Re: New web dance

Richard Lord (
Tue, 20 Jul 1999 00:41:10 +0100

All quoted text from Bud Blumenthal:

>I think we should use other words to describe other things. Things deserve
>to be described with precision using the tool which is language. Pixels
>lighting up on a screen is not a dance.

Any dance on video is pixels lighting up a screen. Does this mean none of
them are dance?

>In my case, I've
>devoted the last 15 years of my life perfecting my art as a dancer. It
>takes me and a partner, a composer and other collaborators three months of
>full time intellecual and physical effort and sleepless nights and anywhere
>from 5 to 15,000 dollars of investment to make a half hour dance work for
>the stage. And that's just the beginning. What I do ain't got nothin to do
>with software being executed on the net. It follows that if what I do is
>dance (which is what I've been lead to believe) than the other thing is
>other than dance.

Your logic is way off. Because A is dance, B is not dance is a failure of
logic and language - a word can embrace two things. Or do you think I'd
be correct to say "Balanchine is dance, therefore Cunningham is not
dance" or (for the vegetarians) "carrots are food therefore steak is not

BTW, Pregressive 2, one of my web dances, involved a number of
collaborators, a personal investment of about $4000 even though noone
involved was paid, and took many months to complete. It also took many
years to acquire the skills to create this and the other web dances.
Don't belittle it.

> It's perfectly fine that it is what it is. Let us just
>call it what it is. If that means using three twenty-five word sentences to
>give an accurate description, than so be it. It's lazy and impermissable to
>throw the word dance out as its definition.

So don't call your work dance. If you want accurate descriptions, perhaps
"Live people performing choreographed sequences of movement on a stage
and accompanied by music" would describe your work. I don't know because
all you've described it as so far is "dance". Dance is not a precise
word, it is an artform which encompasses many different styles and is
growing to encompass many different media. Theatres, site specific work,
nightclubs & discos, carnivals, film, video, and now CD-ROM and the Web,
to name but a few. The word doesn't define the medium or the message,
just the artform used. If you call your work dance, I have no real
concept of what it is you do. Even if you called it "live theatre dance"
I'd have few clues. The diversity of dance is broad and deep. Live with

>Eh bien, it's for us, the dance artists, to maintain and impose the
>definition that we adhere to.

I am a dance artist. I create web dances, live theatre dances, video
dances, and would like to create a CD-ROM dance if I can get the
financial backing for it.

>So compare my work to downloaded patterns of moving pixels and it'll be you
>who is at the mercy of my viscious brain-squirting headlock.
>Virtually speaking, of course.

I don't remember anyone on this list comparing your work to patterns of
moving pixels or anything else, except you did of course.


Richard Lord
Big Room
See the web dances at