Tuesday, December 23, 2008

screentouch - ... touch

"dear members of DanceHotel!

here are two themes that interest me particularly:

1) the first is to develop a dance without knowing where it will lead, but based on what deeply fascinates and interests in the moment. the excitement should be sensory, rather than conceptual.

when I read about how Merce Cunningham developed his dances by following an inspiration, this finding out feels very alive and direct in the above senses.

2) the second interest i have is dance on video creating an experience very close to physical touch, especially as podcasts or IP-TV / digital television. how can we make dances that bring the kinesthetic experience as a physical one for the viewer - "screen touch" instead of touch screen ;-)

>> both ideas have something to do with immediacy, no layers or coating around the subject matter, but very direct experience, as otherwise in contact improvisation, for example. they also have to do with being and living now - not in some mental bubble from the past, removed from experience -- so.... :-) "
(posted on Facebook / DanceHotel, Dec. 23rd 2008)

a video i found while looking at a video by Asuka Yamaguchi

Senaka, by AsaChang & JunRae (Japan)
this video looks very interesting for me as for the second proposal, screen-touch
how does it give a sense of movement, even there are all of these many cuts, in a Cubist(?) kind of way.
I like the somewhat private sense of gestures, brought out to video - while she follows the music to great detail in its rhythm and phrasing. something similar, though even more minimal and less rhythmical was my interest for my part in bivak gloria, but it became the usual larger-scale dance...

I find noteworthy that because she is following the music so much with every beat, it becomes kind of easy to maintain a very close track of the timing of her movements, even though the camera view jumps from perspective to perspective all the time.

often it is the rupture in the exact organic timing of the movements which have had me definitely decide againts cuts in a video-recording of dance - it always feels rather jolted when the change of image artificially interrupts the flow of body-movement...
here it is somewhat different, even though the movement is very subjected to music, and the video does follow that, even though it changes perspectives all the time, and all looks very set in advance ...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

the classical

so clear, so well-balanced that it can be a learning example, creating a class of its own, a league of its own. The Well-Tempered Piano, any masterpiece...

the result of a long process, often, though not necessarily often of a long creational process if regarded from the actual making itself. (?)

perhaps that in the pre-modern times, the mere making of anything (new) was special enough, a celebration, an object. it made a difference in the usual wilderness. no change even today :-) except that the "wilderness" includes a lot of human creation, or so may seem. what will make the difference and to whom?

today I reviewed the video-compilation of Elaine Summers' Hidden Forest, performed Aug. 23rd 2007 at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors in new York City.

it was a very new experience for me: so new that the first time I had this feeling of emptiness, not knowing what I was looking at - what was this, why was this interesting for me. even though I've appreciated and trusted Elaine over the years more than most, I couldn't follow her just yet.
especially since I had performed in the piece myself! ;-)

today it was a little different, a week later: I could see better what was happening in the near darkness, my brain obviously had done its homework. today I could enjoy watching and felt this deep connection growing to it, similar like what I've experience earlier when I started to listen to Laurie Anderson's music: growing affection, from a deeper, more mature place...

so if there is a new classical among us, a true classical of this time, where is s/he and who is it? and would I / we recognize her/him/them if we met, or their work? ...

about the wilderness:
despite all suggestions from the previous successes, and the atmosphere we try to create, of safety, love & happiness, our existence remains at its bottom as precarious as ever.
despite all ads & music & culture, and even though we do our best to shut out those that didn't make it as well, and try to escape being contaminated by their 'bad luck' their example lets us realize each time again that any luck is temporary, to be used when it happens. and that waste remains a loss, carelessness or indifference create debts in the long run. a ruined harvest still means famine to come.

if we dcn't act accordingly it happens once again...
if we force stronger and more violently, so will be the consequences

Friday, September 26, 2008

Open Form Composition - the aftermath

in the continuum created by the continued use & understanding of Open Form Composition any thoroughly 'set' composition in the older sense not only becomes questionable, but also a much more difficult thing to achieve - because of all the Open Form Solutions which I believe often can produce very similar results much more easily and with much more liveliness.

if this liveliness & intelligence in Open Form Composition is to be maintained, also the richness & depths of living, set compositions can get a totally new level of depth and sophistication. and I very much look forward to more & more achievements of such sophistication! :-) ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

lightness - progress (modernism & further...)

continuing an earlier thought from
>> les enfants du paradis <<

as we understand the world we inherit from our parents better, more fully & deeply, and become more skilled to deal with its phenomena, we are more & more potentially able to make our cultural patterns lighter as well, more transparent, more complex, permeable, to fit more situations that become apparent to us as important to be able to deal with successfully, in our sense.

every time our parent's generation managed to fulfill a certain movement more completely, a dream, an urge, we as the next generation are freed to sense more completely what the new consequences & possibilities are.

it makes the ongoing cultural patterns less heavy and absolute, seemingly less formal.
on the surface this might seem like decay, or a step back towards "non-form", anarchy, being uncontrollable animals.

in fact it is on the contrary:
we can incorporate more of our animal-condition, while at the same time we could have more options for what to do.

and it challenges us inhowfar we still wish to reach sometimes the rigour, the remoteness, hinted at by earlier states of know-how. (of course over time the structures have become so refined that they simply disappear and get absorbed - maybe like in the Chinese language, the now monosyllabic words have once been many-syllabic...)

if continued long enough, this development can lead us into a further understanding of the empty outer space around us, not only physically and mentally, but also spiritually.

and maybe we can realise more how many values we are currently about to loose so much due to careless neglect, because we are not yet able to efficiently deal with the paradisical abundance that we've inherited, or the multitudinal construct of paradise / nature and our culture(s) growing within it/them. partly because from the old, more simple perceptions and patterns into consciousness, this loss is not necessarily realised or understood as such, because of being as yet too involved with one's local conditions and fails to think and act beyond them (global-local.. universal ...)

in dance this development happens the same, as it does in music:
from very simple structures in contrast to the complex non-created environment
to gradually accepting more & more variations as valid and interesting options.

as a result: in the case of true mastery - greater & greater ranges of possible rigour and freedom. wider & wider scales of recognizing and shaping ongoing patterns, structures, processes over space and time.

more & more response-ability ...

