September 25-27, 2008
Hickory, N.C.


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Elisa Faires


Claire Elizabeth Barratt


Organization: Cilla Vee – Life Arts

Performance Title: MODUS OPERANDI
Type of Performance: Sound and Movement, in-the-moment composition
Artists: Claire Elizabeth Barratt (movement) Elisa Faires (sound)
Objective: To create several short, abstract sound and movement duets, based on a structure which enables the audience to dictate the subject matter. This concept is inspired by the Cage / Cunningham use of Chance as a compositional tool.

(Note: The following will be carried out in a very austere and clinical manner. There  will be an actor in character as a “Professor” who will adopt a “scientific experiment” approach in the conduction of the proceedings!)


As the audience enter, there are four containers labeled:
1.ADJECTIVE - any descriptive word
2.COLOR - any color
3.NOUN -  any thing
4. SETTING - a place, situation or weather condition

They will be greeted by the “Professor”, who will assist them in writing these words on index cards and placing them in the appropriate containers.

There will be dictionaries and thesauruses available and audience members will be encouraged to be as imaginative and specific as possible.

When it is time for the performance to begin, the “Professor” will introduce the artists very formally (the artists will bow solemnly and await instructions) then draw the first four words, to be announced in order with any required prepositions. For example: “Rabid (adjective) Turquoise (color) Chaise-Lounge (noun) in a Snowstorm (setting)”.

The performers will then interpret this title in an abstract fashion for up to four minutes. They will finish, bow and await the next title. Example: “Languid Indigo Grasshopper Stuck in an Elevator”. And so on until a set number of compositions have been completed.

The performers will be dressed in basic black and may occasionally include props and costume pieces.

Result: The overall purpose is to create abstract works of art. These titles will be evocative of the abstract, da-da and surrealist art usually associated with the work of painters – yet our “paint” is comprised of sound and movement. Intangible and ephemeral.

Conclusion: Art is in the integrity of the execution, regardless of method or subject matter.

Modus Operandi is conducted as a spoof scientific experiment.

will conduct the proceedings, gathering specific types of words from the audience to build titles resembling those of abstract art pieces.

The performers will then interpret these themes in a series of short, in-the-moment sound & movement compositions. paying homage to the “chance composition” method used by John Cage & Merce Cunningham.