michael j. morris


Cloud of Interests

This week I read an article by Alexandra Carter entitled  “Destabilizing the Discipline: Critical debates about History and their Impact on the Study of Dance.” In it she describes history not as neat boxes of knowledge but as clouds of “dispersing interplay” of discourses. My life, art, and interests feel a bit like that right now. I feel as if I have several large foci with small shifting bolts of connective tissue (big ‘ole mixed metaphor) linking them together. Some of these are illustrated in my tag cloud, others are not so concrete as to have a “tag” attached to them. I feel like I am trying to figure out how they all relate, how they inform or reinforce one another, and how the work I am doing might adequately address/serve/interrogate all of these interests.

At the heart of it all is the body. There is the subject of my arching research interests, that of situating the body as the site of the perception, negotiation, and demonstration of identity, and how this state is considered within the choreographic process. Specifically I am interested in considering movement material generated by the body as the extension of personal identity, and examining how the physical practice of movement material constitutes not only the construction of dance but also the construction of personal identity.

From here I am already aware of the paths that connect to other interests. One that seems to be of increasing centrality is the expansion of the notion of the body. This comes up in my yoga teaching, in the paper I wrote about Synchronous Objects, and in the ideas I have surrounding the work of Love Art Laboratory, Sexecology, and Ecosexuality. In yoga I privilege the body as the site of perception. The sage Abhinavagupta wrote: “Nothing perceived is independent of perception, and perception differs not from the perceiver; therefore the [perceived] universe is nothing but the perceiver.” If perception is a physical activity, as Mark Johnson, George Lakoff, and Alva Noë (among others, I am sure) have suggested, and if perception is the unity between the subject and the object (that which is “external” of self, the perceived universe), then the body take on far more importance as the site not only of the subject, but the subjective universe. This is perhaps not a profound recognition, but I think it may have profound implications. Our experience of the world can no longer be entirely considered as a subject moving through an external landscape; instead, the subject (and thus the body) becomes implicated in the “external” world. I think this may be the connection point to Sexecology/Ecosexulaity. The foundation of my understanding of these radical, fabulous, and beautiful notions as they have evolved out of the collaborative work of Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens is that one looks to find sexual (thus bodily) content in the natural environment. I think this recognition of the body as already implicated in environmental situation by virtue of its role as the creative/perceptual site for the subjective universe offers a natural extension to the exploration of sexuality in that environment. For more about my ideas surrounding sexecology/ecosexuality, see my earlier post. Going back to my yoga practice/yoga teaching, part of the way in which I understand yoga is a kind of alchemy of self, the “splendor of recognition,” the recognition being that Self is not separate from the universe in which it occurs, consciousness is the substance by which we create our own universe, Self is not fixed, nor is the universe, nor is the body, and that by cultivating this awareness of the body/Self/universe in our yoga practice, we are substantially transforming not only ourselves, but our consciousness, and thus the universe in which we live.

Adjacent (but connected) to these interest is the piece that I am working on right now, Autumn Quartet, with Erik Abbott-Main, Eric Falck, and Amanda Platt. This piece has been in process since September, and I am still not quite sure I understand it yet. There are so many blog posts writing specifically about this piece, I don’t want to be redundant, but the major ideas that have emerged from this process are: the relationship between intimacy and violence, undressing/redressing the body, shifting power dynamics, indeterminacy/agency (as created by the structure for the piece being an algorithmic score), the integration of life and art . . . those are the main ideas. Recently I’ve become interested in how this piece relates to sex, the presence or implication of sex in the piece even in the absence of actual sexual action. As I listened to Jiz Lee and Tommy Midas discuss sex in a couple of docu-porns by Madison Young, I was reminded of this dance. I’m still not quite sure what the connections are, but I think they are there. Part of how I am interrogating those connections is by bringing that text, that language, into the process, into the studio. I am situating it into my commentary on the work here on my blog, and in the sound score for the piece. [On a side note, I follow both Jiz Lee and Madison Young on Twitter, and it was an exhilarating surprise to have both of them tweet about my using that text in this piece]. I think as I watched footage of a run-through of the piece, I also began to make aesthetic associations with several films, a few that I have been thinking about since the start of the piece, and one that I had not considered. The last couple of scenes in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer have always been iconic moments for me, and as I looked at this dance, I recognized images that directly relate to those scenes, namely the wild flurry of bodies in various states of undress, and the biting, consuming, eating of a person. In case you haven’t seen the film, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it was a new connection for me.