Friday, July 18, 2008

fin du siècle

another after-echo of the fin du siècle, this time of the 20th century (with echoes of the 19th and before that still resonating in between and underneath) : neo-this, neo-that, all styles mixing & dissolving, added the deeper understanding from post-modernism beyond any single style.

it's getting a bit tiring, if content was seemingly given up a bit during the first half of the 20th century and totalitarian form gradually during the second half. there is always some form, even if it's retro... always some kind of content, even if it is a bit fascist / trying to save old neuroses. what else is there?

I am interested in a neo-modernism, as prepared in a.o. the works of Trisha Brown, but with the added possibilities as suggested by a.o. Elaine Summers and Mary O'Donnell-Fulkerson: a human bodymind moving, acting, being - - from this organically balanced base to optional geometries and referential meanings (i.e. two or more streams of information resonating / merging together...) balanced enough to approach light / energy / warmth as well as void / minimum / inexistence, maybe until the two opposites are shown how they are interlinked and just two aspects of the same, deeper whatever ...

(graffiti, Antwerp, Belgium 2007)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

saturation - contrast

working in "Performing Portraits" by Johnny Schoofs (Dansateliers Rotterdam, NL) : expecting the outermost, extreme, to get a bolt of energy, a jolt of movement, discomfort, failure, on the edge, katharsis - to feel life itself (again) in its unbridled energy, our relationship to cosmic forces.
affirmation of the comfort-zone first, then to be brought beyond that by whatever means the artist can make effective

dare to live, don't be a Borg, don't let yourself be put off by somebody else's strength or pleasure. some can enjoy just that. others are too much in a twist themselves and need outside help towards recuperation.

lots of different reactions.

but it's finally becoming clear that any single form won't save anyone, it's a momentary thing to know how to do. this generation seems to know this now, the conclusion from the postmodern lesson. Amen ;-)

Monday, May 19, 2008

more moves! :-)

to counteract too much intellectualism: Fantastic Plastic Machine (Japan) "Take me to the disco" (1999) enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

understanding the (post) modern revolution in dance

i realize that contemporary dance is about to find the invidual bodymind of the dancer as the central instrument, instead of any specific culturally / traditionally (pre-)formatted vocabulary of allowed actions for communication.

such a human-frame is enough, like the human bodymind is enough as a frame for dancing, no need to also add a specific vocabulary to it - depending on the many interactions of such a human bodymind, vocabularies are formed by themselves.

this understanding goes back to a state before such formations and makes it possible to start to understand the formation of energy in time and space, filtered and formed through the human body (or anything representing such an experience)

consequently it also allows the mixing and deeper understanding of traditionally formed styles and languages, but can also synthesize & create new forms that will remain over the course of time as effectively expressing concerns beyond a single choreographer.

this is a potential for global application as cultures meet and exchange with each other ever more constantly, deeper and more far reaching consequences and at higher frequency than before. this development "forward" I see as a natural consquence of ever greater accumulations of technology, and again its ever further reaching implications and conseqences, which necessitate an ever more aware and well-balanced action from those who use / direct it.


Elaine Summers' choreographic work and her movement-technique Kinetic Awareness® is a systematic method fully realizing the formation and use of such an awareness and understanding of human movement, combining the freshness of authentic movement with the systematic understanding one can derive from Laban's human movement analysis. in the work of Mary Fulkerson O'Donnell from visually derived-imagery and embedding dance into social behaviour I find a very good complement for this system. (these are of course not the only ones, but I've found them particularly useful for developing a practice of dance that is not solely based on defined vocabulary and methods, but has this change and progression over the course of the years included as a given in its understanding.)

i try to form my own choreographic work drawing from these understandings, trying to find a Eurasian practice of these in-American-made insights.

working with Pauline de Groot gives me another example of how such an understanding could be put to practice, with her piece "TOUCH air / raak lucht" that we work on together with Jaap Flier, Aharona Israel, and Ailed Izurieta.

and then

and then I get visions of beginning again, amid the ruins and the devastation left over from the culture of my parents' generation...

Friday, January 18, 2008

form & function

if we don't understand the function of the form that we're dealing with, or rather if we just use something superficially but not in the way it is designed to work, we risk abusing and therefore losing it.

it has happened with love & marriage, which too often have been turned into social institutions that hardly ever have anything left to do with the moment of meeting and wanting to get together and perhaps procreate.

it is happening with motivation & trust & social understanding, which are consumed by money. (right now it seems like we are all very willing to sacrifice the original for the abstract substitute for it - what does the world cost? and on whose terms???)

in the case of dance (and other arts & communications) it happens by repeating the traditionally inherited forms without acknowledging the consequences of what they were made from and for.

in daily life such an example is "Have a nice day." which from the original good wish has become something quite different in Anglo-Saxon mainstream use.

in dance this source is kinesthesis, the sense of movement, whether the experience of ourselves moving or that of someone or something else in our range of perception moving.

unless a generation re-contacts this source and consequently re-evaluates their inherite traditions from their own experience of it, the only results be epigones and imitations, rather than fundamentally new creations of experience.