Re: a question 4 u

Mark Coniglio (
Sun, 20 Apr 1997 08:34:12 -0400

Amanda said:

>I have been asked to speak on a panel at a forum kicking off with the
>following question
> - is it necessary for the body to be physically present in a performance?
>My question is (from curiosity and some food for thought): what would be
>your opening line if u were confronted with this question? The forum is for
>dance and theatre bods of mixed interests.

part of Scott's reply was:

>In my
>opinion, I think the illusion of the body is more interesting than the body
>itself. So, what is necessary to create in the mind of the viewer the
>feeling or belief that they are looking at a body.

I think that this illusion has something to do with the presentation of the
body in the performing space. But I think that there may be significant
information coming from the way in which the eyes and heads of the audience
must move in response to what is happening on stage.

When the body is a video projection, fixed in space, the eyes and head of
the audience must also remain fixed or they will miss something in the
projection. In the traditional performance, the audience is forced (if they
want to see) to join in the dance as the performer's movements across the
stage dictate the movement of their head and eyes. Perhaps, as an audience
member, these tiny movements subconsciously contribute to the feeling of
liveness and the existance of space.

I once heard a comment from a choreographer that the in the best dances,
you didn't know where to look - the inference being that there was so much
interesting stuff happening you had to make a choice what you would view
from moment to moment. Again, when the there is a projection or other
representation, perhaps this ongoing act of choice by the audience is lost.

-- Mark C.

Mark Coniglio, Artistic Co-Director |
Troika Ranch |