Re: Dance Software

Robert Wechsler (
Tue, 5 May 1998 21:42:29 +0200

On Tue Darren Kelley wrote:
>On Mon, 4 May 1998, Richard Povall wrote:
>> Robert wrote:
>> >
>> >We want to be able to get up and have IT happen! We want SATISFACTION!
>> >NOW!!! Some of the most enthusiastic supporters of work of this kind have
>> >never actually used it very much. I think this goes for choroegraphy
>> >softwares as well. In the beginning there is this -- what Germans call the
>> >"Aha" effect. Everyone is delighted. at first.
>> But this also brings up another dilemma. We don't expect people with no
>> training of any kind to get out there and just, well, "dance". We don't
>> expect people to pick up a saxophone and make beautiful sounds in the first
>> five minutes.

yes, Richard, good point (which Darren also made) (--thank you both for your
comments). Most dancers I know are specialists. They take class every day
and they rehearse all afternoon. Or they wish they were. How do I say
this... this kind of work seems to demand a kind of renaissance person.
computer work (with new programs) is extrememly time-intensive. a lot of
the work must be done by specialists. so we collaborate, in the great
tradition of Diaglev and Stravinsky or whatever, only the terms of the
coming together, of the "Zusammenarbeit", are not nearly so clearly defined.
we do not even meet on any levels traditionally thought of "artistic". I
happen to have some background in science and tech., but for me, and all the
more so for many my dancing colleagues, this attempting to merge our ways of
working, is problematic. we face what can only be termed enormous new
challenges on our patience and on our artistic method.

Darren was saying, that maybe we dont simply _dance_ enough in our systems,
this is something like what i meant, but I think not exactly. That sounds
like improvisation (which happens to play a pretty small role in my method).
Anyway, yes!, dance depends so much on such physical kinds of experiences,
and lots of them. Any hour we spend with tech. is one less spent dancing.
This sounds childish perhaps, is perhaps, but it is the way many of us feel,
indeed, are. Our physicality is obstructed, literally put-off by this new
way of working, and without it we feel distinctly out of our element.

Are these really just start-up problems?

>[violins = sax]. Indeed it's even harder here, because successful
>techniques have already been developed and mastered for these instruments
>(constrained ones) over hundreds of years. We are only beginning.

Yes, and I and many of my dancing colleagues here, do not WANT to go back to
school for years or whatever to master new "instruments". we want a
collaborative system. something that lets us do what we do in a _somewhat_
new way and yet generate a _very_ new kind of result. I describe a yearning.

>> Of course this is beginning to take on a rather elitist stink - but I don't
>> really mean it to. Practice, as they say, makes perfect, and we cannot,
>> and should not, expect instant results from instruments that are (and to
>> some degree, have to be) difficult to play.
>> What was their violin playing like, I ask, after only
>> three months of playing?


Robert Wechsler and Helena Zwiauer Phone: (49) 911-397472
Palindrome Dance Company Fax: (49) 911-397472
Johannisstr. 42 / 90419 Nčrnberg