Monday, 20 October 2008

Dans Festival 2008: Why I dance II

I saw the Nederlands Dans Theater I last night. Sitting in the dark with 2000 people for Silent Screen by Lightfoot Leon. It was one of the moments for which I live. Not just a moment for which I dance. The curious opening of a light somewhere inside you such that when you leave the theatre, you know that you leave as a different person.

It made sense to me then that it must be the study of movement. It is movement that we recognise as life - the unfurling of a leaf, the agitations of an amoeba. I was reminded recently by my music lecturer Dr Sharpley that we humans live based on flimsy sensations of thought, communication and perception. As far as we have been able to use those flimsy senses to discover, those thoughts and perceptions of light, sound, and heat are in themselves movement: the eternal spinning and collision of particles. Movement is why we live.

Is destiny a molecule, an atom, a quark?

Today I am reading these stunning quotes from Merce Cunningham and Alwin Nikolais:

"you have to love dancing to stick to it. it gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you are alive." - Merce Cunningham

"We do not have to be educated to understand the abstract language of motion, for motion is the stuff of which our every moment of life is preciously concerned." - Alwin Nikolais

And one of my old favourites from an artist who has also been a dancer. Perhaps why she understands that we start with the physical, with movement.

"Art is why I get up in the morning." - Ani diFranco


Anonymous said...

Ani DiFranco will be performing Live in Singapore at the Esplanade Theatre on 10 Feb 2009..visit the Greenhorn Productions facebook page and become a fan for announcement soon with all the details....; )

Anonymous said...

Hi, Valerie here from ArtZine Singapore, an online art magazine. We're looking for a dance writer to review The Nutcracker in dec. Interested? Drop us an email at ! :)

sze said...

Thank you so much I am really looking forward to seeing Ani!