OPENLAB to take-away, anyone?


Anne-Gaëlle Thiriot playing Being Buried on a Lawn by the Seaside at “Games of Utopia: Paper Games” – a Facilitated OL with Joe Stevens.

Our next session in the studio will be in three weeks. Three weeks!!!

That’s right; between our last session, Joe Stevens’s Facilitated OL pictured above, and our next session there will pass 21 days. In that time, daffodils will not just bloom all over the land; they will likely have withered away.

So what are you going to do until then?

Well, you could simply wait for the temperature at Chisenhale Dance Space’s studios to rise and meet me at the White Canvas on Friday, 23 March.

Or you could possibly follow the next set of instructions for an OPENLAB that you will take out of the studio. This is something we haven’t done for a while but you can read more about labs outside in here and here.


Set of instructions for a Take-away OPENLAB in March 2018:

  1. Take-away this OPENLAB session to Chisenhale Gallery’s current exhibition: Lydia Ourahmane, The you in us.
  2. If you have visited the exhibition already you can pretend that you haven’t visited yet (take it lightly – we both know you have been there so it is not that a big deal if you can’t forget all about it… just be cheeky).
  3. You can go on your own or organise it to go with others.
  4. Not everyone in your party has to do this take-away session, yet let them know in advance that you’ve planned to do it. You don’t need to give them a long explanation but just tell them enough to ensure they will let you follow up this set of instructions. If they don’t let you follow the session, in the end, don’t stress much about it; at least you saw an exhibition today.
  5. On your way there you can talk to the other people in your party (if you are alone you are welcome to talk to strangers in the street but I can’t be responsible to what it may happen… feel free to talk to the trees and birds instead – silence is also allowed).
  6. Once outside the gallery, you will all agree that for the next hour you will enter and stay in the gallery in absolute silence with yourselves and with the other members of your party (this is guerrilla session but there is no need to be all weird and suspicious – it is okay to blend socially within the gallery setting: say hello at the desk if they welcome you, answer other people’s questions if they ask you, use your common sense and talk if it is necessary – just stop your inner chatter and don’t seek conversation with others).
  7. Inside the gallery, the main activity you will undertake will simply be to be.
  8. Take your time to notice.
  9. Notice what you notice.
  10. And while you notice just be.
  11. During being just explore the following question: what does to perform entail?
  12. This is OPENLAB, remember.
  13. Where does performing start and where does it end?
  14. What embodiments does being take while performing?
  15. Don’t try to answer these questions in your head. Explore them with your actions and with the way you will interact with the pieces at the exhibition, within that context.
  16. Allow yourself to act/be differently to the way you would normally act/be in a setting like that one. At the same time keep it within a repertoire of actions belonging to any other person. Pedestrian but not quite pedestrian: quasi-pedestrian… think about it as being at the edges between in and out of context.
  17. After an hour, leave the gallery. Go for a coffee or for food somewhere. While you are doing this, take a few minutes to reflect upon the experience. You can talk to the other members of your party, you can take some notes or other ways of keeping a journal/documenting, you can do both (again, I’m not really recommending you to talk to strangers but I wouldn’t judge you if you did).


Remember: Take these instructions with a pinch of salt and use your common sense. There isn’t an agreement with Chisenhale Gallery about people coming to their space and follow these set of instructions. If you decide to do this at the end of the day you are solely responsible for your actions in this space. I encourage you to respect other visitors, the artwork and the people working at the gallery, even if you are there doing your own exploration. If you decide to go, have fun and if you collect any documentation or write anything about the experience share it with us all; for this get in touch with me here.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Antonio de la Fe. Bookmark the permalink.

About Antonio de la Fe

Antonio is a Spanish choreographer and performer based in London with a background in physiotherapy and Pilates. After coming relatively late to dance and initially studying it in Madrid, they came to London in 2006 where they completed a Performance MA at The Place, writing on The Creation of Solo Choreography Through Deep Engagement with The Application of Mental Imagery Specific Processes for his thesis. Since then, the has danced for Florence Peake, Matthias Sperling, Jonathan Lunn, Eva Recacha, Carla Onni, Annie Lok, Melita Spahic and Riccardo Buscarini and his choreographed works include the Place Prize finalist piece (2011) Cameo, an open OPENLAB: a hybrid, Va por Vds., and A void. They are also a co-founder of the performance collective anthologyofamess. Antonio was a recipient of the BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship, with support from Independent Dance, in 2015. During this fellowship, they worked on researching and developing their Unrehearsed Series (Crocodile, Make Me Cool, A Piece for Two: Lovers) in collaboration with producer Martine Painter. Currently, they are expanding on the idea of the Unrehearsed Series and developing a set of choreographic practices under the name Speculative Choreographies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s