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 ...

No comments: