a dog may or may not have barked An improvised durational performance by musician + composer David Somló and movement artist Alexandra Baybutt
‘A brilliant performance. I am glad I was invited. Being there made me completely forget that I was in England far away from home. Thank you both for the experience.’ 19/12/2013
‘…Do you know what, when I left, I went to the other room and locked the door and started to do like you, improvise, I like that very much.’ 19/12/2013
‘…Twenty minutes of everything and nothing in an exuberant being alive-ness. Then I left. I shook my head to the sky and rain on my walk home.’ 26/01/2014
Read Lizzy Le Quesne’s response to the January 14 performance below (originally published on the now ended choreograph.net):
A Dog May or May Not Have Barked
Alexandra Baybutt (dance) and David Somló (electric guitar)
35 Marylebone High Street
Friday 24th January 2014
A handful of chairs are offered, facing different ways, some pretty much face to the wall, others at an angle, some into the space.
I sit against a mirror, my back half open to the space. My eyes distinctly resolute to rest, on what is there before me
A backwards version of the world
Scratched, old school, parquet floor – a relic and an iconic memoir in itself
Metal window frames
Duff and dirty creamy painted walls
Thoughtfully placed carpet squares sit at twisted angles at the feet of each chair… we had to remove our shoes. Which served as much to promote our comfort and receptiveness as to protect the pretty hard and uninviting floor
I was glad of the carpet then, to land on, to extend my being in the space
Beginning seeing ‘nothing’ and then it turns ,imperceptibly into much. As I settle into being there. Into the quiet rhythm of this doing. Like eyes adjusting to the dark
Gaze wanders, not directed in the obvious places we think,…the play, and fun, of using my peripheral vision, invited to make interesting choices about our viewing.
I may look directly at the quietly moving figure
or at her reflection, sometimes doubly or triply reflected before it meets my sight line
Soundtrack drifts, like film music, unconsciously, revealing what we see… the repetitive zigzag rhythm of the parquet blocks, the rungs of ancient radiator, the merky worlds, differently coloured in reflection
Through the looking glass
It feels like New York in the seventies, (known to me only through the lens, and myth… but palpable in its import)
This warm and under-polished surface of a moment, valuable, and set amidst the city, on a rainy night
To(S)o thin, that bony body under t-shirt cotton layers, …an extremity.
Apparently so little ….going on… the courage
But, and with my co-operation, it grows and morphs
I know not to expect a narrative
I only see a brave and impassioned, committed pair. Ali, not succumbing to spectacle. Trusting and challenging us to trust the moment, keep on looking.
Free to move.
Alex Crowe… same name/ same smile… same emaciation….same humble truthfulness
She looks amused …at herself, the music, the memory?
A dance of uncertainty, a dance of being
Not acted but wrought
but with the framing… crouched upon the window….steeped in narrative
Old Englishness: design, conformity, radical intent. Gently breaking structures. Feeling her way out of the expected
Shoulder blades rippling, is the closest that she gets to virtuosity. A body, live with movement
A chapter break. Light change. Seat change. A slow beginning. I wish I didn’t have to leave just then
Silence settling, trust emerging. Quiet interaction. I wished to get up and move. I want to dance with her.
The joy of it, the breadth of it.
Seeing consciously. Listening unconsciously. Others would do differently.
I see myself, another guy. Quiet. Voyeuristically I watch him watching
Alex creeps and dances imperceptibly from here to there. Did she just cross the space? I see her suddenly beside me.
In pots. One I assumed the cleaner’s touch. Left centrally on the windowsill. Then notice one by one, others dotted here and there
i long to touch them. Sense their tiny incandescent presence, another audience, another world,
casting connections across and through the space
Will this be taken further? Should it?
Could it? Of course, but I feel priviledged to see it, to have seen it, here.
From nothing to many things. Stories. Memories. Opens a map to my own mind, my history. Of upright, insightful, crippled Englishness.
Of the way that things should be, and are.
The title evokes memory, obliquely, at a glance. Trying to recall, via senses, something that was significant
The expansive validity of some small things