving it. Signs can consist of very little things. Think of intention. Play with many things; Find the things that are efficient in bringing out your piece. What you're building on stage is not limited on what you have in your head – it takes on a life of its own. In making the sign, you may discover part of what you want to say. AS you generate sign, it could stimulate what is going on in your head.

Mentor comment: we are going to do practical experiment on how to use sound and associate it with movement. We will also try use movement and see how it changes when other music is introduced. The first activity will be listening to the sounds then have presentations as individual or as groups.

1. Piece I

The first piece is an electronic piece. PIECE ANALYSIS One of the participant said that 'at the beginning, the loop of the piece is not perceived'. Mentor comment: 'in relations to the text, most people perceive the low base as it plays'. The group watched one of the members do a piece with an accompanied sound. Comments: 'I constructed more in the direction of the music unlike the predominant'. I think he responded to it physically though somehow to the rhythmic event of the sound. We dint hear enough of the music to be able to associate and improvise. Mentor comment: It also depends on memory, how fast can you commit the sound to memory. The relationship can also be just of an element of music. It is through listening that can allow one to focus his or her attention. The music is believing and the dancer is the one with the eyes.

2. Piece II

This was a more abstract piece. Mentor: this is a more abstract piece than the previous one. It is not split up and has a different structure. In this kind of sound, the reversed sound creates a sucking effect. It relates to a real chaotic rhythm. After the performance, the participant had this to say: 'the energy is a bit raising and chaotic'.

3. Piece III

'I heard some sound and thought it was part of the actual sound. It integrated well with the exterior'. Mentors comments: Notion of volume makes a huge difference. Softer sound makes a perception difference. It is interesting when someone is searching inside the music rather than dancing. Movement has nothing to do with music but it is interesting how the two work together. The simplest exercise is destruction, remove the music, use the body, and vice versa. Destruction makes it easy to re-construct.


The use of one kind of music/ sound.

Here the performers got to wear head phones and dance to the music or sound provided while the others watched as the listened to different kind of music. Mentor comment: seeing someone dance to music filters how we listen to it. It allows one to distinguish the relationship between sound and stage.


The group was instructed to use the sound –Tone- to create a dance with their eyes closed. 'We could feel sound from out was interfering with space'. Said one of the performers. Mentor: It is interesting when you are searching and doing movement that you already know. It is also equally important to stay to true to the moment, to the research. The tone played slowly with micro variations.


The frog exercise. This involved all frequency put together to form a block. COMMENTS: It felt like it was accelerating. Even when still, there was something building inside me. The ending felt like an echo. As it raised nearly the end, I continued dancing at the same pace. The pressure began and as it rose, I felt like it was occupying the space. I felt like the sound forced me to move. I find it quite enriching since it focuses on finer details we tend to ignore as dancers. Mentor: You can't make the body move but the sound makes the movement possible. As a dancer, working with moving air is encouraged. The notion of air, light and sound creates physical pressure leading to displacement. In most circumstances, sound makes the performer share the same experience with the audience.

13:30 -14:30pm - Lunch break

Participants were grouped and begun to practice on the pieces they would present.

What is the subject?

The intention of the process this afternoon?




Continuation of constructing and organising signs. When does something achieve the status of sign? Is it one gesture or a combination or several or movement? Directions Levels. Displacement.


DUET – Neema Bagamuhunda/ Jackson Atuloh Mentor – were there two different strategies, were there two ways of doing?


  • It was the same – in relation to the task.
  • Neema was confronting/facing the audience.
  • There was a connection between the signs even when they were apart.
  • If the first sign was Neema pulling Jackson and after they were not necessarily doing the same thing and at one point she didn't know whether there were two people or one.
  • Was Neema pulling Jack part of the sign?
  • It felt different when Neema was facing the audience.

Mentor comment – A collective timeframe / signature was established by Neema at the beginning. As the exploration developed Neema continued in the longer time and Jackson introduced the shorter time. As the exploration progressed their time signatures diverged in relation to the collective time established at the beginning.

