A verbal weave inspired by the 16th century social dance, La Branle de la Haye, as schematized by Thoinot Arbeau in his book Orchésographie published in 1588.
Each participant receives a letter from A to H to identify their position.
The participants sit in a circle in alphabetical order, so that B is positioned on the left-hand side of A, and H on the right-hand side of A.
Each participant receives a card, picked at random, containing a single word, typically an adverb*, which is the participant’s individual word, to be spoken out loud each time their letter appears in the sequence.
The vocalizations move clockwise, to the left, beginning with the letter A.
In 32 consecutive laps around the circle, with each lap made up of 8 vocalizations, the participants carry out the weave pattern.
The weave pattern evolves as the first position (A) changes places in the order of the vocal sequence with the next position on the left (B). With each new lap, A continues to change places in the sequence with the position immediately on its left, until A has changed with all other positions in the sequence. When A is half-way through its trajectory, having completed 3 changes, and about to change with the fifth position (E), B begins the same trajectory, changing places with the position immediately on its left. When B has completed 3 changes, then C begins the same, and so on. The pattern continues until all the positions from A to H have completed the full trajectory of substitutions in the circle, at which point the pattern is exhausted and begins to repeat at lap 32.
Simplified pattern with amplification of constructive possibilities
Each participant receives a second card that corresponds specifically to their first card containing their individual primary word. This new card contains 8 combinations of secondary words or word groups to combine with the primary word to form phrases. The participant whose turn it is pronounces first their primary word followed by one of the 8 combinations. The combinations can be chosen spontaneously and deliberately from the list, in no particular order, as long as each one of the 8 combinations is used at least once in 16 laps.
Participants complete 16 laps around the circle, beginning with position A. The first 8 laps follow a simple clockwise pattern, moving in a leftward consecutive sequence, ending each lap with position H. For the last 8 laps, the sequence is reversed, so that it follows a counter-clockwise pattern, moving in a rightward consecutive sequence, beginning with position A and ending with position B.
Basic pattern with a multiplicity of variables and interruptions
Participants complete 16 laps around the circle, always in the same clockwise direction, moving in a leftward consecutive pattern, beginning with A and ending with H. The participant whose turn it is can choose any combination of any of the words they possess, in whatever order, with no restrictions, as long as the words spoken are contained in the participant’s given cards. It is no longer required to pronounce the primary word first, or at all. Any combination of the words belonging to each participant is valid.
In addition, each participant is given a third card. This third card contains an interjection that the participant must call out every time the accompanying trigger word is spoken in the circle. Each interjection is connected to its specific trigger word, which is one of the original 8 primary words (although a participant’s trigger word cannot coincide with their original primary word).
When any of the participants hear their trigger word, as indicated on their interjection card, spoken at any time, in any combination, in the circle, the participant interrupts the sequential circulation of spoken words with their interjection. Each interjection momentarily overrides the order, which then immediately resumes. The underlying pattern of sequential word combinations repeatedly broken by interjections continues until the 16 laps have been completed.
*The words used in the Colloquy Series are typically adverbs, most often temporal adverbs, but not exclusively; they can always be replaced with other words, and other accompanying word combinations, from one version of the work to another. The language component of the work is never fixed and can always evolve from one context to another. In the same way, the work is not translated into other languages but instead recreated in different languages, workshopped with local participants to make each version a unique manifestation of the work.