Thursday, June 24, 2021

pain and trauma: Butoh, Kinetic Awareness® and political dance

today I finally got to work on my own spine again and noticed how a kind of 'cake' had formed around it, made of residual / habitual tension: it eased but at some level also constricted functioning. 

practicing Kinetic Awareness® and the ball-work I was able to finally address my spine without expectations, listen openly, not demand it to feel in a certain way or to move, if at all, at a certain speed, or ability/agility. instead I could leave it be, give it space, listen to it, gently allow myself to open up when I noticed I was moving at a speed (still slow, but noticeable and continuous, and mentally at a quite fast pace)

once again I realize how with Butoh, any potential restrictions are potentially undone, opened up, should not have to be confined in any way. this liberating potential, openness to being in connection with the environment & people remains an important challenge against norms & habits.

WITH YOU - dancing for peace in Myanmar - collaboration lead by kiori kawai on Vimeo.

as in more recent projects, I could also feel how relatively unharmed my spine, my central nervous system had been for the last 30 years of adulthood = no trauma, no hits (ok, one fall, of my own accord, in 2007)

* original song with footage from Myanmar

confronted with ongoing trauma and violence, from beatings to pushbacks, state terror, torture, sometimes over generations, what can be an honest and still emphatic response? (how) can I express solidarity, that I am moved by this suffering, without creating a shortcoming or travesty?

is it okay to work with my own traumatic experiences, apply them to a role, to give my hint towards what more there may be, but not pretending it was I who was made to suffer violation? or is it even a duty, since I happen to free enough of such trauma that I even can begin to speak of it, exactly because I am no longer in the middle of it being (re-)inflicted? 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

dancing snowflakes ...

as the first snow of the year 2021 is falling in Rotterdam right now, I am reminded again of the hundreds of refugees who are still left to die away from freezing as I am writing this post, in ever new waves of people, year in year out, now in makeshift camps in Camp #Lipa in Bosnia-Hercegovina, or on #sosmoria, all literally left in the cold by our murderous longterm impotence indifference including #EU and also very notably the recent #Dutch governments.

* the Dutch cabinet resigned officially yesterday, after they no longer could hide that under their responsibility ca. 20.000 families had been systematically racially and ethnically profiled and aggressively financially ruined by bureaucrats of the neoliberalized Dutch "welfare" system. if it hadn't been for internal officers like Sandra Palmen, let alone lawyer
Eva González Pérez, and continued attempts to work against being silenced, finally taken up widely by more mainstream White-oriented media, all too often casually 'forgetting' to name the ethnic profiling part, they still may be left alone today. also notable: no matter how much they already had suffered from the "missteps" of this "affair", they can apparently receive no compensations, before May ...

Snow Worsens Migrant Plight in Squalid Bosnian Camp ... "People are not animals"; stranded migrants freeze in ...

@rtful pursuit: September 2010
as much as I can accept the subjectively innocent magic of The Nutcracker ballet in its countless variations, deemed the "right" tradition, justified, high-culture, and especially the much better preserved music by Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, with its Romantic and unmistakeably Gay vibes from my childhood, it gets an especially multiple dimension today, ... after all, when this ballet was performed, millions of people, all over then the Russian Czar's Empire were equally and literally left out in the cold, ignored by those who got to watch and enjoy the ballet, in the relatively heated and comfortable theatre.... #lecharmediscretdelanostalgie  (link)

today one could re-imagine this part with all of the above dimensions, including #WhiteFragility the #snowflake trope , geometric mass-dancing of the (*all white) (female) corps de ballet, all silently echoing the coldheartedness of haves versus have-nots, who as the latter are made out-of-sight-out-of-mind, at least for a moment. and still find a way to evoke what magic had been conjured by the original dance, since it, too, was and continuesto be a given.

it could become a very interesting choreographic challenge to rise to. 

instead, I begin with this already very different variation by Maurice Béjart, the Marseille-born choreographer, who went on to feed Belgian, Northern French, and Swiss cultures with his highly sophisticated and crafted emotion-evoking intelligently entertaining arts and spectacles, based on aristocratic variations of what had once been peasant dance moves. notice the various cultural tweaks around race, gender & class in this part, as he revisits his own childhood ...

As visual artist Jean-Ulrick Désert said recently, it is all happening at the same time, valid and effective simultaneously, ... and it all works, together ...