2 – Nadege Amatogbe

3 – Jared Onyango

Mentor comment on Nadege – Where was the sign? There are many signs in it. It seems to be made of things that are not the status of sign. The one at the end is not even static – can you call it sign?

  • Does this mean they were not signs? An attitude can be a sign.
  • I do not agree with Jared. What makes a sign is the attitude but the activity did not make it look like a sign.
  • I think that creating the absence or presence is a sign.
  • My opinion is that creating a situation without physical presence is a sign.

Mentor comment – The sign was a state. Sometimes how one executes gesture or movement can pass as a sign.

4 – Mentor comment – What was sign?

Walking across, taking the T-shirt, hiding behind the pillar, going off stage – are all signs.

  • - She got the impression that what makes something a sign is an attitude and therefore what she saw in Jared's exploration didn't have a sign attitude.

Mentor comment - But sometimes things that would not be signs can be made signs by the way they are executed. Is the act of disappearing a sign?

  • - For Hauwa Jared needed to build something before disappearing – then you would have a sign.
  • - But you can create a situation without showing us that you are…

Mentor comment - Maybe question is did he did not establish a context, a convention.

  • - Adam comment - In my opinion, the situation has a clear impact for which we do not need context in order to recognise. His disappearance is a very clear sign. It's like when the last bus leaves you – it's obvious you are left.
  • - Adam, If there were two people on stage and one just left and the other followed it is clear what is going on, we can read sign.
  • - From his perspective – the walk is not a sign. The picking a t-shirt is a sign and the disappearance is a sign.
  • - Is sign a situation or a situation a sign?
  • - Signs create situations.
  • - A situation is a product of a sign but the situation itself is a sign.
  • - From my angle then, a sign can be what I make.

Mentor comment – there is a feeling that a situation is a product of sign. However, isn't the whole situation a sign, so that situation can be composite sign? A sign is anything whose meaning we are agreed on. It is true that signs include generated meaning. We receive meaning from the different signs.
In a sign, there is meaning and convention.

- It appears to me that a sign is anything and anything is a sign.

Mentor comment – Then anything we do is sign? - From traditional meaning I know a sign is anything that is meant to communicate something - but I get the impression that what you are talking about is that anything is a sign.

Mentor comment – Is it that a sign is something that everybody has agreed on. - So does it mean it has no meaning?

Mentor comment – meanings generate?

  • - What of a sign you do not know? And you cannot connect to anything
  • - Is it a sign only when we all know it or read it the same way? Do we all reads signs the same way?
  • - I think signs are have dimensions.
  • - Like the blind men and the elephant – so we see them differently.
  • - And as soon as I give it a meaning it becomes a sign.
  • - In Kinshasa there signs that show the destination of matatus
  • - I think signs are seen differently. I get the meaning as per the interpretation.

Mentors comment – in conclusion, it depends on context. Signs don't necessarily mean the same thing in different places or times. When it is not in context it can become gesture – not sign. When you cross the space, it is a gesture. That action is a gesture a gesture?

  • - If I hear people, crying somewhere and I think somebody has died . . . .
  • - Can a sound be a sign?
  • - Signs exist even without you being there. There has to be something that makes a gesture and/or prompts you to make a gesture.
  • - AS soon as there is communication, there is a sign.
  • - When you're speaking to somebody, it's a sign.

Mentor comment – There are involuntary events that produce signals that somebody may interpret as signs.
- Is a walk a sign? What is the difference between gesture and a sign?

Mentor comment – in a theatre, performance representation, everything becomes sign, The Audiences role is the one of receptor and that transforms the action into sign. When I slip and fall on stage by accident, it's not a sign because I am not the author of the action, so there is a notion of authorship in signing.
- There is a walk on the street and a walk on the stage. A walk on the stage has representational purpose such as bring out character so it is a sign.
- Adam, Stage itself is a continuation of life. Nothing exists on its own there is a continuation from street to stage and on and on.
- Can we say that sign is voluntary or involuntary action?
- Adam, Slipping and falling is a dramatic sign – very large.

