Sunday, November 25, 2007

( Bivak Gloria ) - fin

the project ends today in Antwerp. we've visited the Rubens House: a financial empire around the recognised genius of a single man... building a space ship for longer travels is one thing, but I get the impression that we are already removed from our origins by one layer, already sort of in outer space today ( with a few more reminiscenses from the past, e.g. the neo-cons, pollution, exploitation, Western Hegemonial thinking)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

bivak gloria - final (before performance)

I'm getting ready to perform at the finissage. together with Dwight Marica and Robert Rosenau. repeating what we've done these past weeks. to realise one out of many possible threads of movement with the installation, with the added presence of the visitors of the finissage.

many trails of energy to ride on / follow along and with, including my own. Robert Rosenau mentioned today a Zen-kind of state where there is absolute quiet and openness inside, to be ready for whatever comes, before thinking it over. in a way I hope to do the same. to be ready for a kind of energy that will take me anywhere, through many layers and threads and possibilities.

I understand the installation as condensed energy. and with the video's there is an extra layer of movement involved, represented in moving colors and light. so I hope that the long periods of working on the ground will pay off in a more readily available physical preparedness, ready to be in the moment, move!

Look at me now and here I am
And with it all it is not preparation
They never make it breathless without breath.
And once in a little while they wait.
Without its leaving.
Let it be that it is said, let me alone.
You alone have a way to think and swim
And voices have no other.
It is in their refrain that they sing me,
It just can happen so.
Getrude Stein from Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded


today and yesterday I've spent long periods of time on the floor, doing Kinetic Awareness / ball work / available tension / sensitive energy work. there is a lot to repair and heal, especially my right elbow and knee. the fatigue translates itself into a tightened ribcage, contracted from a certain thoracic vertebrae in my spine (I think T6, but I'm not entirely sure)

while I was working on the ground, there were many workmen coming and going today, as they re-modeled Michele Matyn's sand-mountain. to all of this the radio was going on all the time, playing 80's and 90's hits + advertising. a hard time to concentrate, to find that space where there is no sound interrupting anything.

but I could work on what I get paid for in this project, to do my work as a dancer, just the same way that the working men worked to shovel and carry around the sand. we both followed our own necessities, resulting from our task. so that I could modify my own internalized bourgeois judgement of doing some luxury-work, something for affluent elites only. I've worked on this earlier in but here it was closer, because we were all limited to one space for a longer period of time, so the interactions were less momentary.

it helped me to feel less 'crazy' more trusting that what I do makes sense and that I am aware of it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

oil painting - body awareness practices

Ghent Altarpiece
saw it today... wonderful colors (Mary in clear Blue God-Father-Christ in shining Red, John the Baptist in full Green, not to mention the many shades of green of the plants). there are X-arrangements in many ways, a.o. the four streams of people towards the altar of the lamb, held together by a circle of angels surrounding it. a reality, as complex as reality, beautiful. I felt re-rooted in my European heritage.

this painting was one of the first where oil was used as a liquidizer for the paint-particles, instead of egg / tempera. this new approach fully allowed painting in several layers above each other, to achieve a much more naturalistic illusion of the represented objects and people. also, it is speculated that painters Jan van Eyck and Hubert van Eyck used magnifying glasses to achieve the minuscule details.

a sensoriness so lively and largely unhindered by intellectual obstacles. brought into arrangements, without compromising the sensory experience. (see again "The Tower of Babel" in this blog)

the painting suggests endlessness, I could fly right into it...

in the church itself there are two copies of Adam and Eve made in the 19th century. the difference of doing something a second time, making it secondary. I didn't even notice that they were copies, I thought that for some reason the originals had been placed off the altarpiece itself. I wasn't as impressed as I'd expect I'd be. later I realized that not only was the way of painting them cruder, but also the copy Adam & Eve were wearing dark animal furskins.... to cover their nakedness.....

* * *

in my own experience I find that through using release-based techniques (including Kinetic Awareness) I gain a very similar ability of working more refined and in layers, comparable to the use of oil-painting. my body is explored more in minuscule ways, I become more sensitive to the energy of moving / living / being.

the increasing awareness of my body creates links in my consciousness, where before had been gaps in my understanding, allowing me a more complete and con-sequent course of action.

and, I find that the release-based body work creates an open-ended attitude, linked towards infinity...


satori : we are creating weavings of energy through our actions / movements in space and time (if the first dimension is direction, the second plane, the third space, the fourth time, could the fifth be results of behaviour / interaction of energy formations????)

letting all pre-conceptions go (being balanced enough to let them go, not needing them necessarily, because of satisfactory fulfillment OR risk taking...)
like stated by Vanita & Joe Monk express (in) the moment ...

creating real-time, efficient patterns of and in the present, through improvising with the structure, the situation, Hessenhuis, the installation(s) moods, colours, the presence of the visitors etc.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

videos from the first and second day with dance at Bivak Gloria

10 excerpts from the first and second day
to document where we started from film/dancewise

click on the image or see YouTube channel thomasrealdance

Friday, November 2, 2007

depuis l'modernisme

het naamloze zachte, dat de mens tot mens maakt.
Christa Wolf, Kassandra

coming to full circle at the end of week #2. all the work that we've done and did. again...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

getting back to Gertrude Stein

I read Stein with great interest during my early twenties and it has been a major source of inspiration for me ever since. even though I've gotten to realize many alternatives since then, I am still re-discovering many of her ideas and statements as very valid for what I am interested in in my work. As I continue working with Robert and Dwight, these notions are coming back into my attention.

