Artistic Director and choreographer George Stamos gave us some insight into his performance/installation piece, Recurrent Measures, on now at the Gladstone Hotel Art Hut. Featuring durational spinning and polyrhythmic gestures initiated by George in collaboration with artists Geronimo Inutik and Stacey Désilier, Recurrent Measures oscillates between meditation and play while investigating how measurements of time and motion can be continually relived and modulated. Check out our conversation below.
How did the idea for Recurrent Measures come about?
I became obsessed with spinning on an old ab workout board a friend had and played around with it in the studio. I discovered I could spin for a long time and it made me high. From there on in I underwent a deeper research process into how this obsession could be funnelled into a performance piece, looking into what aesthetic and philosophical terrain it could evoke. I also investigated what is happening neurologically to me as I spin and to the viewer as they witness the spinning. I’m amazed by how much the spinning can conjure. It’s been a very interesting process.
How much of the work is autobiographical/an exploration of the self?
As a personal reflection, I’m a 47-year old queer man who comes from a time, AIDS CRISIS, when my peers and I didn’t believe we would live past the age of 30 and at the same time we fought physically and legally for change. I’ve seen how change can happen over years by repeating gestures, both physical and political. At the same time I’ve seen that we have to fight the complaisance that sets in when we, or some of us, get a taste of things changing for the better. It’s also important to fight the depression that can set in when we feel our years of effort may have been for nothing. For these exact reasons the optimistic persistence of Recurrent Measures is also speaking to cultural contexts that resist oppression.
What can an onlooker expect to see when walking past?
Depending on when you pass you may see a glimmering light, a twirling meditation at play, video images flooding the space. It’s to be discovered from day to day as we (Sound Artist Geronimo Inutiq, Dance artist Stacey Désilier and I) are evolving the work in this process of as we also share it with the public.
What drew you to the form of a durational performance for this specific work?
Interestingly, we don’t often think of dancers as durational artists. Perhaps because what is presented to the audience is usually not longer then an hour or so. However, in rehearsal dancers have a daily practice of sustaining a work for many hours, endlessly repeating the same movement. I wanted to bring the durational aspect of my dance practice to the public with this work. I also wanted to escape the idea of a nicely packaged product in a theatre with a standard beginning and an end. As Recurrent Measures is speaking about persistence it also makes perfect sense for it to be durational.
Check out Recurrent Measures on at the Gladstone Art Hut-1181 Queen Street W
February 28th-March 5th
Rehearsals in Progress:
Tuesday, Feb 28 – Friday, March 3 | 4:00 to 7:00pm
Saturday, March 4 | 5:00 – 8:00pm
Presentation Followed by Discussion:
Sunday March 5– 3:00pm