Re: Research on dance & tech

Tue, 26 May 1998 16:14:56 -0700 (PDT)

Ola' dear list,
I've been away for some time, finishing my MA thesis, guess about what?
"Challenging Body Perceptions: 'New Dance' Moving Towards and Resisting
New Technologies". Actually, I even have use some of the list discussions
(with your permission?), concerning accessibility, and precisely
form/content issues, between other. Later I would love to have it on DT&Z,
although is fifty something pages.
So, now before leaving to Portugal for the Summer, I would like to answer
and comment Jos, Johannes, and Doug.

Thanks for being interested in "Imagine You Later". I'm proposing a
residency at Exploratorium and some other places in San Francisco, and
hope to present a performance around November.

Johannes wrote:
Since my composers, dancers and I are currently racking our brains over
interior body landscapes in our new work, I am curious what Isabel means
"starting from body interiority"...... and "the expression of body
functions themeslves.." ? How does the liver express itself, or the
kidneys, or the heart? Bowel movements? I could imagine a piece built on
bowel movements, actually. Musically speaking. Choreographically it might
yield a 3-D animation worth considering. My skeleton trembles. We should
objectify our bodies more often.

First I must say that in this piece, as in my last works, I'm mostly not
choreographing but developing strutured improvisations. I ground my
movement on a BMC, Release, and authentic movement, approaches. The body
systems I've been exploring are the bone, muscular, fluid, respiratory,
and nervous, as well as the skin and some perceptions. I tend to find
movements connected with these systems, having them as starting points
that allow further developments and transformation. Yes, in a way they are
objectifications of the unknown body, but not just that.

Johannes about Sharir performance:
If I had come to see, explictly, the interactive design and the way it's
used, I may be disappointed. But I did appreciate the choices the Yacov
made, and I find them interesting because he integrates the digital
interfaces and 3-D animations in non-selfconscious ways. That, however,
makes the dance look like conventional modern dance. Am I making sense?

I think it's great the achievement of technology been made implicite, and
completely integrate in the piece. But, the conventional aspect of its
output, is I think only related with Yacov dance technique. I have not
seen the pice , only looked at his web site and the photos in it, and yes
seems somehow coming from a modern dance style. And so what? For me it
makes it polemic. Any way, we have, and will have all sorts of dance style
using new technologies, good and bad, as without it.

I think that the good intensions of disrupture and mixture in
postmodernist art is dead in this late postmodernist age, reduced mostly
to formulaes followed by art students coming out of academia, and looking
for what is hot ou there. And in San Francisco the social change became
the recipe to get the funds. We can say there is no other choice for
artists to survive, and that this was also a result of the changes in the
funds to the arts back in Reagans time? But I don't think such changes
should be the factor which defines what the art of this decade should be
What I wanted to say with going over the form/content oppositions, is that
there has been the time for both extremes already, and we should go for
conciliation, integration, and complexity, within all components which
makes a work of art. If it works or not, that is another issue.

Thanks to all,


Isabel Valverde
SFSU/Inter-Arts Center