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Event Spotlight: 48 Points Around The Shoulder (In Shorts)

April 8, 2017

48 Points Around The Shoulder (In Shorts) is a series of hand positions around the shoulder according to a randomly-generated string of co-ordinates. We caught up with artist Paul Jackson, to find out more:

Hi Paul, tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m a dance artist originally from Canberra and currently living in Melbourne. As a day job, I teach movement skills under the umbrella of Pilates. I spend my spare time dance-making and playing video games.

Can you tell us a bit more about the ideas behind 48 Points Around The Shoulder (In Shorts)?

My interest is in the body and how meaning may or may not be ascribed to it. I think of 48 POINTS as a gradual zooming out; beginning with a focus on movement and slowly broadening its attention to include the whole body, the dancer himself, the space around the body and finally the world in which the dance takes place.

 What was the development process of this work?

I began by looking at a space around my shoulders defined by my reach. I developed a system to define the space using coordinates. I then used a random number generator to create a set of coordinates telling me where in the space to place my hands. This creates a sequence of movements that have no particular meaning for me; I’m not attached to them. With regular practice, the sequence began to sit comfortably in my body and I’m able to manipulate it in various ways.

 Why 48 points? Is there any particular reason for that number?

There are 48 points because that’s a nice number. It’s divisible by 2, 3, 4, 6 and offers lots of opportunities to manipulate the sequence.

 Finally, what YAH17 events are you most looking forward to seeing?

Lots of great dance stuff in the festival! I’m excited to see “Autonomous” for some Canberra car choreography; “Escalate” – the performance outcome for a dance mentorship program; and I’m excited for “Bad!Slam!No!Biscuit! Canberra National Dance” to see what comes out of that.