Running Man is a proposition for the body and the mind. It asks: what happens in the brain when the body is subject to the stress of physical endurance work? Specifically, the question relates to what parts of the brain are affected at various levels and engagements of physical stress and what promulgation of thought and image may occur in direct response to this. The project will comprise two streams of research, Stream One: The Body on the Brain and Stream Two: Real-Time Interactive Software.
The refinement of the physical and vocal training practices over ten years led the company to a specific area of research: the development of the sensory potential of the body as a 'discriminating ear', a faculty for receiving, processing and responding to information transmitted by the body. The Body Listening Projects enabled the application of exercises in a more scientific, hypothesis-driven research environment involving company members including spatial-acoustic expert, Lawrence Harvey.
NYID's investigation into, and on, the body remain central to its identity as a performance-making group. Initially influenced by sports practices, the work of Meyerhold and the training methodology of Japanese theatre director Tadashi Suzuki, the company's methodology is profoundly linked to theoretical questions of landscape and Australian 'space'. In undertaking The Desert Project in the Central Australian deserts, the company wished to explore what concrete relationships there were between the training exercises and the environment which initially inspired their application to the company's dramaturgy.
The company's early performances were agit-prop, physical theatre/dance-theatre explorations. The desire to be responsive to contemporary culture led the company to train itself in the production of audio and visual techniques associated with television and film production. This project was an attempt to learn those techniques and discover how they might have a performative mode within the company's evolving dramaturgy.