1.Preface of "Dance Seminer at Nishiazabu"
2.The Way of Looking at the Matrix
From today we are going to see "what called dance" through
four sessions. When you think about we are going to see it
along what stream, there is one normal way to follow
chronologically by "so called" jenre, such as "ballet",
"modern dance", "butoh". But actually this jenre definer itself
is rough and easy.
For instance, there is a dance called "modern ballet".
How is it different from "classic ballet" such as "Swan Lake"?
Or how is it different from "modern dance"? When these
question appeared, it is very vague by saying that theme is
modern, or a technique is different, or it is just new.
Therefore erase this kind of definer once and think by "how
individual dance looks". In this Dance Seminar in Nishiazabu,
we would like to focus particulary on an "audience side" and
position. We of course respect the "artist side", how it was
created, but sometimes we come across something great that
failed to meet the artist's aim. I would rather respect latter
Here I made a "dance matrix" based upon "how the dance
looks" (while keeping artist's aim in mind). To be able to
look over the whole dance scene, it has two axes and four areas.
[ The Way of Looking at the Matrix]
First, you will find wether the dance is "abstract" or
"figurative" by horizontal axis. Of course dance is not
a pantomime so the "figurative" does not represent the
everyday life action as it is. In case presenting an emotion,
for example to present "sad", an action "crying" would not
always come along. As well as theater, there is sometimes
a suggestive presentation. In other words what is it telling
in dance. You can think the other one, "abstract" as the
same as a painting abstract. That is not a revival
presentation (of some things or emotion), but do
geometry (design) by using human bodies.
Next is the vertical line -- "move/body". This way of
defining is assumed naturally since dance is a " move" of the
"body". That is to emphasize either the way of "move" or
the moving "body (as it ought to be)". Usually in Europe or in
America, they see a "dance" as a "locus of move" as the body
moves, traditionally. On the other hand in Asia, there are an
extremely small moves (Japanese "noh" and crouching wearing
worn-out clothes "butoh" are exactly that kind). In 60's, was
not there a performance called "Happning" just only sitting
there still? Beside the aim, for audience, watching something
motionless means watching the "body".
After all is said, there will be four different areas.
They are (A)(dance as)abstract move, (B)(dance as)figurative move,
(C)(dance as)abstract body, and (D)(dance as)figurative body.
But this definer is absolutly just a tendency of an index.
You will find some of them lie across more than two areas in
the matrix. Each dance includes all A, B, C, and D elements in
various rate. In broad outline, "folk dance" and "popular dance"
at discos and street ,it is "general "dance, are all at the
intersection of the vertical and horizontal lines!! I think this is
a pecuriality of a "dance to show", or to say a little more, this
is a pecuriality of a "dance as an art", since it is created by
"artist" purposely. First of all, whatsoever, there is "I want to
show this" thing. Well, we will go over this in the last chapter.
Add something to the way of looking at the matrix,
a "terrestrial" or a "heavenly" definer could be considered.
The upper half of the matrix A and B has a tendency of "wanting
to go upwards by conquering the gravity". On the contrary, the
lower half of the matrix C and D has a strong recognition of
"a human being standing there and where based on is the ground".
Moreover, to classify A, B, C, and D by easy verbs, "fly" is the
verb for the upper half A and B where is having "heavenly" as one
of the aim. And the verb "walk" is for the lower half C and D
where is having "terrestrial" as a central aim.
For the right half side B and D, the verb is "imitate",
since they act to tell some meaning or message. It has a relation
with a theatrical field. Then A and C is the opposite of "imitate",
and you will be calling it...
Right, actually "not-imitate" is also the concept.
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