Monday, June 8, 2020

ungrowing from neurotic constrictions - Reich, body work, police defunding towards community programs

today's show of DemocracyNow! (June 8, 2020) gave very inspiring examples of demands to de-fund the enormous budgets used by police in the United States of America. my immediate thought went towards the understanding of Wilhelm Reich, more than 100 years ago, about the desperate need for a freely moving, breathing, acting bodymind, which then can be much more response-able, social.

in many ways I am following his analogy to cancer-growth, needing enormous amounts of energy, and depriving vital functions of the oranism from functioning because of uncontrolled growth.

the call for defunding an overgrowth of a single apparatus and re-using that energy/funding towards programs that go to many of the roots of why policing can be needed in the first places makes all the sense: invest in the organ-ism as a whole, in its well-being, actively de-fund energy from the armour.

excursion Wilhelm Reich and body armour
Reich understood the problem of constricting this movement in such a way that it interferes with vital movements of the bodymind, calling it neurosis, identifying an exalted state with the name emotional pestilence, citing racism as one of the outcomes. Reich re-discovered that these constrictions are actually muscular, ongoing contractions that are insufficiently released or not released at all. his analogic name for this state was body / muscle armour, because he understood that it did keep the individual "together" literally shielding weaker parts of the body from damage, but also kept the overall energy low. more often than not, sexual moves, especially of the pelvis would be most restricted, leading to an inability to orgastic release.

dance has always been heavily regulated through all ages, precisely because it culturally regulates body movements and physical communication.

(in the Netherlands, enormous cuts have been made into the increasingly de-funded arts, with subsidized dance taking some of the most crippling cuts, for a relatively unremarkable saving of money. bullying is a more apt name of what is being done. parallel to these actions were governmentally lead defamation campaigns marginalizing art as "leftist hobbies", de-professionalizing the practitioners. today, in 2020, the Dutch Royal Airlines company receives a 4 Million Euro bailout, employing 30.000 people, with nearly 1 Million Euro bonusses to the top CEO's, while the entire arts-sector, after much protest, receives 300 Million Euro, but employing 300.000 people)

it is time to re-vive dance again, with the openness of pioneers such as Elaine Summers, Mary O'Donnell-Fulkerson, and their precedessors, the rigour of somatic work that is to understand, rather than (re-)constrict, with the individual dancer as the very "frame", creating their own dance.

existing dance languages remain precious collections of knowledge, movement and expression technologies, repositories of states of being evolving over time. they give understanding of where we came from historically, give examples that can be studied.

at the same time it must remain vitally clear that development of contemporary dance become more than just a re-evaluation of these traditionally grown forms, even the oeuvres by all the mentioned choreographers & thinkers above.

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