Becoming 'Other' - Materia Prima

The Pilobolus Dance Theater performing 'Symbiosis'.

> watch full screen for full goodness <

'We carry in us traces of every conceivable form of human experience since the creation of heaven and earth. So not only does our imagination draw on what we've experienced in our personal trajectories through life; it also feeds on those countless generations that preceded us. Our expressive range is not confined to a human dimension. It also embraces those of fishes, plants, and amphibians. Even that gush of freedom we once felt soaring through the sky is stored in there.'

'Remember we evolve constantly... by surmounting self-imposed constraints, we can transform ourselves. Just in the same way that a butterfly finally breaks out of its cocoon and transforms itself into a free spirit, so too, can you traverse the pupal-like phase in which you are now confined. In performance, our capacity to transform ourselves is truly critical.' - Kazuo Ohno.


Of all types of self-relational mediums, there are very few that open up the conversation about ways of 'becoming' more than dance. As bodies physically replicate their surroundings, objects, elements, animals, electricity, death, birth, confusion, anticipation, and transformation into an ongoing array of things. I am continuously taken with this concept of 'potentiality'. The ways in which we can truly become 'Other'.
There is the potential to become, and the potential regarding the endless array of possibilities of what to become. The human ability to empathise, to materialise, transcend boundaries, and become amorphous potential beings; THIS is why we create. To exist as 'Other, live through the process, and engage with life on a primary level. To exist as maker, the making, and the made.

The dancers articulate this kind of understanding through their bodies. They penetrate into a boundless world through Mimesis, through imitation of the way grass moves in the wind, the way a flower blooms, the stillness of wood, hardness of rock, the melting of wax, the violence of the ocean. They appear to enter the minds, or rather the souls of their subjects so convincingly that upon viewing you genuinely feel you are watching the original act itself. In essence you are, as they truly believe what they have become. And belief is the what we base all concrete facts upon.

'We love to look at a flower in bloom, for we ourselves become one in doing so. For the living, 'to see' amounts to the same thing as 'to eat'. - Ohno.

To nourish ourselves through the eyes and through the skin. I feel this very same way about particular music. As it enters your body, through audible vibrations in air; it seems to engulf, possessing from both the inside and outside. You mediate with it and become it, lying as if stolen, in the intangible, non-place center of its momentous being. It creates a shell around you, a new body to temporarily reside within. Perhaps this is what they are referring to when they call it 'a body of music'.

The body of a song. To get in and wear.


It's always with a decent rambling that one stumbles upon conclusions or findings of interest. I think it's absolutely essential to get lost within your own thoughts, as it seems only then that you discover foreign content in your own subjective world... There must be a sense of discovery within your own work. It is as much about exploration as it is creation. They are not separate things.

No comments:

Post a Comment