Mentor comment – And what is that supposed to signal?
- Gravity?
- Slippery floor? In dispositive, to every rule, there are exceptions.

12:45 – 14:00pm Group activities

Split into groups of three.

Construct and organise signs and evolve around them. During this moment, one was asked to:
- Listen
- Observe
- Read

What is happening to the space, build something in the place and space?

The rule was none of the performers should be on stage for more than 2 minutes. It was reduced to a minute. The next stage had all the performers on stage - cumulatively one by one and they remained on stage. The third activity involved creating three signs in 15 seconds in relations to the other performer on stage. Later one by one began to get of stage. The next activity involved getting back on stage randomly still working with signs.

Mentor comment: The accumulation of the three signs and how it leads to multiple big sign. It is by coincide how you people related to the situations of how the things were going on. It's not as if you are doing something with someone, the connection are very independent, it's just that the space made them seem connected.

YANN - At first, I tried something with the sound that did not function too well. Therefore, I looped three elements and added something with speech and if by coincidence if some of you listened, then the actions and signs were kind of associated or dissociated. It's a bit of indication of how in real time can create something in relations to the task.

How was the Music?

- Even though the music was random, I could still get some rhythm to work with.
- I didn't notice that the music was not working but I chose the opposite direction of where the music was coming from and it worked for me.

To what extent did you use the three signs?

To get to understand this and explore, the dancers went into groups.

14:00 -15:00pm Lunch break.
15:00 – 16:30 - Group work.
Work process on the pieces.


10:00am – 10:50am. - WARM UP.

Warm-up exercises led by Jared and Hauwa Sangare.

Jared: 'The warm up sessions I led this morning was a group of simple exercises that was for awakening the body, senses and to connect us to the surrounding. The exercises enable us to generate energy from within, warm and prepare our bodies for physical movements and mental work'.


The mentor took the group through a recap and briefed them on tomorrow's program. 'Tomorrow we come to and end of the process and we are going to share with the audience. This Nairobi phase is the conception process of the ideas. The presentation is opening doors and sharing the process while it is still fragile. It is really about sharing the essential thing with the audience. It is about the three or so images of the idea, work never ends, and it is a process. Today we will try and do a dress rehearsal about the same time 6:00pm and 7:00 pm at the same me as tomorrows presentation, it will probably spill over. This afternoon, you will work again and before the dress rehearsal, we will take a moment to review the work. Yann will focus more on the projects that will not go to Ouagadougou since they end here. Since it is not possible to go further with with you all on the development of the ideas I hope to work with a number of the groups and individuals to make them complete. The two projects on which I will work will serve as an example of direction which the rest could learn from.


How do we make choices between sound and music in relation to emotions?

Mentor comment:

Music generates emotions differently, with sound these emotions can also be generated. I don't have anything against music, the choice in a performance depends on what you want to communicate e.g. Michael Jackson's Music evokes stereotypes of place, time, etc. It is in this sense that we have to be conscious on the choice of music, not because we like it. For example, when you dance to the music during this morning's warm-up session, most if you characterized the dance as traditional. Music helps build what we want to say or express. It is about being in control or mastering the different elements in relations to the idea we are trying to communicate. During yesterday's discussion on the notion of signs, I realized that as a performer, doing signs produces a signal and the audience is the receptors of these signals. So anything, any sign we do on stage becomes a sign to them and it is for this reason we have to be clear since we are generating signs and must avoid confusing the audience. This applies to all the different aspects of performance on stage. This underlines the need to make appropriate choices. Those leaving for Ouagadougou, Yann will be available via internet, skype, email to assist to avoid leaving the unfinished pieces and abandoning the owners. One of the participants had this to say on behalf of the others – 'We have learnt a lot and believe that Yann has given us quiet a lot. It is up to us to make good use of it as we progress'.

