SIX AND FOUR ARTICULATIONS / JENNY HILLENBRAND
“Nothing happens” was choreographed to conclude the performances shown by the collective Six and Four Articulations, which toured the country in 2012. The success of this piece was moving a seated audience onto a stage and moving the performers into the audience’s seats without the audience realizing what was occurring until they received the final applause on stage. The audience sat watching performers mime mundane tasks for two minutes in stationary positions. The performers all abruptly stopped and then proceeded to walk forward in the direction they were facing. Performers would walk until they crossed paths with another performer or barrier; at which point they would individually throw their shoulder back (feigning a collision), mime a new mundane task and then continue walking in the new direction they were facing. After a few more minutes of this, the performers who faced the audience walked right up to individual audience members, and persuaded them onto the stage making up a variety of excuses: “We’re supposed to meet Jane for lunch, come on we’re late.” “The movie’s about to start and I got two tickets with your name on them!” “You’re cute, come with me!”
Cooperative audience members were taken around the stage and either taken back to their seats, left on stage, or were picked up by a different performer. Uncooperative audience members were won over by unique tactics and preplanned strategies (e.g. grabbing a bigger group of three-five people, climbing over every theater seat and then the audience member’s chair to get them to cooperate, grabbing everyone but them). Larger audience groups mingled amongst themselves on stage, walked around and tried to interact with the performers. Smaller audiences were moved up and down more to add excitement and lower their guard. The performers had less than a minute to get everyone on stage, cooperative or not, large or small, while keeping the main purpose a mystery. Within a minute the audience was together on stage and the performers provided a big round of applause. The audience stood in silence until eventually everyone joined in the applause.