Saturday, March 26, 2011

before abrupt awakening. . .


  1. love this dance of dreaming in the sun and rain and sun and rain and... the juxtaposition of the your dance-y dream realm with the back-drop of suburbia in the background...
    is it the giant teacup, the hats, the misty lens, the music... that transported me, like alice, to wonder-land with you??? thank you for sharing your dreamy-land dance with us...

  2. thanks for the kind words and reflections lee.
    yeah, i just happened to have all of these things around (at my grandmothers) a lot of objects that i realized afterwards i have played with as a child and throughout my youth, where i have fond memories of running in the spring and summer rain. :) what fun inspiration that allowed me to get lost in my own wonderland!
    now how to find dream and play in movement alone?? or empty handed? the next part of the journey will show. . , looking forward to more play and exploration, more breaking thru wallings (recording/public image/editing are big ones for me) and onto unique and collective callings! enjoying our connection here -

  3. #1 I read your response to Lee and noted that the most outspoken thing you said was “...i have fond memories of running in the spring and summer rain.”
    The part where you are running around in the rain was where you seemed to be the most free. In other parts you seemed to be focusing on creating some movement, some expressive body, i.e. The top hat dance/walk, the Sun Hat Walk, Ballet motions or bird flapping motions.
    I experienced those images I just mentioned as times when you were more than less self conscious of yourself as an artist creating a dance movie.

    #2 Whereas your memory of running in the spring and summer rain is very strong and clear, your relationship to these objects seems more lackadaisical, or half-hazard. You know you played with them years ago, but your words nor your movements reveal a strong connection to them. (except the yellow hat in the beginning part, that was powerful)
    “just happened to have all of these things around (at my grandmothers) a lot of objects that i realized afterwards i have played with as a child and throughout my youth.” It does not sound very committed or inspired. Which is fine, so much of this work seems more about trial and error, seeking and listening rather than getting it right.

    #3 Let’s not forget, of course, the fact that you did dance outside, in what can be called public view, which takes a great deal of courage. This is wonderful as well because it can reveal very interesting characteristics about you and your relationship to being viewed. That pressure reveals you. It also brings out aspects of your artistry which are juicy and like soft partially molded clay. It is almost a sculpture and deserves more attention. I am guessing this is why you cut them up and showed us only snippets of each of those sections.

    #4 The rain did something powerful. It allowed you to let go. This dilemma came up a lot for myself and a few others in Port Townsend recently. How do you let go enough to dance freely while retaining some control over the images you want to express?
    If I am right, I can sympathize with your desire to create formed image bodies. The self conscious attitude I see a lot with myself and many others.

    #5 You look self conscious in parts of this video. The reason I say this is not only because you turned off the camera just after the car appeared. That make’s it evident. There were many instances where you moved from an experimental formless body, what we might call a Butoh body, and then almost immediately became a ballet body, or cut the shot and went somewhere else.

    #6 If I focus on your movement I would say you begin to make a movement and then become over aware that you’re dancing outside which causes your body to change into a more formed ballet body. Combining Ballet and Butoh can be powerful. I would warn against allowing Ballet to occupy the safe side of dance, and Butoh the dangerous side. It might provoke self consciousness in regards to the public because Ballet is obviously more well known and generally safer to reveal in public. Regardless of the fact that we have a community of Butoh dancers and there are many people out there who appreciate it, it is weird, questionable and uncomfortable for the majority of the public. (Fun eh?)

  4. #7 I’m not sure how much but I think you put some forethought into the shots you chose. There were definitely artistic decisions you made in regard to camera and editing. You gave it that older film tone. It’s apparent that you have some skill at editing video and creating a sequence of story images, i.e. the chimes, bushes with a person leaving the edge, the blurred edges, cropping your face from view. All these look like intentional artistic decisions with a purpose.
    Your movements seem less complete or like you did not find exactly what you wanted, which is again why there are snippets of the dances. (the best went in, the others went out.)
    In the past I’ve heard Maureen recommend turning on the camera and dancing. I think this provokes a specific kind of dance. One that is more exploratory of the current emotional state or place or object of inspiration within a person at the time. And it has a lot to offer. At the risk of –putting words into Maureen’s mouth- I know she also has planned dances meticulously, and I think would agree that there is also a wealth of learning behind this approach.

