"Moving Around X: the x of y " by Michael O'Connor
MOVING AROUND X: the x of y
by Michael O’Connor
(created during the [8:tension] residency at ImPulsTanz 2014)
Love, empathy and metaphor may sound like separate things, but I have a hard time getting very far with one, without stumbling over the other two. There is a theory that we cannot not think in metaphor. It is how our brain is organized. We are able to understand abstract concepts like love by having embodied lived experiences that then structure our ways of thinking. For one, images of ‘pathways’ and ‘containers’ shape many of our thoughts. When we think of love as a journey we are thinking in pathways. We understand the world metaphorically because we know the world with directions, qualities and spaces that are relative to the shape of our body. During my time with AMCh, I have been describing one sense by means of another sense in a hopeless attempt to make immaterial things tangible, and have simultaneously become clearer on how meaning is generated.
Concept: Michael O'Connor
Performance: Samuel Feldhandler, Michael O’Connor
Music: Performed by Nina Simone, Written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington
Music Arrangement and Sound Editing: Samuel Feldhandler
Video: Michael O’Connor
Text: M. Day, R. Feynman, M. Johnson, G. Lakoff, A. Lev, M. O’Connor, K. Pauer.
Materials: Michael O’Connor, Alexander Jackson Wyatt
Research Mentor: Guy Cools
Photo: Georg Scheu
Supported by: Wien Kultur, AHK Theaterschool, ImpulsTanz, Life Long Burning, Tanz Quartier Wien.
Special thanks to AMCh peers and staff, Karin, Alan, Katie, Moreen, Almu, Juan, Xavi and Sam for engaging in the practice of this research.
Michael O'Connor is a choreographer, dancer, improviser and teacher living in Vienna since 2007. He holds a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. Michael was listed in the 2008 BalletTanz Magazine as the 'young dancer to watch' for his choreographic solo debut a waiting dog dies. He was a long time company member with cie. Willi Dorner from 2003-2010 performing in a variety of stage works and setting the piece Bodies in Urban Spaces in over 30 cities. Michael’s adaptation of Deborah Hay’s NEWS was premiered at ImpulsTanz in 2011 under the guise of his drag persona Jai Jai Sincere. Additionally Michael taught with neuroscientist Corinne Jola the workshop ‘Technologies of Love’ at ImpulsTanz and was a Turbo residency recipient. His other works have been presented at TanzQuartier Wien (TQW), WUK, BRUT, Szene Salzburg and Burgenland Tanztage. He has also worked with David Zambrano, Alain Buffard, Paul Wenninger and Georg Blaschke. Michael is the Vienna branch facilitator at TQW for the Field Method, an organization based in NYC, which gives artists a place to show work and receive feedback. The past year he has taught creative practice and technique at SNDO, and has previously taught as guest faculty at Arizona State University, SEAD, Henny Jurriens Foundation, Marameo and festivals such as DanceUmbrella, Philly Live Arts and Tanz in August among others.
During his BFA, Michael opened doors at the university for dance research, being the first student to receive paid assistantships for creative research and presented twice at the USA National Conference of Undergraduate Research. Currently his focus in the AMCh masters program is looking at love, metaphor and movement through the field of cognitive science. He has been invited to present his research in TQW at the Intersection of Arts and Science, Festival of Art as Research in Germany and most recently his paper Love is an Action at the Center for Dance Research in Coventry, UK. In 2014 his piece Tertiary was nominated for the Prix d’Jardin in the 8:Tension series at the ImpulsTanz Festival.