[-empyre-] : "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration" (M Weiss) Movement 2

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Oct 7 06:25:54 EST 2011

[2] Second reflection, Mov.2,  from Michael Weiss.

Choreolab as a Creation of Fields of Knowledge 

     In the course of our study we want to convey that there is a great conjunction between motion and emotion, action and inaction, 
     which ultimately strives for full illumination that can be grasped at the (sub)conscious level. Thus, the power of compassion and 
     deep understanding becomes senior to all else [....]  How to take this paradigm to practicality will be the focus of our interdisciplinary seminar.  
     [...] Can we finally transcend our (e)motional frequencies for a deeper independency of feeling, thought, mind and consciousness? 
     What is this ’final’ state of being- the essence of consciousness?   (Sebastian Prantl)
- - -

These reflections of Sebastian Prantl lead immediately into the Choreolab’s intention as a creation of fields of knowledge. A choreolab, as understood here, forms an endeavour for research by means of inter- (or: trans)disciplinarity in its essential meaning: In order for this to happen, I believe a base and understanding are required by which persons can fully immerse and dedicate themselves to research from within and without their and other’s bodies-and-minds. Reading Prantl’s reflection in such way, I prefer to not interpret it any further (1) for its complexity involved, and (2) because the Choreolab was the very process by which such reflections were translated into practice-and-research (needless to say―given the enormous scale of these questions―this is a lifetime’s adventure of embodied research).

Out of the many ways of trying to convey a more immediate impression for readers with regard to the atmosphere deriving from such a creation of fields of knowledge of practice-and-research during the Choreolab, I would like to continue with a method of representation used in qualitative research called poetic representation. 

The following text is based on fragments of what the participant-experts of our group said on the last day of the Choreolab. We sat together for breakfast at a long table on the university campus at a sunny Saturday morning. In a final reflection, everybody talked about her or his personal experience. I wrote down some of it, thereby collecting a mosaic of feelings and contemplations. They are now condensed in the following text, containing either parts of transcribed sentences or whole ones as said by the participant-experts. They are deliberately woven together by me hoping to offer a most direct insight into an existential experience on subjective and collective levels of researching for a creation of fields of knowledge:

How do I perceive myself in dance
I felt always connection
I didn’t need to talk 
Just being here without effort
I feel lighter

Sometimes I was overwhelmed
Found new questions for myself
―wonderful places―
It is a huge luggage but it is light
Learn from movements

I am less concerned with myself now
Where is the focus

Look at deceleration
Normally there is a goal
Lean back, see bodies

Enter into my body
The doors are so important
The quality of open doors
The quality of a ritual
To live in space and in connection

I felt not good sometimes because old things came out
I could be the little girl
Why dance in such a little age group if dance is my life?

Not single stories―one net 
I had a big crisis
Holy life
Without making sense
I will be at home
It is the frame in which flowers can grow
For me this is the base of dance

To be an artist in society
The place is called ΄dancing ground΄―
there they do discussions, politics, creativity
As artists we have a responsibility

The importance of dance as the connector
I feel blessed to have formed relationships
Very slowly passing on the message of how 
to connect the inner and outer world

We need to change ourselves first
Go inside first, then meet others
Feel the present time: us, sun, colors, everything 

- - -

This representation might offer a bridge for readers into a transformative process, thereby recalling the very questions initially asked in this essay, referring to subjective and collective levels of pursuing embodied research. I therefore would like to invite readers to again contemplate on these questions, if welcome in a mood of deceleration, by asking them anew in light of the reflections we just heard: 

How do dancers develop their art of performing in order to realize foundational dimensions of knowledge of their bodies-and-minds and of those who experience their dance? 

How do dancers get in contact with existential grounds of their (un)consciousness in regard to the own psycho-physical personality in its multilayered contexts while also focussing on the interwoven dynamics of subjective and collective fields involved? 

What ought to be initiated to enter such processes? 

What then is movement, from whom and from where does it derive? 

