Re: some other events/ questions

Richard Povall (
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 08:53:12 -0400

...the relationship between those who are trained
>(are training) in the physical knowledge of dancing, that daily ritual of
>class and rehearsal which tends to take up all of one's energy and time...
>leaving little for facing the sort of learning curves presented by these new
>technologies we are all embracing... and those who are trained in the use
>and implementation of hardware and software to carry out some of the highly
>detailed and difficult technical chores necessary for the experimentation we
>want to see happening.

Scott has a point here. The collaborators who come to mind immediately -
John Mitchell, Mark Coniglio, myself for that matter - all come from a
musical/composition background and have little or no involvement with
moving on stage. This is a sweeping statement of course, and not entirely
true, but I suspect that the majority of "technicians" (totally the wrong
word, but you know what I mean" have little physical relation to the work,
and, at least in my case, have a real awareness of my own physical
limitations and lack of physical awareness and coordination.

This changed for me when I did a residency at Steim with Jools Gilson-Ellis
last year. She encouraged me to join with her each morning in doing
warm-up and some simple yoga exercises. This had a profound effect on the
way I worked during that time - and, I think, raised some eyebrows at
Steim. We tend to become victims of our labels, I think. Musicians don't
move (dancers don't listen). I didn't suddenly become a physical person
after this residency - but I did start taking regular yoga classes. I'm
still very physically restricted and spend far more time in front of a
computer than I do engaging in physical activity - I'm still awed by the
physical control and feats of my colleagues on the stage. Years of working
this way, however, have given me what I THINK is an empathy and
understanding of the world of the dancer. I may be fooling myself, of
course, but I do think that many years of working in this way has deepened
an understanding of how dancers work and think. I don't think we can or
should be mult-skilled. Of course there are those who are - probably some
of the people who join in these discussions - but I think specialty is a
much more fundamental thing than simply the training we have (chosen to)

However, musicians and geeks should all be forced to move once in a while -
performers should probably also be forced to find a knarly little bug

Love y'all


R i c h a r d P o v a l l
Assoc. Prof of Computer Music and New Media / Chair, TIMARA Dept.
MPO Box 0332 TIMARA/Studio 5
Oberlin, OH 44074-0332 USA Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Voice: +1.216.775.1016 Oberlin College
Fax: +1.216.775.8942 Oberlin, OH 44074 USA

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