encounterBLOG 20 November, Tuesday

minus 1 degrees.

it is cold, and we meet for warm up rehearsal at 14:oo in the dance stduio on the second floor of the west building. bring dance clothes and warm socks.

later i shall begin reflecting on Toshiko’s dance

Movement A.

A Movement.

(earlier titles of the new piece):

this body

this machine

“what does the body know that we are not conscious of?” (asks Toshiko Oiwa).

i saw the dance during the rehearsal, and i heard Ulf Langheinrich’s music.

a very powerful movement performance with a unique and personal vocabulary of expression, and intense structural integrity and emotional depth, an evolution of an “image” of a shaking/shaken, completely dilated, stretched-out body, slowly dying and recovering. a performance that makes me silent, and makes me sense of this knowledge or thinking – this moving thought growing heavier, and heavier, until you slide down, below the floor, unable to rise again.

it is too soon to reflect on this performance, as the visual scenography or the moving lights – i do not know then yet. later tonight, there is a dress rehearsal with Langheinrich’s projections (onto the dance floor, onto the dance, the earth on which we move.

perhaps then i know more, or maybe i will know less.

the audio-visial environment (another ‘plateau’ – to speak in the code of this festival) is formed by Langheinrich, a visual artist who worked in Germany until the mid-80s and then left. he now lives in Ghana with his family, and that is where Toshiko Oiwa met with him to develop the concept for the new work. Oiwa is a dancer who has worked with Twyla Tharp, Bill T. Jones and most recently with Ballet Preljocaj/National Choreographic Center of Aix-en-Provence. her own choreographic work has been shown widely, and she recently also worked in Seoul/Korea.

what does Langheinrich say about “this body”, “this machine” (now: Movement A)? Langheinrich, whose projects with the group GRANULAR SYNTHESIS have been performed all over the world, seems to like titles that refer to musical or mathematical dimensions (“minus”, “waveform 1”, “waveform 2”, “waveform B”, “drift”…..).

“nachdem der Boden in atemgleichen langsamen Zyklen zu oszillieren beginnt, gleitet der K√∂rper in Myriaden projizierter Rauschpartikel und versinkt in Schichten digitalen Schwemmlands, versandend bis zu finaler Stille und Unsichtbarkeit. alles l√∂st sich auf in Wellen puren Lichts.”

i try to translate: “after the floor begins to oscillate in slow, breath-like cycles, the body glides in myridas of projected noise particles and sinks into layers of digital swamps, it becomes sand until it reaches final silence and invisibility. all dissolves in Toshiko_face.jpgwaves of pure light.”

there goes.


this body: always moving and alive until it dies. but the manner of this becoming (returning to earth healing itself from its shaking and trembling and apparent pain) is what will make the dance not invisible and not forgettable.

johannes birringer

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