Technologies of The “How”

(or How I Efficiently Became Squared by using technology to solve choreographic problems)

In my pursue of embodying the square shape through dancing, I have been moving repetitively on, in and in relation to the shape, using the fractal inspired structure depicted below, starting from the biggest square I can do, towards the smallest one.

The fractal-inspired spatial structure of the dance

During my movement research, I have been struggling for some respectable accuracy both in creating the square in space only through my moving body, that is, without marking the squares on the floor during the performance, as well as in the dramaturgy of my dancing, which is framed by dance improvisation, repetition and transformation of movement.

Spatial accuracy allows me to experience the square through infinite, mathematical self-repetition and reduction of its form in space, aiming at shifting my existence from our actual spacetime to a spacetime in between our familiar dimensions. Marking this spatial journey on the floor would add a quite self-explanatory and redundant spatial set, that would make the whole thing over-explicit for the viewer, as well as extra simplistic and over-complicating for me at the same time, degrading the whole dancing experience.

Dramaturgical accuracy in movement allows me to reveal to you, the audience, my semi-structured improvisational journey in the different sized squares within the time frame of 45-50 minutes, as my improvisation material addresses the particularity of my experience of dancing and creating each one of the different sized squares for days and hours during the rehearsals.

Furthermore, in order to create accurately not only the squares in space, but also their diverse and transforming experiences through movement, I realized I needed accuracy not only in “why”, but also in “what” and “how” I perform. I had to exclude some movements, include or produce others, be as sharp, precise and formalistic as I could dare, while simultaneously maintaining my mindfulness and emotional intuition through improvising. These facts have formed a wonderfully puzzling “dancing challenge” along the way.

Furthermore, on March 2020, I unexpectedly stopped rehearsing in dance studios due to Covid-19 pandemic, so I decided that on May 2020 I would deliver the project in the format of a screendance film, shot outdoors at urban environment, instead of a dance performance -while remaining interested in performing it live the following year (as soon as the circumstances allow me so). This irregularity added an extra layer to the urgency of understanding and working with the dance dramaturgy, as the practicalities of shooting and editing the footage would need an extra care for on-site consistency and beforehand preparation.

It became clear enough, that, whatever the mode of delivery, I had to solve three major problems in order to be able to deliver the research:

1. I had to find a way to perfectly embody the actual size of each square, so I could operate more accurately when experimenting with movement, speed and rhythm, without spending my rehearsal hours and precious energy for marking the spatial geometry on the floor every time I rehearsed, and then removing my traces from the various spaces I worked.

2. I had to code the experience of each square in a practical and understandable (at least for me) way, so that I would be able to improvise on something “tangible” without messing with the vagueness of my endless emotional and kinetic descriptions of my experience in each square.

3. I had to infiltrate my improvisation material produced since April 2019, reflect on it according to the work’s dramaturgy and select a way of documenting the movements that better serve each square, which would additionally allow me to continue adding and working with the document during the production of the screendance.

Soon enough, technology arrived, facilitating my efforts in solving problems 12 and 3. Technology gave me the exact portion of accuracy I needed, balancing my improvising “freedom” with my presuppositions and constraints, eventually becoming a way of organizing and delivering spacetime and “dancing” thought.

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