Action Is Primary

About The Project


Action is Primary is an exhibition of improvisational research and performance led by choreographer Meg Foley.

Action is Primary will feature live performances framed by reflective documents of the development process created by Foley and three collaborating performers: Kristel Baldoz, Marysia Stokłosa, and Annie Wilson. This includes documentation of 3:15dances, daily improvised dances performed by each performer daily at 3:15pm over the course of six months. The exhibition will be curated by Marissa Perel, facilitated by Jeanine Durning, and will be presented at the Icebox Project Space at Crane Arts in April 2016.

This exhibition will frame and be in dialogue with long form, improvisational performances of the practice, performed by Foley and the collaborating performers.

What is action is primary?
The exhibition takes its name from an improvisational practice Foley has been developing, practicing, and researching since 2010: action is primary. action is primary is a mode of making in the moment that examines how attention, imagination, embodied presence, and the ghosts of our choices tumble through form (our form, the dance’s form) in a constant play of regeneration and falling inwards and spilling out. How do we engage with what’s already present, bring our insides to the outside and the background to the foreground? Can we simultaneously engage in self-determined research and build something together with our fullest, perhaps contradictory, and most multiple selves (as many as we want)?

With the intention of “holding what you are doing at the center of what you are doing, even as you let it slip towards new centers,” action is primary involves a structured score of tactics to rigorously practice paying attention:
Single focus, multiple body
Authentic melodrama
Talking – about what you are doing, about what you see, about what you want us to see
All five at once

The experience of navigating these tactics and the degrees of intention and responsiveness in doing so are the choreographic gesture. It is run through with the pleasure of craft, the pleasure of disruption towards new possibility, insistence towards new depths, and doing what you need.

What is a 3:15dance?
Since October 2012 (except for part of her recent pregnancy,) Foley has performed a dance wherever she is at 3:15pm daily.

The only task is to do a dance at 3:15pm. It can be of any length, of any size, of any intention.

It is a shallow engagement with the practice, beginning with what’s present and moving and making from there in dialogue with the immediate moment and context, like skipping a rock rather than scuba diving. The accumulation of dances engages with what constitutes a dance - the where, the when, the how, and the assumptions made in typical construction - and overtime looks at how dances made in the moment can exist across many nows.

From October 23, 2015 to April 23, 2016, Foley and the collaborating performers will perform and document daily 3:15dances.

Major support for Action is Primary has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Polish Cultural Institute New York and Insytut Adama Mickiewicza.