Choreography isn’t a thing to be made, it’s a space to be opened. choreographing is the art of opening new creative spaces. Whenever a choreographer actually makes the choreogrpghy, she or he is no more than a sort of elaborate, yet self centered creative dancer.
To dance well, is to reach a certain level of being un self-aware, in order to immerse oneself fully within the unfolding present moment.
You respect the audience only as much as you respect the work.
Expirience, simply means the ability to jump over the wrong solutions, in order to get quicker to the right ones.
The most common gateway for makers with no clarity of content or vision, is to ridicule everything. The art form, their performers and the audience.
It has nothing to do with humor though, humor is the result of clear content and vision, while the choice to ridicule everything, is a way to mask the lack of both.
Leave dancers in a better state than the one you found them in initially. On all levels. And all aspects.
Skill is great. Having good reasons to use it though, is better.
A choreography can create two distinctly different environments, one which heightens the senses of whomever gets in contact with it, or a second that numbs them.
The first allows everyone to make up their own minds about what they think and feel. The second, wishes to control and manipulate everyone who comes in contact with it (wether they are part of it or the audience) into feeling and thinking whatever the maker wants them to.
You can’t learn choreography, you have to know it.
A choreographic work should be smarter than whomever made and performs it. If you fully ‘get’ it, it’s not well made.
Choreography, is about constantly coming up with new ways to ask the same questions.
Verbal language (being the first form of information technology of some sort), is a limitation of thought by definition.
Human thought and experience, are way more complex and vast than whatever word based language, can propose as means of processing and expressing them.
In this electronic age, where human experience is constantly being translated into the form of information, moving us towards a technological extension of consciousness, choreography can offer an alternative. It can reverse this course of action.
While the unity of the modern world becomes increasingly a technological rather than a social affair, choreographic practice and thinking, I would suggest, remains as vast and as complex as thought and human experience are, and therefore, provides a valuable means of insight into the real direction of our own collective purposes.
The urge to plan creeps up on the artistic process.
Driven by fear and insecurity, planning pulls the creative process away from its inherent nature - a real time observation, studying, processing of and reaction to that same process.
The choreographic process can be summed up in one question - What might be the right thing to do next?.
Not what I want, what I planed, what I want to say or show, what was my vision, how I'd like it to look or feel or be.
Just the simple question of what might be the next best move. At every single moment of the process, and regardless of my own opinion about the whole.
The choreographic process moves forward through the endless number of times we answer that one question.
Most of the choreography being made, is the result of a certain type of education, a cultural context and social conditioning. That's why most of it isn't really concerned with the inherent questions which arise from the choreographic process.
Performing a choreography, is simply managing the gap between what was planed and set, and what is actually happening in real time during the performance. it's this gap, that should be the creative focal point, rather than the thing which was preplanned.
I choreograph with no ideology. I'm only interested it what is actually happening. Inserting ideology into the choreographic process, pushes it away from the actual. it's an escape route from the concreteness of the choreographic event which is taking place.
Same thing goes for principles, ideals, believes.
To find out, to discover, to experience, to come upon that extraordinary state when a choreography becomes it's revealing self, one must completely set aside every form of believes, prejudices, conclusions and definite opinions, which prevent clear seeing and listening. Whereas, if I look and listen, without approving or not, but with a certain quality of attention, then perhaps I'll manage to understand the thing which takes place, and work from there.
But you can not observe with a conditioned eye. In order to understand the choreographic process, in order to examine the questions it holds, you have to look at it with a free, unconditioned eye.
To make choreography, one must understand it, and in order to understand it, one must be free to look only at what is happening. When this takes place, the whole sense of struggle to make the work this or that, disappears.
It becomes what it is. It is what it is.
"when you're in the studio painting, there are a lot of people in there with you - your teachers, friends, painters from history, critics... and one by one if you're really painting, they walk out. And if you're really painting YOU walk out. (Philip Guston)
Since no choreography can, or should be fully set (and if it is, it's no longer a choreography anyway, as the true nature of choreography is that of a living system), it can happen only in the presence of a choreographer. Whenever the choreographer isn't present, the choreographic process ceases to exist eventually. The work becomes something else, remotely related to what it was when a living thing.
The entire logic of dance repertory is based upon the idea that choreography can be fixated, and it is for this reason, that it is deeply harmful to the art form.
Choreography is conversation. Conversation is counterpoint. Counterpoint is bound to the existence of two or more separate, autonomous entities. Counterpoint, as a phenomena, can happen regardless of deliberate intention. Conversation on the other hand, is a conscious and deliberate act. It's an active form of generating counterpoint.
If choreography isn't conversation, it has very little to say about anything.
If too much information is gathered about whichever thing without experiencing it, it creates a false sense of knowing. That's the danger of over intelctializing choreography. Intellect wants to dissect everything. It wants to dissect and KNOW, but choreography can't be known by breaking it up. You can know certain things, but you cannot know choreography by breaking it up to little pieces. Just because the intellect is sharp, it doesn't mean it's effective. In that sense, information isn't knowledge, Experience is. Choreography, being a form of consciousness, has to be experienced in order to be known. The intellect is a tool amung others, the sharper it is, the more it has to be handled with caution and moderation.
There's an evident link between the abstraction qualities and tendencies of an art from, and it's ability to travel through time, epochs, cultures and contexts with ease. Music being the most abstract art form, travels easily through all these. A musical piece createed hundreds of years ago can have immediate contemporary relenevce to a here and now, remotely similar to the one in which it was created.
Dance I think, is on the complete other side of that spectrum. Although quit frequently referred to as 'abstract', I think there can never realy exist any notion of abstraction when talking about dance, or choreography for that matter.
The mere présence of people, being the subject matter whether one wants it or not, make it as concrete as it gets. And when looking at other forms of art it's obvious that the concrete, travels through time and different contexts In a much more clumsy and hésitent manner.
The dance of the past can be many things, but it can not truely be expirienced as a relèvent contemporary comment or observation.
Choreography and dance are mediums bound to their time. They make little sense outside of it.