made on another day is an exciting new departure for in situ:

It’s a completely new piece, devised by the group over a fifteen-month period using new collaborative performance approaches developed during four years of Theatre and Landscape workshops and residencies.

Bella Stewart, who directs made on another day, has this to say of in situ:’s new project:

What does it mean to be gone from the world forever?

made on another day starts with this question, an invitation to think about the concept of Extinction.

Extinction, as the slogan goes, is forever. It stands for an irretrievable loss, and this is something we all carry a sense of somewhere; we know that we too will one day not be here.

As humans, we may have a sense of our separateness from the planet, and from those others, non-humans included, with whom we share it. Part of our enquiry in this project has been into our relationship with those others. Early on, we found this, which gave us our title:

Gray whale
Now that we are sending you to The End
That great god
Tell him
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing
Tell him that we were made
On another day

(extract from William Stanley Merwin’s poem, For a Coming Extinction, published in 1967)

We are told that we are living through the Sixth Great Extinction, with whole ecosystems and environments, species of animals, as well as human cultures and languages, disappearing from the planet, some before we can make any record that they ever existed. The speed of this depletion is giddying, fuelled by humanity’s own capacity for adaptation, consumption and invention, and by our need for space, food, energy.

This is a frightening thing to try to think about, but we wanted to explore it because it is important to us. We have chosen to do this by means of performance, a set of practices that are intimately bound up with time and physical space, and with bodies and objects. Performance also happens on a very human scale; it’s an encounter between people in a specific place, and for a specific length of time. For us, it is a way of looking at something, a means to frame questions, rather than offer answers.

For us, this is a new departure into something we are calling ‘dance’; we are focusing on the moving human body. None of us are trained dancers, but as experienced and curious performers we have been able to draw on traditions that we can adapt. One of them is Japanese Butoh, where movement is often slow and intensely concentrated, reflecting the properties of natural elements and materials, and the processes that shape them. Another is what is often called ‘post-modern’ dance, which focuses on the everyday movements of the body, its qualities of weight, balance and, above all, its immediate presence. The gestures and movements of the ordinary are focused, with the idea of the body performing tasks, taking time to do things.

Our process has involved a series of responses, often starting with individual performers’ own contributions, how they have approached certain stimuli and applied to them their own experience, ideas, memories, imagination. Others may then create work in response to this, and so on. What we offer here is a performance that comes from this common ground. While there is no narrative as such, it takes the form of a series of shifting images, passages of movement, text and sound.

Our only intention is that you bring to it your own creative responses, that some or all of it will resonate with you, and offer a space where we can all begin to consider things too big to face on our own.

Bella Stewart
June 2010