Spy Steps: Day 1

Day One proper of the Spy Steps devising/get in: Simon, Craig and I did a day at Warwick Arts Centre a couple of months ago and started to sketch out plans and possibilities, now the serious work begins.

The piece starts to form itself as the only clear logical outcome once a host of competing desires and imperatives are pitted against each other. There are architectural features of the Arts Centre that demand to be used and those place practical constraints on us. There are narrative and choreographic incidents that nominate themselves for a place somewhere within the piece. There are visual ideas, which suggest themselves for inclusion for their own sake but need to be bound into the piece. Our narrative is the algorithm which pulls these variable together to equal Spy Steps.

We have a confident swagger with the ‘Steps Series’ now. With Dance Steps at MAC last year we learnt a bit about how the idea works. Now, at WAC, we have a more open building with larger surfaces to work on. Choosing to make a genre piece has given us a host of existing references to draw on, short-hands audiences will immediately recognise and allow us to be more playful and ambitious. We have improved vinyl handling technique, a better sense of what is possible and, perhaps most importantly, we now have our own vinyl cutter.

It’s a relatively expensive piece of kit but as precision cut vinyl is the show’s primary media it seems like a sensible investment. Previously Simon’s designs have taken a minimum of 24 hours to come back from cutting shop, now we can do our own in minutes. This allows us to be more flexible, ambitious and experimental. We probably only need to do two or three more gigs before the machine has paid for itself and of course in the worst case scenario that we don’t get any more gigs, at least we can improve signage @ A E Harris.


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