[dance-tech] Re: post / choreographic

  • From: "Matt Gough" <mpgough@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: orpheus2@xxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 02:21:59 +0100

johannes mentioned deborah hay:

" 'Experimentalism' workshops (as Deborah Hay calls them) to foster
other understandings of dance practice and real time composition have
been going on for years of course. Deborah speaks of 'becoming
molecular', and she teaches various kinds of attention to presence and
perceptual awareness, again in the sense of destructuring
choreographic habits and visuality."

except deborah hay's position on choreography (etc.) is more
structural (and complex) than johannes suggests. in her own words:

"I recognize my choreography when I see a dancer's self-regulated
transcendence of his/her choreographed body within in a movement
sequence that distinguishes one dance from another."

she acknowledges structure as a feature of her work. her choreography
'whizz' has "a structure that erases causality". she extends this
description with:

"Whizz's progression is unforeseeable and the dancer is not the
embodiment of a pre-existing design, but rather the author of a
multiplicity of instances within the choreographic structure."

hay's re-choreographing of 'choreographic habits' is an examination of
how the dancer engages with the choreography. it is not an absence of
choreographic structure. you can read more here:


the quotes are from 'performance as practice' and 'How do I recognize
my choreography?'.


my critique is not dogma, but one that asks "does 'x' stand up to
examination, and itself".

dance-tech has tended to misappropriate terminology from various
fields of study, including dance. it also has a habit of reinventing
the wheel (redundantly).

if a 'way of thinking' negates itself, then it is flawed. if a way of
thinking is fruitful then it will withstand critique.

the key question here is how does johannes thinking on 'realtime
composition' differ from (existing) improvisation practice. at the
moment that is hard to see.

i will leave the last words to hay:

"History choreographs all of us, including dancers. The choreographed
body dominates most dancing, for better or for worse. The questions
that guide me through a dance are like the tools one would use for
renovating an already existing house. [...]  the dancer applies the
questions to re-choreograph his/her perceived relationship to
him/herself, the audience, space, time, and the instantaneous
awareness of any of these combined experiences. The questions help
uproot behavior that gathers experimentally and/or experientially"

On Sun, Mar 30, 2008 at 5:12 PM, Birringer <orpheus2@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> hello all:
>  thanks for your interesting response, Jeannette, I will reflect and write
>  back later.
>  As to Matt's commentary, I would have thought that there is plenty of room
>  on the list and the dance.tech net
>  for questioning and exchange of opinions and artistic positions. I don'
>  think there is a need to be confrontational,
>  if we respect each other's work and thought.
>  with regards
>  johannes

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