... I had in hundreds of ways related words, then sentences then paragraphs to the thing at which I was looking and I had also come to have happening at the same time looking and listening and talking without any bother about resemblances and remembering.


I said in the beginning of saying this thing that
if it were possible that a movement were lively enough it would exist so completely that it would not be necessary to see it moving against anything to know that it is moving.


As I say the American thing is the vitality of movement, so that there need be nothing against which the movement shows as movement. And if this vitality is lively enough is there in that clarity any confusion is there in that clarity any repetition. I myself do not think so.

No matter how complicated anything is, if it is not mixed up with remembering there is no confusion, but and that is the trouble with a great many so called intelligent people they mix up remembering with talking and listening, and as a result they have theories about anything but as remembering is repetition and confusion, and being existing that is listening and talking is action and not repetition intelligent people although they talk as if they knew something are really confusing, because they are so to speak keeping two times going on at once, the repetition time of remembering and the actual time of talking but, and as they are rarely talking and listening, that is the talking being listening and the listening being talking, although they are clearly saying something they are not clearly creating something, because they are because they always are remembering, they are not at the same time talking and listening.

quotes from Portraits and Repetition written in 1934, published in Lectures in America, Random House, New York 1935

with these views, I find Stein voiced what were concerns of the 20th century: get back to the medium itself, find out what it can do, rather than maintaining the conventions of the 19th century or in fact the conventionality of Euro-Asian cultures up to that time.

as I am working with two visual artists, one mainly in sculpture - one mainly in media, I too get back to what I believe is the essence of what my medium is about - kinesthesy and its shared experience with others.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

bivak gloria: week #2

is there a resemblance of color in movement?
black-white movement? coloured movement?

Alan Charlton, untitled MuHKA Antwerp. Belgium

I'm ready to explore more about this actual space, what is it that I can do HERE and with THIS installation. what kind of movements fit here, do I want to have here? what about the recurring elements?

musically I am experiencing a trip into the past, Béla Bartók's The Wooden Prince, Bear Dance, but also this morning Guillaume Dufay, Ecclesiae Militantis, a pioneer work of the Ars Nova at the end of the Middle Ages. I've tried to work with this piece of music earlier, at the EDDC in Arnhem, back in 2001. (see also the painting by Hieronymus Bosch earlier in this blog)

Saturday, October 27, 2007


how can we realize a society that succeeds in achieving reliable collaboration and co-production without the chains of feudalism, exploitation, the right of the strongest, disaster capitalism etc.?
the alternative to the 'Borg' of StarTrek is the community family - both minimise the ecological needs / footprint of the individual and ensure skillful and efficient co-operation, however with very different options, for example how to choose alternatives, how to develope further, experimenting with radically different solutions.

not having to be slaves to either nature or each other or our individual moment-to-moment frustrations. but understand and adapt to the needs and potential of our given situation here and now and find the best possible solution for all involved.

such a lifestyle requires open-ended thinking that includes non-finished or seemingly non-finished, not yet conscious, not yet communicable patterns as well, next to the ones that are clear, established and have proved their usefulness.

it seems to me like we are on a way towards the possibility of an ever more refined culture that needs ever less intrusion into our present state, because of having more possible solutions present as options for how to deal with moment-to-moment challenges. that way our culturre doesn't have to remain overpowering the very areas it tries to incorporate / include / understand (NOT only after assimilation, but by gradual adaptation and decision-influenced osmosis)

our bodies are excellent examples in themselves. they operate with reliable structures, also on a cellular level (e.g. enzymes) but always with infinite variations that are embodied in an in-itself open-ended system.

live-dance /performance is an excellent example for this in the arts. it is with this in mind that I take very careful considerations before I agree to set anything, and certainly not in terms of timing or sequence, unless dictated by adapting to given circumstances that I cannot change at all. even then I always prefer what Mary Fulkerson-O'Donnell calls the breathing form. to give maximum space and possibility for the potential of the inspiration / best solution of the moment to manifest itself as completely as possible, to happen in its optimal way, beyond what I can understand or control completely, in agreement with conditions in levels beyond myself and my range of options, including 'mistakes'

through repeated exploration and trials based on interest, patterns will emerge through variation-rich repetitions. like several visual patterns superimposed, the intersections create more solid forms, structures, sequences, codes, libretti etc.
even then, there is always a realm that is not yet present, that is still in the process of becoming. like never having stopped to process food into vital nutritients for our well-functioning. and I want congruent structures that make sure optimized 'organic' co-functioning of all related agents / elements / structures / energy-waves, whatever the goal is.

