ALEXX MAKES DANCES / ALEXX SHILLING
“pivot point” is a site-specific, durational occupation that points to, interrupts and illuminates the choreographies of public plazas and their often symmetrical, constructed pathways.
we are the pivot point
you are the dance
“pivot point” is performed for eight hours (at its maximum duration) with two performers exploring ritual through their entrances and exits of a plaza. One performer leaves the other to lie down in the center of the plaza in a full-bodied, brightly colored jumpsuit. Every hour, a bell tolls from a nearby institutional building, signaling the performers’ changing of the guard. A second performer enters the plaza and formally replaces the other until the next bell sounds.
At the center of the plaza, the performer’s attention is aimed at being as fully conscious and present as possible, a counterpoint to the space and action around them. Every ten breaths, she rotates and lies down again. In this way, the entire plaza becomes integrated into the performance AS the performance, with a single body as the center axis, the center of a large frame.
“pivot point” is both a performance and a practice, as each rehearsal took place in Wilson Plaza, a public space on the UCLA campus with 24-hour access. It exists as both a research platform and a choreography. I engaged in this practice at shorter durational intervals for several years, culminating in four eight-hour durational performances in April, 2013. A tumblr blog invited the accidental audiences to participate by sharing their engagement with the piece through images and text (PivotPointForerver.tumblr.blog). A sound recorder placed on the performers’ bodies captured the sounds of the plaza in proximity to the vulnerable body whose breath is heard at the heart of the recordings.