Dance Anywhere Interview with Lisa Townsend Co.

Dance Anywhere Interview with Lisa Townsend Co.


DA: You mention that indifference is based on Albert Camus’ The Stranger. How did you decide to use this novel as inspiration for your performance? 
LTCo: As a reflection on the absurdity of free will, indifference questions the troubling impenitence experienced by Camus’ protagonist, Meursault. What if free will, which we hold so dear as a marker of individual freedom, actually engenders a lack of empathy for those around us? Does our experience of the world then simply become a series of self-affirming reactions to our immediate physical experiences? To whom are we accountable if we act only for ourselves?

DA: What themes from The Stranger are represented in indifference?

LTCo: Lack of empathy, the perils of free will, remorse and indifference, and the societal burdens imposed on cultural outsiders–strangers are the themes explored in this piece. 

DA: What was the process like of transforming the themes of this novel into dance? 

LTCo: We started by taking scenes/dialogue directly from the book and improvising movement material inspired by the written word.  Then we took on qualites of the different characters, emulating them through physical gestures and posture and speaking their dialogue.  At the same time Piro (Patton, video artist) shot video footage of the dancers; on the beach depicting the heat of the day and the expansiveness of the ocean and in cityscapes depicting the containment of urbanity.  It has turned into a dreamlike tale weaving together dance, theater, video, live music and set design.

DA: How did the themes evolve as you were in the process of creating this dance (if at all)?
LTCo: The themes evolved into a tale of wo/man’s duality and dilemmas: jealousy, anger, fear, happiness, passions, death.

DA: Being an interactive multi-media performance, how does indifference draw the audience in and illicit participation? 
LTCo: The intimacy of the space, the responsibility of the audience as witness and the physicality of the movement performed will give the audience a strong visceral experience.


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