this esthetic is dictated by my awareness of the ever pressing need in my time and society / planet / space dimension for more efficient, less polluting, less aggressive / frustrating functioning / solutions.

and so I say yes to Improvisation, Yes to Open Form Composition.

additional note / November 7th 2007
I experience Open Composition as a base for work, not necessarily an end-all. sometimes it is very good and very exciting to try to repeatedly solve a problem with a very closed set of parameters, even one that comes very near traditional Composition.

if Open Form Composition is acknowledged as a greater container within which such forms of composition can emerge, and the potential for openness is better acknowledged and trained for, decisions about which parameters to close or 'set' could become better thought through, less subjectively haphazard or another re-run of yet another tradition.

generally I like it better if a system / composition can grow through repeated trial and error with very little set at the beginning. leaving a lot of (mental) space for elements that are important for a composition to become manifest in their very own and authentic ways, before making greater decisions about what to combine how and when.

I believe this approach can bring forth more intelligent and effective as well as efficient solutions and wonderful moments of art and performance...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

bivak gloria ii

fulfillment in paradise...

i reach a point of disillusionment, being thrown back upon myself

after all these ideologies and promises of a better world, IF ....

Monday, October 1, 2007

more plans for Bivak Gloria

after my exuberant solo at 60x60 it's time for me to re-evaluate minimal, very body-oriented dance. anatomical exactness, joint by joint, of which we have several hundred (more than a dozen in just our feet and hands alone). organ-states, muscle states. my functioning, continuously self-massaging, ongoing body.

how looking, hearing, action influences that.

and to really go for play, the value of play.
with Dwight, Robert, people who come and visit...

Friday, September 21, 2007

sensory awareness - kinesthetic awareness bypassing the clutter around it

soon, in mid-October, I will work with visual artists Dwight Marica and Robert Rosenau
at the Hessenhuis in Antwerp.

Dwight wants us to work from a state of calm and some leisure, far-off from 'achievements' but real work.
i am very fond of this aesthetic strategy although I have to admit that myself i don't always find a way to realize it. but i find it justified for humans to work like this, knowing how to evade the animal-trap of constant need and hunting/gathering...

in August of this year I worked in New York City where I was a part of Elaine Summers' Hidden Forest . most of what i had prepared meticulously was swept away and brought down to a single basic instruction: move without thinking about it first, directly from the body-state. i managed to get this done on the day of the general rehearsal, where I was sick from the flu and so I kept away from everyone as much as possible, but also had had plenty of resting time during the day.

since i came back i notice that i have more moments where i can actually let sensorial experience happen while being open to its effects on me. i can listen better, sometimes.

and i feel a new intensity in my dancing again, where what is important is becoming much more clear in my sensory perception.
to focus on this happening itself and doing itself, developing itself, in its own tempo, its own way, is what interests me, has always interested me.
i want less 'filling-in' or 'transitory' movements, just the core as much as it is or is not, and that's it. to let whatever it is that moves me, move me ;-)

hopefully i'll be able to realise this more closely at Bivak Gloria in Antwerp...

Monday, July 9, 2007

[seeing a solo performed by Jonathan, three phrases, by Russel Dumas and Pauline de Groot, closing evening of Studio De Koe, Amsterdam July 7th 2007]

hier is een stijl die ook Nederlandse traditie heeft gecreëerd. iets dat mijns wetens (nog) niet aan Nederlandse academies wordt onderwezen (nog wel op de SNDO?)

here's a style of movement, a tradition that could be revered and taught by current dance academies, also in the Netherlands. but to my knowledge, (so far) there is none which does (with exception of the School of New Dance Development in Amsterdam?) (I already saw no one from the school there, except for Ria Higler who did a very straightforward dance, wonderfully in the masterful tradition that Pauline de Groot helped to create in Amsterdam)

une style tellement raffinée, organiquement decidée
clarité au détail.

oui, c'est toujours seulement une style entre autres, avec les mêmes problèmes entre la forme et le content,
mais une style qui je prefère au base une profondesse plus près de la existence humaine.

early oil-painting & release

[seeing "The Tower of Babel" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder]
oil-painting / fine-ness
release / energy in movement

- organic multi-layered
- the how disappears in favour of what
makes it shine through
- into the world, endlessness...
within the work itself


clarifiér mes pensées sur une dévelopement sur (une) danse noveau.
encore pour une période limitée.
voilà :-)