Tuesday, April 29, 2008

understanding the (post) modern revolution in dance

i realize that contemporary dance is about to find the invidual bodymind of the dancer as the central instrument, instead of any specific culturally / traditionally (pre-)formatted vocabulary of allowed actions for communication.

such a human-frame is enough, like the human bodymind is enough as a frame for dancing, no need to also add a specific vocabulary to it - depending on the many interactions of such a human bodymind, vocabularies are formed by themselves.

this understanding goes back to a state before such formations and makes it possible to start to understand the formation of energy in time and space, filtered and formed through the human body (or anything representing such an experience)

consequently it also allows the mixing and deeper understanding of traditionally formed styles and languages, but can also synthesize & create new forms that will remain over the course of time as effectively expressing concerns beyond a single choreographer.

this is a potential for global application as cultures meet and exchange with each other ever more constantly, deeper and more far reaching consequences and at higher frequency than before. this development "forward" I see as a natural consquence of ever greater accumulations of technology, and again its ever further reaching implications and conseqences, which necessitate an ever more aware and well-balanced action from those who use / direct it.


Elaine Summers' choreographic work and her movement-technique Kinetic Awareness® is a systematic method fully realizing the formation and use of such an awareness and understanding of human movement, combining the freshness of authentic movement with the systematic understanding one can derive from Laban's human movement analysis. in the work of Mary Fulkerson O'Donnell from visually derived-imagery and embedding dance into social behaviour I find a very good complement for this system. (these are of course not the only ones, but I've found them particularly useful for developing a practice of dance that is not solely based on defined vocabulary and methods, but has this change and progression over the course of the years included as a given in its understanding.)

i try to form my own choreographic work drawing from these understandings, trying to find a Eurasian practice of these in-American-made insights.

working with Pauline de Groot gives me another example of how such an understanding could be put to practice, with her piece "TOUCH air / raak lucht" that we work on together with Jaap Flier, Aharona Israel, and Ailed Izurieta.

and then

and then I get visions of beginning again, amid the ruins and the devastation left over from the culture of my parents' generation...