Assembly is a long-running choreographic work for art galleries and other spaces. The piece explores shifts in relation between individual and collective bodies. Its configurations respond to the presence of spectators in a quiet investigation of how other people can appear to us.
Assembly explores the politics of spectatorship as they relate to notions of publics. From a foundation of enquiry about what happens when people gather to encounter other (performing) bodies, its main research questions were: What can an assembly of bodies do other than serve established ideas of publicness and community? What else happens when people gather? Assembly engages choreography as a ‘privileged’ practice through which to explore the generative possibilities of bodies. It calls on the choreographic for its capacity to put distance between existing terms and images of social organisation in order to enter a realm of potentials for how bodies might relate.
Assembly has been presented eleven times, in six locations in the UK and internationally, from 2013-2016:
- Nottingham, UK (March 2013) – 1 performance
Nottingham Contemporary art gallery, as part of Dance4’s NottDance Festival
- Kuopio, Finland (October 2014) – 1 performance
Kuopio Public Library, part of the ANTI Festival of Contemporary Art
- Sydney, Australia (April 2016) – 3 performances
The Drill Hall, presented by Critical Path as part of the 20th Biennial of Sydney
- Helsinki, Finland (Oct, 2016) – 3 performances
Tanssin Talo (Dancehouse Helsinki)
- Leeds, UK (Oct 2016) – 1 performance
Leeds Public Library, part of Juncture festival by Yorkshire Dance
- Glasgow, UK (Nov 2016) – 2 performances
Each performance engages local people as performers, some of whom have no performance experience. They participate in 5-6 days of workshops to recreate the piece in preparation for its public performances. So far, Assembly has featured approximately 90 voluntary performers and hundreds as audience members.
Assembly has been presented in the context of Dance, Performance and Contemporary Arts festivals and programmes, noting the interdisciplinary nature of its form and reach.
Associated outputs include publications, print interviews, public discussions and conference presentations.
Details of associated publications:
Conibere, Nicola. (2017), ‘Some Bodies: Distance, separation and ambivalence in Nicola Conibere’s Assembly’, Performance Research “On Proximity”; Vol. 22, No.3
Burt, Ramsay. (2018), ‘Avoiding Capture’, Dance Research Journal; Vol. 50, No.3