Marcel Duchamp once famously described the creative process as a cooperation between artist and onlooker; cultivated by the former and completed by the latter’s ensuing perception.
Only after the hours of artistic distillation had passed over from incubation to observation, he concluded, could the work truly be deemed whole- a notion Kate Weare is examining in the wake of an approaching debut. “If the material is properly supported, then the audience will feel the dancers’ sense of physical immediacy,” she confides. “The animal level of energetic awareness–where we’re out of our brains and in our own bodies–is ultimately what I’d like this work to represent.”
Weare is sitting outside of the Lobero Theatre, taking in the afternoon sun for a brief moment between rehearsals and sounding remarkably pragmatic despite the psychological implications of a looming deadline. “It’s now a matter of placing things next to each other and tying up sections,” she says. “When progression is defined by such intensely different approaches, how it all adds up is always hard to see until the very end.”
Overseeing the gestation process of a multidisciplinary production is challenging enough without the added variables of language and culture, a fact not lost on Weare as she describes the lessons of a four-week residency as a series of invaluable tools for self-awareness. “Early on, it became clear that the two companies had a very different way of thinking about how material evolves,” she admits. “My company is from New York, where we’re faced with train schedules and limited studio time, so we’re conditioned to approach projects from a very practical and time-sensitive point of view.” According to Weare, surrendering to the glaring differences between the two companies became a motivating exercise in defining priorities, and how those concessions might unfold onstage is undoubtedly part of Sin Salida’s seduction.
This afternoon, Weare will begin the meticulous process of translating kinetic intention into technical details, tackling costume decisions and lighting and musical selections, all the while continuing to refine a visually captivating body of work. Listening to her describe her next set of tasks with even clarity in the face of dwindling time, one gets the very real sense that this collaboration has always been much more about valuing the lessons of an arduous journey–a vulnerable method she humorously refers to as, “the process of showing your underwear.”
Come Friday, she assures me, she’ll be ready to bare all, and Santa Barbara audiences will be the first to witness an entrancing collaboration the likes of which have never graced the Lobero stage. “If the dancers can reflect back to the audience their visceral pleasure in the face of all of this complexity,” Weare concludes, “then the passion of this work will have clearly come through.”