Other points of interest branch out from this piece. I am in a course looking at the history and theory of post-modern and contemporary dance this quarter, and in considering what it is I would like to research for this class, this piece has suggested several points: the utilization of undressing as choreography, its reasoning, its perception, etc.; the explication of violence in choreography in post-modern dance: this has interested me for a while. Much of dance has an intrinsically masochistic quality to it. It is difficult, demanding, and often damaging to the body, in small, overlooked ways. I am interested in tracing the expansion of explicit physical violence in choreography, and considering how it might be indicative of an explication of the intrinsic violence, masochism, and even sadism  of dance practices. I am also considering writing my paper on Love Art Laboratory, Sexecology/Ecosexuality, as a component of this course, as the destabilization of fixed parameters of the body might be considered essentially post-structuralist, i.e., essentially post-modernist.

I have been feeling hungry for Butoh lately. Butoh has been the most transformative, fulfilling, actualizing physical practice of my life. Studying with Yoshito and Kazuo Ohno in Yokohama in 2006 was a formative experience for my dancing life. And yet ever since I came to grad school, the time and attention I have made available for a Butoh practice has been non-existant. I regret this, and at the same time I’m not sure of the solution. And yet all of these things, the body as the site of identity, the situation of the subjective universe, subliminal and explicit violence, these are all aspects that I find that Butoh can address.

I’m interested in applying notions of queer theory to choreographic practice, subverting the assumed normative roles of choreographer and dancer, without reverting to the post-modern model of dancers generating movement/choreographer structuring that movement. While that suggests the (perhaps illusion?) of a democratic process, I don’t know if it has substantially subverted those roles. Again, I think of statements made by Jiz Lee in “Thin Line Between Art and Sex” about being a “switch,” the fluidity of roles, leading and following, and how that sexual perspective might inform not only dance practices (as reflected in forms such as Contact Improvisation), but also choreographic methodologies. Truly, I am fascinated by Jiz’s ideas. They have addressed a whole spectrum of concepts that I have wanted to explore for a while and to which I have not yet given my attention. Jiz also wrote an article in a publication called ArtXX looking at the relationship between cognitive science and queer porn. I just ordered my issue; can’t wait to read it.

Which leads to the last interest that I might address here, and that has to do with a notion I’ve considered as “Sexual epistemology,” or ways of knowing that emerge from sexuality, sex, sexual identity, etc. This sense of considering choreographic process from the perspective of “switch” as suggested by a kind of sexual identity could be considered a kind of sexual epistemology. I am curious about what modalities or methodologies might be suggested by other sexual topics, like penetration/non-penetration, arousal, auto-erotic behavior, kink, etc. I have been interested in how the “sex-positive movement” might address or inform academia, or even more specifically, dance in academia. There has been some acknowledgement of sexual dynamics as playing a role in dance practices, but I question whether these have been acknowledged through as “sex-positive” lens. Carol Queen defines sex-positive as follows: “It’s the cultural philosophy that understands sexuality as a potentially positive force in one’s life, and it can, of course, be contrasted with sex-negativity, which sees sex as problematic, disruptive, dangerous. Sex-positivity allows for and in fact celebrates sexual diversity, differing desires and relationships structures, and individual choices based on consent” (quoted from her article “The Necessary Revolution: Sex-Positive Feminism in the Post-Barnard Era.”). How might our acknowledgement, treatment, and even utilization of sexual understanding affect dance practices in a positive way? I don’t know, but it is a budding interest of mine.

I’m not sure of all the ways in which these interests relate. Nor am I sure of how to give attention to all or any of these during the difficult and demanding period of grad school, but even just by articulating them and cataloguing them here on my blog I feel that I have served the process in some way.

On to other things.

Advertisements


The other half of a dissertation

For months I’ve been thinking about the direction of my research, the areas that I am interest exploring relating to the body and dance and movement. For the most part, what fascinates me is corporeal/kinesthetic identity, which for me refers to the way in which we both perceive and present who we are as individuals through the (moving) body. We come to know who we are through our corporeal/kinesthetic experience, and we present or perform who we are through our physical actions and interactions in the world around us. The body is the site of negotiation between our inner perceptions and the outer perspectives of who we are. Identity then is a kind of choreography, in which the body is organized in time and space as an extension of who we are. I am interested in exploring cognitive sciences, philosophy, research about embodied consciousness (from authors like Mark Johnson and Alva Noe), identity politics (it’s about time I read Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble), and how these forces intersect in the choreography of the body/identity.

The sub-theme or assumption of this research is a privileging of the body as essential to personhood, to identity. The  body is not the vehicle for consciousness, it is not the shell or container for personhood or essence, but it is intrinsic to all of these aspects of existence and experience. I am interested in expanding this understanding as well.

