Table of Contents

Table of Contents_Photo by Pari Naderi

Table of Contents (2014)

Table of Contents is a live movement installation co-created by Siobhan Davies, Andrea Buckley, Helka Kaski, Rachel Krische, Charlie Morrissey and Matthias Sperling, each using their own history as a choreographer and performer to question how dance is archived.

Resembling a form of movement laboratory, a series of evolving choreographic situations take place in a shared space between performers and audiences. The work offers the possibility of a live dialogue to experience and consider how the past reveals itself in our present actions.

Using the archive of Siobhan Davies Dance as an initial but not exclusive starting point, Table of Contents explores what archival dance material could look like and how it could be experienced. Each of the artists delves into material from their past using choreography and verbal commentary to question how we remember and retain movement. Concepts of archive and choreography are a constant reference point, from investigating dance history to looking at the human body as an archive.

For Now is a solo performance created by Matthias Sperling as part of his contribution to Table of Contents. In this ongoing performative task, he attempts to redeploy fragments of choreographic material from the archive of Siobhan Davies Dance in ways that might be 'the right thing for right now'. Having selected and learned an ever-increasing number of fragments from the online archive, Sperling spontaneously applies these to the needs and opportunities that he intuitively perceives in the immediate present of each performance, making moment-to-moment decisions about which material to perform, where and how. Each time he introduces another piece of material into this unfolding composition, he verbally names the title of the work it comes from, the year it was made, and the dancer who originally created and performed the material, by asking "What if the right thing for right now is…".

Table of Contents is a collaboration between Siobhan Davies Dance, the ICA (London), Tramway (Glasgow) and Arnolfini (Bristol).

Performances: ICA (London, UK); Tramway, British Dance Edition (Glasgow, UK); Arnolfini (Bristol, UK); Kunstbau – Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich, Germany); Old Selfridges Hotel, ICA Offsite programme for Frieze Art Fair (London, UK); Siobhan Davies Studios (London, UK); Tanzquartier Wien/Leopold Museum (Vienna, Austria).

'Table of Contents is engagingly ambitious in the questions it wants to provoke about what dancers do and how they do it, and it manages to speak to insiders and novices alike.'  Judith Mackrell, The Guardian

'Table of Contents presents a way to rethink the notion of the dance archive – asking where, indeed, a dance archive is located, if not in the body itself.'  Laura McLean-Ferris, Art Review

'It's cumulatively absorbing; it rewards your attention.'  Lyndsey Winship, Evening Standard