Movements are the raw material of dance, with which everything else is made visible. Movement manifests time: speeds, rhythms and even stillness when it stops. Movement manifests space: anatomy, gravity, impulse, dimensions, shapes.
What is it that promotes movement to the category of dance?
Are certain movements more dance than others?
What description of dance could encompass flamenco, butoh, tap dance, kathakali, maypole dancing, contact improvisation, aurresku, break dance and all the different things that people do in a disco?
Defining dance as a set of specific movements is too restrictive. I consider dance to be not so much a “what”, but a “how”. A way of perceiving and articulating movement.
Have you ever been listening to music on your headphones and had the impression that what was happening around you made the video clip to the soundtrack you were listening to? Music stimulates the perception of time and helps us find rhythmic coincidences and contrasts, but really, it’s not necessary.
Any street is a choreography for someone capable of paying attention to how time and space unravel.
And directing this same attention to our movements, whichever they are, allows us to choreograph ourselves with greater richness. Dancing by improvising is an instantaneous self-choreography.
In Zebra Proyekt we are going to limit the material – the movements – in order to project our creativity into other fields: dynamics, speed, rhythm, pause, counterpoint, direction, levels, repetition, location… As a warm up of sorts, I invite you to sit down to watch the street. Five minutes are enough to start to find synchronicities, chained actions, repetitions, actions in foreground and background and even curious movements and actions attracting our attention. I have already started with this fieldwork, and in this Berlin-of-the-high-latitudes, I’m grateful the weather has been merciful!
The workshop Zebra Proyekt will take place in Málaga between March 24th and 26th, with the support and collaboration of Colectivo La Tralla, the Higher Conservatory for Dance and the Centre for Pedagogic Innovation. More information here.