As of yesterday, I have come to another understanding of where I would like my research to go. For me it is something like the “other half” of the above described research interest. As fascinating as embodied consciousness and corporeal/kinesthetic identity might be, and as interesting as it might be to consider these aspects of humanity to be a kind of choreography, there was really nothing that grounded this research in the field of dance (as opposed to psychology, philosophy, other sciences, etc.). Until now.

Yesterday I was thinking about the intimacy of the act of choreography. If the body and the way in which it moves is essential to identity, then the act of generating movement for choreography is (to varying degrees, I’m sure) an extension of identity. The act of making dances takes on a quality of intimate exchange, the choreographer extending and offering his or her identity into movement material that is then absorbed into the body of the dancer who invites the movement (which I am thinking of as an extension of the identity of the choreographer) into his or her body and cultivates it as part of himself/herself. Just as the body in general is a site for the perception, negotiation, and performance of identity, this process becomes intensified in the dancer’s body. The dancer’s body becomes the site for not only negotiating his or her own identity, but negotiating the integration of aspects of the choreographer’s identity with his or her own. Out of this negotiation comes the dance. I’m thinking about dance making not only as a creative act but a procreative act. The dance is the product of the negotiation between choreographer and dancer, their actions extensions of identity, the dance being produced out of the integration of discrete movement identities or identifying movement. I discussed this dynamic a bit in a post from May, describing the unique experience of creative collaboration, specifically in working on the piece “Observing Solitude”: https://morrismichaelj.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/queer-presence-in-creative-process-and-spirituality/. I think that I have felt this way about the choreographic process for quite some time and only now am I finding language for it, and its relationship to these other research interests. The arching subjects of this research seem to be in two parts: the relationship of the body to identity, and the relationship of identity to the act of choreography. There are other implications: I’m thinking about how dance notation (Labanotation, for instance) takes on a quality of biography, not only the writing of movement, but the movement of a specific choreographer. If in fact that movement contains an essential connection to the identity of that choreographer, then the writing of that movement is literally a kind of biography. I’m thinking about the reconstruction of dances from score not only as a study of the dances themselves, but as a study of biography, literally embodying a kind of kinesthetic biography of historical choreographers. Ann Cooper Albright spoke at OSU last fall and discussed her research on Loïe Fuller and how part of what revealed this woman to her was the actual kinesthetic experience of hold the long rods draped in fabric, the length of time it took to perform a piece, the ache of the back and the arms, the stability of the core, etc. By moving as Loïe Fuller, Albright came to know her in a different way. I think there are also implication for the more “collaborative” way that many choreographers now work. I think this research will be interested specifically in the practice of the individual choreographer generating movement material within his or her own body that is then transmitted to the dancer; but so much choreography is not made this way. It is becoming increasingly common for the choreographer to shape the dance out of improvisations and brief compositions generated by the dancers. This has never been my preferred way to work, either as a dancer or a choreographer, and I think these research interests might offer an explanation as to why that is. The material that is generated in this way has less affiliation with individual identities; it becomes a kind of raw fodder to the tweaked and wrecked and deconstructed and reorganized and adjusted. If not done carefully, this has felt almost abusive in different projects of which I’ve been a part. If the way we move is essentially related to who we are, and the movement material we generate is thus an extension of who we are, then working in this way risks feeling like the tweaking and wrecking and deconstructing and reorganization and adjusting (etc.) of who people are . . . This is not necessarily a negative thing (it certainly seems to suggest therapeutic potential, deconstructing the individual through the deconstruction of movement), but similar to the care and concern that goes into something like psychoanalysis, I feel a need to imbue those sorts of processes with a similar care. The movement an individual generates can be seen as separate from them, from who they are, but it’s origin cannot. It came to be in/through/and out of them, of who they are . . .

I was in a composition studies class this past spring. During one particular class we did an exercise in which we “danced” one another. It was like mimicry, trying to take on the movement qualities, physical idiosyncrasies, mannerisms, gate, etc. of our classmates. I found myself incredibly disturbed by this exercise. I felt intrusive and invasive when I took on the movement of another . . . and I felt violated and misunderstood as I looked around a room of my peers taking on my physicality and movement. Eventually I dropped out of the exercise. I think something was beginning to reveal itself in that exercise, the relationship I perceive between the way a person moves and who that person is. The casualness with which we were treating one another’s ways of moving and being felt at odds with the intimate nature of what we were doing. We were exploring not only how one another moved but by extension what it meant to be them. Which seems like an action of great beauty, profound intimacy, and something almost like love . . . I wanted there to be more sacredness to it, more gravity, more care and consideration and even consent. I wanted to have the opportunity to offer my ways of moving, to have them accepted and treasured. I wanted the opportunity to treasure the ways of moving/being of my friends and peers.

