This past week I decided to continue with the very structured movements I’ve been working with and put them on my dancers. After I felt that they had a strong enough grasp of it I asked them to embody the opposite of the emotions they felt that the original movements evoked. Afterwards I split them up into groups and asked them to teach each other their phrases. As of right now I’ve been working on more fluid phrases to teach the dancers. I do have a few themes in mind that are bouncing around in my head, but I feel that it is impossible for me to concretize them right now and that it will ultimately inhibit my and my dancers’ creativity, so I’m going to try my best to just explore as many avenues as possible during this ‘gathering’ experience.
What do you all find interesting in the collaborated movements, anything you feel I should build on? What emotions and themes do you see?
I really enjoyed this week’s reading on the body. I felt as if it were a great reaffirmation on how dynamic the body truly is and all it is capable of doing/representing/embodying, etc. The sections “The Body is a Sign”, “People are Bodies”, and “The Body Beautiful”. Our bodies are extremely powerful mediums, but are still susceptible due to their malleability (sp?). I hope with my piece to be able to challenge what my body and what my dancer’s bodies are used to performing/representing. I hope to achieve the body’s ambiguous potential and embrace fluidity.
There was so much going on in this piece, I had to watch it multiple times to get the slightest comprehension of what I was watching. Though the piece is titeld “Momentum”, that was obviously not the first thing I tried to dissect. The first few times I watched it, I tried to make sense of the afro wigs and gold paint on the dancers bodies. I tried to distinguish dancers by whether they were black or of some other ethnicity. I examined the physical characteristics of the dancers and their skill level. I felt that this things played a part in their arrangement in the space. Even though all the dancers had the exact same costume they were not at all uniform (physical aspects, skill, body shape, what moves they were doing).
But I still can’t figure out why she had to use afro wigs. At first glance, an afro can be interpreted as an African-American hairstyle, but if you think more deeply into it. Wearing an afro in any western nation is a symbol of agency and somewhat rebellion since it is embracement of how one’s hair naturally forms and rejection of applying chemicals or reshaping it into something more kempt and presentable to the general public…So you have this afro hair and then these dancers are doing these (or attempting to) do these very technical ballet moves. It’s obviously a super juxtaposition because of the nature of ballet (western, privilege) and the nature of natural African-American hair.
And then you have a few dancers who can actually do the fouttees and you can see that they are trying to do as many as they can as fast as they can. It is interesting to see that the ones who happen to have the most momemtum and stamina are at the front of the space are black…
There’s so much in this piece and I need to watch a few more times to really come out with a more logical comment…I think.
I really enjoyed watching Marian’s approach to something that is really taboo in our modern society, nudity. Particularly male nudity and even more specifically the penis is something that is more taboo to show in art as compared to breasts or a butt. I like how her portrayal of the male penis, just for this clip, is not necessarily glorifying it for its prowess, but it’s portrayed in its natural state. I feel this is very progressive.
Her approach to her artistic process and the results are fascinating. I feel that her process and everything she produces really comes full circle and it’s continuous. Her work doesn’t stop with the end production, but it’s stuff that you can really dig into more and more. Particularly for her piece with the lard and chocolate…it encompassed so many things. To make a carving out of her face, a female face, from this material and to in a way deconstruct it again is again fascinating. Watching what little bit of her process that we as viewers got to watch was in itself a piece of art. As I was watching it, I had an urge to replicate it. The feeling of constructing yourself (face), something I know is very laborious and time consuming and then to use simple methods to slowly wash away the painstaking details you’ve created. I think it would be a moving process.
Watching Kiki Smith’s piece was extremely haunting. I feel as if I were to be alone in a room with one of her artworks I would really feel a spirit other than my own there.