Miroto's words come back to me. "Dance is about literal movement, abstract movement, speech, and opera." He is sitting crossed-legged on a small futon-like couch next to Kun-Yang, ticking off the elements of dance.
He is sitting in his studio. The sun is fading outside and the shadows are creeping in. His dancers are sitting next to him, his daughter on his lap. Traditional and contemporary masks are being passed between our dancers. He leans forward as if this part of the conversation is vitally important. "Dance is about what's behind the movement!"
The body is the conduit. The transmitter of information.
Yesterday, I performed for Kirsten Kaschock's book reading/ Philadelphia tour stop of "Sleight." I read the book because I love reading, I love Kirsten, and I wanted to research my role in this performance. Great read. But, I learned more about Clef, Lark, West, Kitchen, and the sleight from Kirsten's embodiment during her reading. We began rehearsing several weeks ago and she briefly described the story line. Developing a relationship between an object and the self. Being aware of the space and the audience. Being part of a larger whole. Listening to an object and the larger moving community. Her concepts resonated with the work I've been investigating. I was excited to approach them from a different perspective - from a literary perspective.
Kirsten integrated music, dance, and reading into her performance last night. I learned, from watching her, that these opportunities provide me with rich, deep research. Kirsten moved as she read, delineating the space, designating space, providing her audience with a visual, physical, and mental image. She engaged all of the human elements in this work - the sound of her brother playing, physical empathy through movement, visual experience, thought-provoking language, the smell and taste of wine and apples... it was a complete sensory experience. This provided me with more data and information to complement my own kinesthetic research.
Thank you, Kirsten!
Dance is about what's behind the movement.
(I may be misquoting Miroto, but that's what he said in my memory, and I'm not that far off, if I am misquoting).