Thursday, September 7, 2017

revisiting "In Circles", 20-year anniversary | Rotterdam 2017

In Circles was started in 1996 and the original dance was conceived directly during the last months of my study at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie (now codarts) - a whirling furioso ...

on October 18th, 1997 the dance had its first public performance in New York City as Reàl Dance Company. now it's 2017 and I am revisiting the piece for a new performance, 20 years after the first time.


2017
I already felt back in 1996 that I would need just about all of my career to grow and develop the tools that I needed to create this dance that I had in mind. in a way I am still 'on the way' with this dance, because this re-creation will be a solo-version, not the quintet that was originally foreseen. at present I do not have the financial means -or status to gain such financial means- for offering a fair living wage to five performers for the time that this would take to develop. also, it is good to start with myself again, before guiding the process of other interpreters.
(there have been a number of brave dancers over the years, who already did take on this challenge: Penina Schupper, Judika Leszmann, Eva Tremel, students at MEKAN technical University in Istanbul, ... )

there are a number of other important changes from 1997/1998:

- for this public performance I will use the original inspiration of Simeon ten Holt's now (overly) popular classic Canto Ostinato as the music. after a long search, I have found the specific recording from 1984 that had been used by Krisztina de Châtel for her work Typhoon and then found its way into the library of the Rotterdamse Dansacademie. because this recording is 'set', I will have to adapt my actions to the set flow of the music.

- another major change is that I am no longer afraid to 'set' movement. it took a very long time before I could develop the softness and sensitivity of creation with a more kinesthetic memory. additionally it was good to learn and understand more about "open" and "closed" forms of choreography when I studied Open Form Composition at ArtEZ/Dance Unlimited, 2002-2004. It helped me work within the vast understanding of Elaine Summers about dance and its infinite, sensorial, options.

accepting Open Form Composition meant accepting something 'unfinished' which was a major criticism and difficulty that I kept facing. back in 1996 I was very unclear about when something was ready. in my mind the dance was already there: I had a clear feeling about it, so what else did I need? (...) now I have a framework that does not have to harm the content, but help it become itself and still remain alive and in the moment.

- I am much more aware of the Dutch local context in Rotterdam, in which I am working.  even if I can say that I am continually crossing over, I am still here and need to understand the ongoing conditions of making work here, if I want to be successful enough to realize what I want. SKVR Dansschool are kindly and generously providing much studio space, for which I am very grateful.


X crossings ...
basically, the dance is about getting lost in rabbit-holes of details, self-made, self-created structures that present the ever ongoing problem of entanglement, but also of growth & development, for which these structures have been created in the first place, an inevitable consequence of breathing, living, moving.

time after time I get caught in these crossings -moments where I cannot move through.
most of the time it is very unpleasant, a conflict, something that I cannot solve or I feel I am doing wrong, out of tune, violating the context at that moment. In Circles keeps literally moving into and exploring these crucial moments, repetitively, changing over time, but always varying around a number of eventually recognizable patterns.

(of course a moment can also be wonderful, uplifting, liberating, and gradually I am, coming to see how there can be patterns in that as well) (Time after Time, by Cyndi Lauper, now I realize why I started listening to this song again recently … )


conclusion
it is my hope that whatever will come out as the result for October 18th, 2017 will sufficiently reflect the potential of the dance to a wider audience, still fulfilling the rule of Meret Oppenheim about good art ("either it lives or it doesn't!") and her admonition for the artist to "work, work, work, without looking left or right"


quote of the day:
To oppose something is to maintain it. They say here “all roads lead to Mishnory”. To be sure, if you turn your back on Mishnory and walk away from it, you are still on the Mishnory road. [..] You must go somewhere else; you must have another goal, then you walk a different road.

To be an atheist is to maintain God. Existent or nonexistent amount to much the same on the plane of proof. Thus
proof is a word not often used among the Handarata, who have chosen not to treat God as a fact, subject either to proof or belief: and they have broken the circle and go free.

(Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969)



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