What then is body-and-mind and the very presence coming into manifestation thereby? 

Which questions ought to be asked/danced/lived to create knowledge of body-and-mind with 
regard to social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts in which dance is situated?

How could deformations within these dimensions be questioned by dance, how could transformations within these dimensions be initiated by dance?

- - - 

Given the scale of this essay, I cannot discuss the interrelations between the voices of the participant-experts and these questions. Yet, I do hope it becomes visible how the potential of this Choreolab enables developments and reflections as manifested within the words of the participant-experts due to its research potentials. As they have been in the focus now, I like to go on by complementing their views with those of the expert-participants in like manner. Therefore, the following excerpts are taken from sentences I wrote down immediately after dance experiences or during lectures as they were said by them deriving from their various fields of art and science mentioned [1]:  

Close your eyes
Evolutionary class
Walk blindly
Sound, smell―
taking care, trust
Everything changes

Why do we produce art?
How minimal will and can you get?

Memory your body shape
Sharpen moment-to-moment awareness 
You are always in

Experience time
Not being dictated by your brain

Realizing what feeling is
Thinking is embodied
Dance with empty head, thinking nothing―
as empty as possible

Know to be in the moment
Nothing about wrong-doing
You go into your deep self when you go into a crisis―
something powerful can come out of it
Showing your vulnerability to the world

What was your first experience?
Sometimes we don’t dare to share our injuries and our treasures
The joy you experienced, the sadness, the suffering, 
the anger that you experienced, bring forth from your axis 
with the wringing―
wring it out from the axis―
so, this is to know the axis

One chair should be empty and the door should be open
I like the silence because it gives respect to deep things
When I dance I am waiting for that experience that we are all together―
even with that what is behind the wall

I think we are not autonomous, we need each other
You need the child in you
Discover the richness of unfocussed quality

Where is it all leading?
We are constantly concerned with saving time.

Why did time pressures accelerated so much after 1990?

Exploitation of nature
People can’t slow down
Forty-four percent of grown-ups have sleeping disorders in postindustrial societies
How has one’s time been violated by productionalism?

Disempower the dynamics of money
New ethics of sharing
Deceleration as nucleus of identity

Ideas come from relations
New collective identity
Potential of intuitive quality

What does it mean for you?
It needs a participatory observer
A flow of energy and meaning
Its intent is experiencing 

Our power to act depends on decentralisation
What is it to collectively determine our future?
There is the end of current political thinking

What is death?
What is it to be human?
Music needs time to be
Water reacts to light

You see the moon here and at the same time there above―
if you see the both at the same time it will be wonderful
Creating the environment through imagination
Touching, really touching a paper means the paper touches you

There is sadness in the world, young people should ask what we can do
What are we capable of as human-beings?
Look up into the universe, then back on you as a member of the human species
Now I am the sun but gradually the moon comes into me

- - -  

For reasons to do with the boundaries of this text, I invite readers again to take this ball of reflection, playing it further according to your intentions. Given the broad scale of Choreolab outlined before, I want to direct my comments just towards two aspects. I carefully chose this poetic mode of representing views of the participant-experts and expert-participants in order to deepen them within the given format to such a degree that they might convey somewhat of the transformative and existential research quality of this lab. Furthermore, I decided to implement this way of poetic representation because it corresponds fundamentally with the dynamic of congruence towards being in relation with oneself and being related to each other. I therefore hope that this setting might manifest the very dimension of co-authorship between participant-experts and expert-participants which I personally experienced as an essential base of the Choreolab and the process initiated by it.

[ to be continued]

- - -
[1]  From personal notes, August 28 - September 3, 2011. With the one exception of Ohno Yoshito’s workshop on September 2, 2011 because I could not write down his words after dancing. Given my research on his butō transmission, I therefore hope it is appropriate to fill these gaps with similar sayings from his workhops in summer 2004 in his studio in Kamihoshikawa (Yokohama) deriving from personal transcripts.

Michael Weiss

(relayed by moderator)

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