Katherine Hall is an interdisciplinary dance artist focusing her practice around issues of the fragility of time and interrelationships. Her work aims to capture unfinished and unsustainable moments of human experience through the medium of performance. In her performances she combines a variety of disciplines involving movement, voice, improvisation, writing and score-making. Hall obtained a First Class Honours BA Dance from De Montfort University and has continued on to the DMU MA Performance Practices, she is expecting to obtain a Distinction.
Hall’s performance, Fill in the ______ was well delivered, humorous, challenging and thought provoking. Throughout the performance she was completely in control and encouraged a somewhat shy audience to participate with a variety of actives looking at how we spend our time. Her performance centred around the notions of time running out, escaping us, things moving too quickly and the idea of relationships disappearing with time. It was beautifully delivered with a combination of different performance techniques. The moving performance forced the audience to consider how they spent their time and moreover why they spend their time like that. The undercurrent theme of relationships decaying was successfully interwoven with the dominant theme of time disappearing to produce a powerful and poignant connection between relationships and time.
Everything was shades of white and grey, combining together to create a surreal and dream like environment. The sound of egg timers ticking away constantly, tick-tock, tick-tock, Hall moved slowly, methodically in time to the trance music. We filed in and took our seats. Hall for the first time speaks into the microphone, german, then in english, never quite finishing what she started to say. She looked sad, but very much in control of her erratic performance style quickly switching from one thing to the next.
She asked us to write something we had done in the morning or the night before on post-its, it didn’t matter what it was, just something we wanted to share with the group. We placed our post-it on the board, either in the good or bad section depending on now we found the experience. Hall went through our responses, gently poking fun at how we spent our time. She exclaimed that we are all great time wasters before promptly moving to a demonstration of how to waste time. All of this was done against the background noise of the ticking egg timers. Questions began to appear in my mind, ‘Is everything we do a waste of time? Why does time move so quickly? Are the egg timers a metaphor?’ But before my mind could settle, Hall had moved on to the next thing, asking us look up at the ceiling because people don’t look up often enough and they miss things. Before quickly saying, “Don’t spend too much time looking up, you’re here to see me right,” She jumped onto part 7, but I didn’t think we had reached part 2. As if Hall had read my mind she explained, ”isn’t it funny you can give so much of your time to something and then it just disappears, “I think she was taking about relationships. “How can I get that back again?” She asks, before quickly moving onto giraffe eating leaves time and a variety of impersonations about now time could be spent.
She then invited us to think about the past, present and future. Are we always stuck in the present, a series of never ending ‘nows’ or are we forever in the past and future, never completely in the here and now. She threw in some more audience participation, a demonstration of how future intention, influenced by past experience makes our present. Again I was impressed with how she controlled the audience participation because this is notoriously difficult to do well. The topic was switched again, relationships, how do we define closeness. Is it physical proximity; is it the amount of time we spent together is it something else? “Am I your one and only?” asked Hall, a phrase which kept on repeating through the performance. The purpose of the table and its contents soon became apparent as Hall told us that she was going to make ‘good time’.
She picked up the tampons, because they’re good for tracking time, a peg, glue, a paintbrush, half a litre of her favourite songs, an activity to make her feel calm, bunny ears, seasoning, a loo brush and an item from someone you loved. She mixed all these ingredients together in her mixing bowl, taking about each one in turn in beautiful nonsense, whilst the egg timers started to go off. She explained that you need to mix it up because change is a good thing and they fry it for 2 years. “You might think that these people are your friends but they could take it away from you” She said. She passed out the remaining egg timers as they stated to go off more frequently, looking concerned and sad all the while.
Rating: 5/5 stars