Re: Events for April?

Sarah Rubidge (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 09:17:29 +0100

Hi Lesley

>I'm just now preparing research for an assignment into the issue as to
>whether or not technology can replace the human body and choreographer's

As you can see from the responses thus far, you may need to re-focus your
>I hope not - but it's a frightening thought that anyone who can get their
>head around LifeForms (particularly) can create choreographic phrasing. It
>may not look as artistic as that created by a specialist - but then isn't
>randomness and lack of symetry something some of you are trying to achieve?
Isn't this akin to the comments made about Klee's paintings? Anyone can do
that. They are like a child's paintings. Similarly, about painters who
made certain kinds of abstract paintings which _looked_ as if nothing more
had been done, say, but throw at or drip paint onto a canvas. The results
of these actions are not _purely_ accidental. Artists have a tacit
knowledge (built up over years of experience) of how and where to
throw/drip the paint (that is place the marks) - and what to do with the
marks made when they do (where next to drip paint, for instance). Being
able to manipulate the tools of a medium (a paintbrush, a hammer and
chisel, a piano, one's body, an animation package) is open to everyone who
can pick it up or (in the case of the body) move it. It does not follow
that because you can weild a paint brush that you are an artist - as I know
only too well. It is the way the tools are used that counts - and makes
that use, or not, to what we have come to know as 'artmaking'.

I am with Thecla on the dancing/human body in relation to technology. We
_are_ embodied. Our understanding of and actions in the world are
inextricable from our embodied atate - and that includes our use of
technology (which of course goes way beyond Lifeforms). Just look at a
couple of Lifeforms animations. If you know the person who made them you
can more often than not see their personal style of moving in the way the
animated figure moves. You can't escape either the human body or the
choreographers' talent' (whatever that may be - I would prefer to use
'choregrapher's imagination, knowledge and skill') when using technology.

And of course, as Thecla points out, it does not follow that, because a
tool exists, every choregrapher is going to rush to use that tool. So be
not afear'd. The multiplicity of choregraphic approaches, practices and
contexts available to us now make dance what it is in 1998.