On her website, Deborah Hay talks about the adaptation process of her solo works, describing the roles an interpreter takes. Although my process differs, I connect strongly with certain qualities that she describes in the role of a performer, or executant as she states.
“…Executant means “putting into effect the exact demands” which underlie the practice of performance of my movement material. Each dancer must be a conscious executant. At the same time the virtues of “fidelity and sympathy” with my choreographic preferences has to be felt. I run a risk every time my dances are performed because a competent practice of the work depends on the unforeseeable and imponderable factors that make up the performer’s virtues of fidelity, sympathy, and streaming perceptual challenges.” — Deborah Hay (2011)
With Deborah’s term “executant” there is a slight contradiction with the unforeseen that I am interested in, as “executant” has a slightly negative connotation of executing orders. In her work, she often explores the impossible and contradictory. I strongly resonate with the idea of the conscious performer. This is important for me and my work as I am dependant on the performers mutual trust and fidelity. There must be common understanding, appreciation and rigor in the practice of the work. I connect with the risk Deborah Hay mentions: that when working with unpredictable specificity in a performance, there is a certain amount of reliance and trust to be placed in the performers. The work demands their presence— to be alert and dependable in their executions. For me, this is where the performance occurs, through the actions of working, exploring, and committing.