Yann - I am still available in case you guys need help.


The three signs each of you worked on for the past two days, we shall cumulate and decummulate Mentor comments: As we do the signs more and more. Do not dramatize the signs or make them mechanical.


Find moments of suspension with the sign. Mentor: How does your action change your space? Jared's shirt gives a good example. How his action changes the space. He uses concrete action which is differed from danced movement.


Use something from your project – an image or sign. It is not the whole but a fragment of it as you work with signs. Signs need to be simple and clear as well as the transitions in between.


Rehearsal of the pieces in preparation for the dress rehearsal. This involved consultation with the mentors 17:20pm- Planning the order of presentation and duration 16:00 – 17:30pm Dress rehearsal.


11:45am – 1:30pm


Discussion on how to make the routine function for the audience. Proposition – to be in a circle or semi-circle – form a pattern. Start with short sign sequence for about 2 minutes, once the signs are established and the first piece begins. Off-stage positions are located to the right and left. Developed sign sequence at the end of the piece. Feedback on dress rehearsal - Opiyo Okach


  • - Adam tended to disappear into the graffiti on the wall behind him. His dark clothes against the graffiti did not work. Alacoque's choice to locate the piece against the wall was a good idea but he strangely did not take into consideration the effect the deeply coloured graffiti would have against Adams dark cloths? Suggested plain white clothes to contrast with the graffiti.
  • - It may have worked in the supermarket but in this context Neema replacing Adam seemed redundant.
  • - Coin tossing gesture remained imitative and play-acted

Destine Violé:

Adjaratou's expression of the difficulty to communicate by doing a mimetic of talking was a classic example of illustrative narrative making that was characteristic of many of the dancers. I suggested that instead of doing pseudo mime she should physicalize and verbalise the difficulty to communicate.


  • - Neema leans forward to listen to the radio, but the gesture suggests one bending over in prayer to the radio? I suggested she pursue this idea – obsession with news, worshiping the news…
  • - I proposed spacing ideas between the performers
  • - Placing the newspaper placard in front of the speakers was an interesting way of masking the speakers while providing a stand for the newspaper. This was efficient and symbolic of media dispositive.
  • - The performers running in curves is still awkward. It is difficult to see how it advances Jared's idea.
  • - Jared did not use much of the material he ha used in the last showing
  • - Nadege's radio animator is interesting

Behind the Scenes:

  • - The music suggested by Yann adds an interestingly enigmatic frame to Sarah's piece
  • - Jack's sprinting on the spot is an interesting gesture
  • - The use of space is too confined to upstage as if the performers were weary to come forward
  • - Razolo is shouting either directly at Jack or the audience. To open up the meaning I suggest that he deliver his text while walking along the periphery.

Et si:

- Jared murmuring in a low voice almost inaudibly as if chanting is a good idea but I suggest in order to preserve authenticity he should not project but have his voice miked instead.
- it is not clear what function the duo between Atulo and Nadege os serving for Gody's proposition. They seem more like a couple in a love relationship.


  • - good beginning with bodies on the floor
  • - good contact work but needs to develop more on the floor before rising


  • - Ulawi beging with a bizzare ogling on of the eyes followed by guttural vocalising. I'm not sure what function this serves
  • - Ulawi needs to go beyond bizzareness to find depth and contrast
  • - He also seems to be travelling about without constructing his piece in the space
  • - where is the placement of signs in space

I'm reading from a paper with nothing written on:
- the presentation was less interesting than the last time, the performers seem to have lost the dynamics between them

The afternoon session involve the following activities:

  • • Rehearsal for the different pieces
  • • A warm up routine
  • • Session with the mentor that involved discussion and comments of the different pieces.

All this was in preparation of the performance.

6:30pm – 8:00pm


The audience present during the performance was about a hundred persons. The third piece 'separationdans dans le monde de la separation' got more engaging when three members of the audience joined him on stage. The open space was engaging as it had most of the audience join the dance floor.