For the average person it would have been the most humilating experience that one could dream of however for the average contemporary dance artist it was normal- no audience!
We performed our piece six times over three hours and for the first two shows the audience were scarce. The first comprised of 5 photographers and the second started with one lady that we flyered, who disappeared into thin air once we made our way up the hill! And a man who shouted at us during the show to 'turn off the noise, if you are not listening to it' and when I used my new found ventriloquist skills to tell him that 'we are in fact in the midst of performance (kind sir)', he laughed and spat at us 'HA, A PERFORMANCE, do you hear that Ophelia (I just made that name up) they are performing?' (cue laughter).
After a while he came back demanding to see our license. In fairness to Kirsty and I, we nearly made it through to the end like pure professionals but had to stop at that. It was too much and although it was turning into an interesting trio, we felt that as we had no-one else watching (apart from his daughters Ophelia and Beatrice who looked on in horror at their grump of a dad) the world wasn't losing out on too much.
In hindsight, I think our main problem was that we didnt bring an entourage to be the audience instigator. By the third/fourth show we had it sorted though. We made sure everyone knew we were about to do a show so had a nice group starting with us.
Site specific work is interesting because every show is so different, especially the site we chose as it was spread out over a hill, with a bench on either end. We had no rope to corner off our area so people sat down all over our space, which was actually kind of nice as they became part of the scenery. We wanted the piece to be kind of ghostly to create an awareness of who else has occupied the space in the past and who shares the space with you now and you don't realise. So having extra people there that we could dance around helped us with that feeling. People who just wandered up to watch us would come in mid piece and sit down on one of the benches. That was a true test of our improvisation skills and again we found a new expertise - telepathy. We needed to read each other's mind's of what to when we had no bench- especially when the next section was THE contact bench duet!
Next week we head to Ireland to Maximum Exposure Festival in Ireland. We are going to do a variation on this duet and the site is very different. I look forward to seeing what kind of trials and tribulations we are put through there!!