Together with photographer Christopher de Gast I developed a workshop for vocal group VOÏSZ from Utrecht. This group of close harmony singers was seeking out artists from other disciplines to open up new perspectives and ideas for their practice, dramaturgy and communication. In this workshop we wanted to address body language through the technology of camera framing. We took the act of framing as one does with a camera, to start looking in a different way at the visual things a choir has to offer for an audience. Singing performances tend to be a bit static because of the acoustics, connection between the singers and conductor, and the priority of the quality of singing over eg. choreography on stage. So we felt like somehow we had to zoom into another level where actually a lot of dynamic expression is taking place.
By playing some games where we asked the group members to look carefully at each other’s micro-body-expressions and movements in the body and report back to each other what they saw. Then we made paper props to isolate these expressive gestures in singing practice to form the basis of this photo series. Sometimes all it takes is to give people a different peep hole. VOÏSZ decided to use the images of the workshop for the promotion of their show Astronaut.
One participant: “We thought it would be nice to do a photography workshop for the pictures we would have after, but I think it was even more valuable that the workshop gave me a way to look at ourselves differently, to see the richness in the expression of what we’re doing there on stage. It’s giving me so much ideas for the dramaturgy!”