[-empyre-] : acdevate
David Hughes 19
davidhughes19 at btinternet.com
Mon Oct 10 02:15:26 EST 2011
There was the big bang.
The universe accelerated and expanded.
Then it slowed down. Consolidated, condensed, contained. Expanding still.
Then it started to accelerate again. Faster expansion.
That's where we are now.
From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
[mailto:empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Tanz Atelier
Sent: 05 October 2011 18:06
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] : butoh
Dear soft skinned space occupants,
Writing an adequate message to You all, while struggling to meet up with
dead lines in regard to funding proposals for a possible International
ChoreoLab Austria - in 2012, seems a bit strange... the mind projects into
an unreal new space while neglecting the experienced passed space by joining
in on a further processing of the ICLA 2011. Because of Johannes nice but
underlined request to join in on the unfolding discourse, I will send in
some thoughts now immediately...(it is my premier for me to join such an on
The act of writing about movement is in itself a complex undertaking for me,
and it can only remain as a wage parallel structure of what really happens
when the kinaesthetic realm takes over, in which a unique body(land)scape
functions and forms a vocabulary beyond words. It circumscribes (better or
worse) what happens in and around the body while dancing. The insight of
dance will remain untranslatable and one of the few secrets in our world of
scriptures, signs and symbols...
The term (E)MOTION depicts and provokes(written in capital letters) how I
perceive a phenomenon (in scripture) setting up an "E" in front of "MOTION",
as if motion is the main aspect in my consideration... (Of course for a
dancer "MOTION" stands in the foreground...) The intricate interface comes
about, when the "E" is being framed and brought in adequate distance to the
term "MOTION". A relationship of the framed "E" with the main term "MOTION"
causes a constant (instable) frequency between the two entities as the
scripture remains in pose on the empty white sheet of paper. "MOTION" and
"EMOTION" start to dance on the surface of the panel, while the "E" remains
framed. Should that suggest a special enhancement of that "E"? (E)? =E=?
My urge to move (things around) is constant and unbroken, as it is
immediately inclined or "corrupted" by emotional sub currencies...
In my dance education at the Alvin Nikolais Dance Lab in N.Y. in the early
1980ies, it was not appreciated to acknowledge emotional stimuli while
attempting to remain "abstract" in order not to disturb the functionality of
the well prepared geometric dance vocabulary. It was a "No No" indulging in
facial expressions and adding variations to the choreographic script! I
remembered I never knew where to put all my emotional life while dancing the
scores and I had serious problems storing away all these "wonderful" images
which seemed to pop up out of now where. Later on I took "Method Acting" and
realized that also the emotional household had to be structured and well
prepared as well...
When Pina Bauschs contributions conquered also the American Dance Scene in
the mid 80ies fostering all these "subversive" images, I felt reassured and
learned to enhance and nourish my emotions as an acting dancer moving on the
As we all know - as improvising dance makers - we are in a constant flux, as
the "(e)motional" body weather challenges our being and moulds our path: we
need to maintain a certain frequency in order to stay sane and healthy
through and beyond art making.
For me the theme of the ICLA 2011: "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration" was a
pacemaker and reminder in regard and awe to all the life rhythms in this
privileged setting of a unique lab, which I want to realize again hopefully!
So unfortunately I have to get back to work to night, in order to continue a
more tedious task...
But talk to You soon on detailed subject matter?
Tanz Atelier Wien
Neustiftgasse 38, 1070 Wien
T +43 / 1 / 522 60 44
F +43/ 1 / 523 39 94
E office at tanzatelierwien.at
Von: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
[mailto:empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] Im Auftrag von Johannes
Gesendet: Dienstag, 04. Oktober 2011 21:29
Betreff: Re: [-empyre-] : butoh
There is a scene in Peter Sempel's cult film from the early 90s, "Just
Visiting this Planet," which took my breath away when I first saw it in a
run-down cultural arts center in Dresden, not too long after the Wall had
come down and traveling to the former communist East of Germany reopened
some windows into the historical past, allowing also rediscovery of an early
phase of modern dance and art practically forgotten and buried in the ruins
of a long and devastated 20th century. In this scene, a white horse is seen
galloping down Broadway Avenue (New York City), surely an apparition and
yet, repeatedly, associated with the equally ghostly appearance of Ohno
Kazuo dancing a fragile impression of his mother or the spirit of another
influential woman in his life, La Argentina. It appeared that Ohno, one of
the pioneers of butoh, who passed away in
2010 aged 103 years, was improvising on some rooftop (or was it a side
walk?), dressed in a loose white shift and floating above the street where
the horse was seen,
a rose delicately held in his hand and the other hand drawing invisible
lines into night sky. Now he bends, his head lowering down and the long arms
are stretched out, he dances becoming a flower, he blossoms in the night. As
the scene of this apparitional dance lingers in the imagination, the
filmmaker cuts to a scene where we see Blixa Bargeld, the lead singer of the
experimental band Einstürzende Neubauten, sing a capella a harrowing
Schubert song from "Die Winterreise," a lyrical composition that evokes a
darkly desolate emotional landscape, and time, as if frozen cold and yet
galloping along, with drops of melodic lines irregular phrasings, crippled
After this musical entr'acte, the film returns to Ohno, showing a sequence
of close ups in which attention is drawn to the dancer's feet, as he floats
on a side walk, in the night.
Krems 2011, September 1..
Ohno Yoshito, the son
of the late Ohno Kazuo, enters the studio space and announces he will dance
a brief prayer, before opening his workshop demonstration and his
recollections of the long history of butoh, from the beginnings with
When he begins the dance of prayer, and slowly moves in a circular motion,
he now wears a rabbit costume, or rather, a small white embroidered cape and
a headband with (children's) plush rabbit ears. For a few moments, I think
he is dancing becoming rabbit, but it cannot be, there is too much irony for
But the irony slows down, and over the the course of the next hour, two
hours, I listen to the movement and the stories that Ohno tells, and the
next day, in the studio, I will be given a rose.
I have to start again, from a place that can leave irony behind or pathos,
and even as I resist regression, and child-like wondering at the world and
at being alive moving with a beautiful synthetic rose, I move there with the
others, being inside even as I imagine not belonging to such space. In the
workshop, we change rhythms, and we probably become aware of our emotions,
through movement above all, not sound, or memory. But movement is also
memory, and motion is like a wave or a compression of many (different)
waves. Ohno after the rabbit shows us a print of Hokusai's Fugaku
sanjurokkei: Kanagawaoki namiura (The Great Wave off Kanagawa), and points
to its contrasts: the drawing shows the vast power of nature (the waves
appear larger than Mount Fuji) and relative smallness of humans (the heads
of a boat crew are are as small as speckles of the foam). The sea is
splashing into a chaotic light foam to be dispersed by the wind.
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