Monday, January 13, 2020

bridging technique / hypber.ballet

like 'skeletal' architecture, where the columns free the walls from having to carry the building, #bridgingtechnique can free the dancer from a single vocabulary (compare with maison Dom-Ino by LeCorbusier, brought into full movement by Zaha Hadid ... )

this approach requires a careful choice of the best possible 'skeleton' and ingredients : so far I have found #KineticAwareness, #BodyMindCentering, #contactimprovisation, #taijiquan, #LabanMovementAnalysis, #CunninghamTechnique, #EshkolWachmanMovementNotation, #SixViewpoints, all together creating the possibility of #hyperballet, as one of many options

fortunately this is just one of the many diverse directions in dance, each dance-culture has different goals and means, in the endless desire to move, communicate, and survive ... 

 * for a more detailed description and critique, read

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Art Authorities & (state) Power

When the canary in the coal mine goes silent, we should be very afraid — not only because its song was so beautiful, but also because it was the only sign that we still had a chance to see daylight again. Eve L. Ewing, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

after I recently attended several pieces and discussions about majority-minority questions at the duna part festival 2019 in Budapest, Hungary, I realize this sentence about the dis-senting Other is more important in the age of machine-enforced (totalitarian) perfection than ever ...

please read the full article here

Logo for Hungarian Protest Movement against Imminent Cuts

Monday, February 25, 2019

naked bare (bear) pieces: music - and other "helpers"/facilitators/enzymes of/for movement

after a very long phase where works grew and still keep growing from and by interaction with set musical pieces, I am once more thrown back onto movement without this additional element. for a while, ongoing sounds like these healing drones felt especially good, and for training with others to them. but now even that should be off, for a time.

it feels almost like getting off drugs, because in my current state it is so easy to move in response to musical stimulation on all levels.

I had always made it my point to dance as a Gesamtkunstwerk, using my own bodymind as the core system, where all would come together, be perceived, worked with, each at its own intensity (in a way, following through on Elaine Summers' notion of intermedia, where two or more media merge to in-form a "third" ... )

but now I am returning to the sense that just my moving body is enough justification for the dance to be "legitimate", worth the effort and the attention. and that without the extra stimulus/happening, my bodymind can and will have some quite different things to do / "say", on its own.

additionally I also increasingly enjoy dancing naked (easy enough in my home backroom/studio)
again there is a similar feeling of bare openness of myriads subtle possibilities and chances.
finally, I recognize that -just as in the first phase of Kinetic Awareness® (echoing Viewpoints)- it can be good to slow everything down and explore one element / bodypart at a time. in this case the / my moving human bodymind, on its own, with only the co-incidental sounds that John Cage rightly identified as music.

and challenge the idea of a 'machine' with a limiting, and more safely expectable, outcome / result ...

on a similar plane, but not the same:

And this then began to bother me because perhaps I was getting drunk with melody [...] and so I began again. [...] That led me to some very differnt writing that I am going to tell you about in the next thing.  Gertrude Stein, from Portraits and Repetition, "Lectures in America", 1934

Sunday, February 24, 2019

male abandon - conceiving/dreaming of group pieces

after having enjoyed beyond words the enormously stimulating (!) public research by Random Collision at Theater Rotterdam / Moving Futures two days ago, I keep working on a series of dances that all put (cis-passing?) men in very vulnerable and open situations, emotional, sensitive and sensual, present, embodied.

much of the work is made for gay and Queer men who already by their sexual practices are not enjoying the same kind of mainstreamed-culture protection.

but in the basics, I am surprised how much a male thing it seems to be, to go for abandoning the self, surrendering to the impuls, the risk, beckoning a partner for mating, daring to give it all away for this one moment of maybe procreating (...)

this to me, also from personal experience, seems to be a centrally male quality in a sense.
and how far it may permeate other choices.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Budapest quotes

"Tradition ist Schlamperei" (tradition is sloppiness) - attributed to Gustav Mahler, no source

"if it ain't impossible to begin with, at the very least, it's not worth my time or attention" (unknown)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

understanding culture

translate for movement ... including emotions, body states, dealing with energy & dynamics in communicating from & with body states to one another

culture is creating shortcuts, patterns that can help to survive
whether it's on a level of growing cells into bones (for example) for translating gravity into movement, or a habit or an opinion. for training dance this insight is crucial.
I hope more dance professionals will grow into this understanding.

PS - keep in mind though ... ;-)

Friday, March 9, 2018

in response to Laura Shapiro's post "Reading and Writing and Dancing"

see the original post by Laura Shapiro here
responses published by kind suggestion & in communication with the author who is performing today, March 9th, 2018 *

[...] what is deemed language is multiple in "structures" (as in formations) and media, some of it expressed by use of vocal chords & visual abstractions made from those sound-patterns. But true literacy goes much further, known or unknown.

In my own view those who deem dance "non-verbal" actually are in danger to perpetuate what some call Kyriarchy (bell hooks calls it White Supremacist Imperialist Patriarchy for the culture-zone that you and I live with-in ... ) - because by implication they may negate the important kinaesthetic messages that are transferred, being body-states of all kinds.

To become literate in these body-languages is essential in becoming politically more able to act, so therefore it's also a question of (dis)empowerment, when people (still) do that - or when you get refused a job on an observation that for you is perfectly normal and clear.

[...] What I meant was that the more we are able to understand the signals and languages of our bodies, how they feel, the states they are in, and what is needed to do, we become more politically able as well, and have increased agency. But while for you it is clear that there is no actual division between mind and body, that they function as one system, others are shocked at such a statement.

It seems to me that in too many religions not only is a such division made, but what is relegated to 'the body' is all too often associated with negativity, such as sinfulness, low levels of existence, drives, inability etc.

I find these assumptions remarkably similar to how economically disempowered classes are seen, be they Women, (formerly) enslaved people, "lower classes", or even other animals:

- supposedly not able to deal rationally with themselves, thus needing 'higher guidance'
- deserving to be ruled, and above all disciplined for the general good, otherwise danger could ensue for a perceived (social, cosmic, or other kind of) order.

As choreographers, you and I and those who make poetry out of (human) movement, can communicate a better understanding of this system/continuum, where the created opposites of 'mind' and 'body' can be experienced working together.

I also believe that Elaine Summers and her work, and so many others (e.g. Anna Halprin) often met such resistance, because she would let her dancers speak their own language, rather than one already confined & accepted (e.g. based on forms of what is remembered as European-American classical Ballet)

There's actually a nice parallel in the German language for what I aim at: the word meaning 'mouthy' / 'with a mouth' ("mündig") means able & allowed to speak & express one's mind & views. Imagine if e.g. (cis)women (let alone trans-women) suddenly were allowed to freely speak their mind ... (let alone formerly enslaved people from African lands)


* Laura Shapiro is a New York-based choreographer, performer and teacher who has steadily continued to create and produce her own works for some decades by now. We met 1996 in Amsterdam at the Connected Bodies symposium at SNDO and have continued to be friends in professional exchange ever since then.