Saturday, June 11, 2016

preparing to perform at 3x generations / CLOUD Danslab 11 june 2016

everyone gets as far as they can in their life.
often that turns out to be far from any single 'ideal', prescribed or realized as one goes along one's way.
when many get to a similar state, after they started in a similar state of being, feeling, knowledge, and other patterns, that creates a sense of 'generation'

in this improvisation I come as an individual, a professional dancer, but I also come as a member of a generation of dancers, more specifically here in the Netherlands.
what have we done? what were our questions, what were mine? what are mine? what is different from say the generation of Pauline de Groot? or, then, Ton Lutgerink and then Donald Fleming?

what about my "social background"?
the kind of culture that I get associated with, and that I associate myself with?

I remember a lively breakfast discussion with an elder choreographer-friend and my then-partner, where at some point I realized that the friend was still speaking from something that drove him & perhaps people of his generation, questions and resulting views, which for me had already been resolved, by what I did, but which he did not know yet, or was still working to get at. And that with my then-partner, who is nearly 20 years younger than me, the entire situation may well be the same.

so, what kinds of costumes and clothing will I need that re-presents me? & what I want?
my generation? ....

* since this group includes very experienced amateur as well as professional dancers (though I'm not sure about the representation of each in each generation-group) there is the added interest about how far an amateur wants to get, and can get, and how that can wonderfully complement/challenge what a professional can and wants to accomplish. vast GENERAlizaTIONS, I know, and therefore endlessy exciting and interesting ...

reading: Gertrude Stein, Composition as Explanation, 1926 (pdf) / (online)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

"Vrij Nederland" - dancing with elderly

starting February 2016 i've been substituting for a colleague at SKVR, the largest school in Rotterdam for non-professionals who want to train in the arts. the dancers are all seniors in various parts of the city, some of them confined to sitting, some can still move through space with greater ease. although there were some moments during the neighbourhood-project Delfshaven Dans! where the question of dance-ability came up, this longer time of concentrated work with seniors is new for me.

Saturday May 21st will see a small showing of work by several such groups. I will show a piece that I call Vrij Nederland, named after a periodical in the Netherlands.

the piece is in two parts:
first, the dancers create a sequence of improvised movements: A, A+B, A+B+C, A+B+C+D etc. then they end with a preset sequence that I created for them, creating tension in space, enhanced by colored organza-voiles, fairly reminiscent of Rudolf von Laban's Eukinetics or A-Scale.

i realized that in terms of professional work, this piece may seem a long way from the more mainstrem traditional proscenium theater, but that it counts fully as a professional piece and fulfills the mission of Reàl Dance Company: to re-search and re-form dance from the sense of movement.

with a bit of awareness, Vrij Nederland resists the Capitalist notion of a single value system, which tends to show young, "able" bodies moving in demarcated areas that are deemed acceptable or desirable.

why the emphasis on specific venues as the more valid places to experience dance?
why the emphasis on young bodies?
who decides about the value of achievement? about ability?
and why so often in specific dance-languages?

keep moving ...