    Your Music:
    The first few shots of you dancing with the yellow hat, slightly outside of the camera’s range worked with the music. When you switched to the front yard and the music stayed, I felt that the constant changes and cuts from dance to dance created a friction.
    You chose a strong piece of music to go along with your dancing. If you chose it because you like the song and it inspires you that is best. If you chose it afterward I am suspicious that it’s influence holds more power over your audience than your movement does. It is arguably one of the most famous pieces of music ever.

    Did you listen to the music while you danced? Sometimes it looked like you had the music playing and you were moving to it. Other times it did not. ......?

    Some Suggestions:
    If your intent is to dance the energy of your childhood relationship to your grandmother and her house, perhaps you could dance with those objects again and focus more intently on what they meant to you as a child.
    Another game which could be fun is dancing a reunion of your childhood self in the places at your grandmother’s house with the objects you have the closest connection to.

    In other words. I suggest paring down the objects you use to specific usages and specific reasons. OR Giving each object more time to reveal it’s relationship to you by playing with it. The top hat and the tea cup for instance could inspire a whole dance by themselves.
    Try revisiting them and doing just that. Explore the body for a while with the focus on that image. What invokes that body? What emotions are at play inside you?
    It’s okay to be still.

    You might try changing your levels too. Standing, crouching, crawling/ground movement, and going from high to low and experimenting.

    Self Consciousness:
    I suggest you make it easier on yourself and dance in places where you do not feel self conscious, i.e. the front yard, where the mail man can see you. Mix and match with vulnerable spaces and private spaces. See what changes. It is a shame however not to use that gloriously flat lawn. Try holding the same intent with an inside practice as an outside practice and see what changes.

    I mean to be precise and as helpful as possible. In fact I enjoy critiquing work, even if I don’t do it very often. I mention above that this work is full of listening and seeking. I hope my words only enliven you to keep moving forward, my opinion is my opinion, and I am now self conscious of my use of the phrase self-conscious. Even so, I do mean what I say. Or write.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. i do not mind constructive criticism. however, it seems to me that you have made a lot of assumptions about how, why, and where i created my dance and how it made me feel. I in fact turned the camera on for long periods of time, with lots of spontaneous, and then fantasy/objected inspired dancing. in the midst of these long shoots, my grandmother would come outside, the mailman would come, neighbors around the entire time. this did not make me self-conscious. .. and if i was somehow, or it appears that way to others or to you, revealing that is part of the 'in between'. . .
    for me the dance was about letting go and playing, and allowing the struggle of "not so free" to juxtapose with moments of freedom.
    the editing was very choppy and and used mostly on purpose to provide a dreamlogic and quality... and to get rid of sheer volume of dance. i did not pick "the best" parts and leave out "the worst". there were both. some parts were planned, others just seemed to fit and felt right... editing being part of the dance.
    i will take some time to step back, review the dance, and review your 'critique' because it is helpful for evolution. thank you for the interest!

  7. i appreciate the dialog here. carolyn, thank you very much for devising and sharing your work in an energetic, authentic and sincere way that was meaningful for you. evan, i see your generosity, enjoyment and inspiration in "riffing" on the offerings of another. your insights may (or may not) shed light on carolyn and her dance, if she chooses to open to and explore them, they may assist her in revelation, honing and deepening her practice and performance. your response may also shed equal light upon YOU and your inner dialog about your OWN butoh experience, aesthetic and practice. i feel that you would like to be a butoh teacher. one thing i remember melinda taught about the "Value Action" (evaluation/critique) part of the RSVP cycle from Anna Halprin's work is that it usually is all spoken as "MY experience" and suggestions for change are NOT offered to another dancer unless they are invited. id like you (and all of us) to continue to practice this type of honest "reflection" & "value action" here on the blog from your OWN perspective & experience and allow us to honestly respond to what "fits" and what does not. if we find your reflections helpful &/or fitting, we may ask for further "suggestions" about what we could do to hone our craft. that could be a good "teacher training" lesson for you and all of us. what do you think about this carolyn & evan? every body else?

  8. thank you, momo... would like clarification on our process of feedback with each other... as it a new realm for me to do... reflection versus critiquing?