Not Knowing Together:
An Introduction to Real Time Composition
photo by Stella Iann
"Real Time Composition is a tool that practices radical decentering
in order to attend to what exceeds human experience"
Real Time Composition is a theoretical-practical tool that studies, problematizes and systematizes the experience of collective decision-making using the fields of improvisation and composition in contemporary dance as a privileged territory of its experimentation.
Real Time Composition main drive comes from the need João Fiadeiro sensed early in his career to create a system of principles and premisses to be used with his collaborators in the process of choreographing. A tool that could prevent the group from falling into the trap of hierarchical conventions between author and interpreter (producing a vertical structure of organization) while, at the same time, acknowledges that horizontal forms of collaboration don't necessary generate sustained and fair formats of relation. Real Time Composition aims to produce a format of collective practice that could be described as “diagonal”, a meta-stable system that adjusts and adapts decision and choice to the actual situation (in opposition to foreseen outcomes based on past experiences or future expectations).
Real Time Composition "object of study" is the spatio-temporal gap that arises when the experience we all have with linear time is interrupted and suspended by an accident or an incident. This generates a “glitch” in the “timeline arrow”, creating a void in the sense of continuity. Real Time Composition takes advantage of this in-betweenness to transform what could be perceived has an interruption, has an interval. Inside this interval - between the moment we collide with what affects us, and the moment we relate to its possible manifestations – time has this rare quality of being simultaneously “no longer” and “not yet”. Inside this interval, time is not linear (or even circular) but "twisted" (like a "Möbius strip" topological surface), governed by laws that don't respect conventional notions of before or after, inside or outside, present or absent. Inside this interval we are able to disappear in the obvious and (re)appear in the absence.
This approach to time and space proposes to (re)exercise our ability to shift attention towards the periphery of events and the infinitesimal. It proposes to find the movement within the pause. To find time within time. To take notice. In Portuguese, the word "notice" (reparar) beside “noticing, attending”, also means “restoring, repairing”. And can be also read as “stopping twice” (“re-parar”). Real Time Composition works in the entanglement of these multiple senses (of meanings, sensations and directions).
"João Fiadeiro works with the matter of the ‘in-between’
and his Real Time Composition method is based upon the challenge to produce
– by cultivating molecular clarity –
a re-assessment of what freedom in improvisation might be."
João Fiadeiro (1965) is a Portuguese performer, choreographer, researcher, teacher and curator. He belongs to the generation of artists who emerged in the late eighties in Portugal and gave rise to the New Portuguese Dance movement. He was the artistic director of ATELIER REAL, a structure that played a major role in the development of contemporary dance and trans-disciplinary initiatives in Portugal. João Fiadeiro has toured extensively throughout Europe, North and South America with his solo and group works. He is regularly invited to be a visiting professor at various institutions linked to training and research in art such as EXERCE Master in Montpellier, France; the SoDA MA Program in Berlin; the Amsterdam Master of Choreography; the Master of Theater DasArts in Amsterdam; Villa Arson University, Nice; the Master in Choreography at the Theater Academy of the University of the Arts, Helsinki; the Department of Performance Studies at the University of Hamburg; the Center National de la Danse, Paris; or the PRES Performance Research Studies, Kassel, MA Design Graphic at the Fine Arts school of Lyon, Improvisation MA at the Musikakademie in Basel, or at Applied Theater Studies in Giessen (ATW), Germany. His archive of more than 30 years of activity is deposited at Serralves Contemporary Art Museum in Porto. He is an associated artist-researcher at Forum Dança in Lisbon.