And that’s where I am right now. I am dreaming up a new piece to begin work in the fall. I have asked to work with three dancers who I admire greatly. I am interested in infusing that process with these concerns, cultivating an appreciation of the body as the source of (choreographed) identity, an appreciation of the intimate exchange between choreographer and dancer. We’ll see how that works itself out.



Constellations of Thought

I am so overwhelmed at the prospect of sitting down to write this post, and I can hardly even justify the time, knowing that it will be insufficient and incomplete (as are most things) for all that I am interested in exploring/expressing. And I have not even expanded on my “tag cloud reflection” in my last post. But I also feel that in three days of this new quarter, with new and important classes, as well as the density of inspiration coming from all of the Forsythe work in and around OSU/the Wexner, I am adrift amongst veritable constellations of thought. I am sure that I will only be able to address a few specific ideas, and even then, from light years away (as opposed to the microscopic examination I would prefer), but here we go. In no particular order.

Yesterday I attended a lecture by Alva Noë. His primary research concerns are philosophy and cognitive sciences, specifically exploring the nature of consciousness. He posits that consciousness in action, it is something we do, not some internal phenomenon that exists somewhere in our brains. He is questioning a somewhat established assumption that consciousness takes place specifically in the brain, and that thus on some level we are our brains. He asserts that the brain is only a part of the larger structure of consciousness.

And all of this is fascinating to me, especially in the context of dance.

But more of what I would like to address in these brief lines, in this brief time, is his comparison or art and philosophy. I commonly reference my choreography as being specifically concerned with the exploration of aspects of the human condition through the moving body. In a sense, it is an action of philosophy (and research). The piece I just premiered in March, “About,” was previously entitled, “Phenomena to Noumenon: This Simple Thing,” which is essentially a philosophical discourse concerning the nature of reality and perception, objectivity and subjectivity. Noë began by saying that art has been a problem for philosophy for a long time (in the same sense, philosophy is the central problem for my art), asking what is art, what is its value, can it produce knowledge, etc. He asserted three points:
1. Both philosophy and art either have neutral or no subject, or their subject is the whole or time and space, anything about which there can be thought, consciousness itself. Unlike other fields, they are not subject specific but more a way of approaching or addressing subject, which might be anything, and certainly arises out experience and thus consciousness.
2. Both philosophy and art find themselves problematic. Both raise the question for themselves, “How can a dialectic that does not need to produce results be a thing of value?” Both are in a constant state of reevaluating, recontextualizing, reenvisioning and questioning the nature of themselves, what they are and what they do. This relates to a subject Bill Forsythe has spoken on several times this week, that of doubt. We as artists/dancers/choreographers/philosophers are problems to ourselves because we have the ability to doubt or question what we know of ourselves, what has been previously established in our fields.
3. There is a blurring distinction between method and result, process and product. There is a sense in which the results of both philosophy and art only have value in the context of their methods/processes, and thus where on ends and the other begins because a difficult edge to find.

Noë also spoke about the nature of understanding, of understanding or recognition as the essential way in which the world reveals itself to us, and that this understanding is one of context. We recognize a thing in that way in which it fits within our frame of reference, our particular continuum of experience. A thing is unrecognizable, unseeable, when it completely unexpected, when you don’t even know what to look for. This is perhaps one of the values or interests of art, that it cultivates an ability to truly see, to recognize and understand, a microcosmic experience reflecting the macrocosm of all of life. All human experience is a process of bringing the world into focus through understanding and consciousness. Engaging with art gives us the opportunity to cultivate this process of understanding; it is the domain of investigating the process of perception and understanding.

And this is the work of “Synchronous Object for One Flat Thing, Reproduced” (NOW LIVE! CHECK IT OUT!). It is the process of cultivating the experience of understanding. If understanding is truly a phenomenon rooted in a context for perception, than understanding is the problem addressed by “Synchronous Objects.” It the exposition of choreographic work and information in the form of choreographic objects, or visual or pictorial expressions or representations. 

Today, in conjunction with the launch of “Synchronous Objects,” the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Department of Dance at OSU hosted the Choreographic Objects Symposium, bringing together a panel of collaborators and experts in the fields of dance, computer programming, animation, geography, architecture, philosophy and beyond to discuss the work of this project. I cannot possibly address all that was said by which I was inspired, but I will throw out a few key moments.

Maria Palazzi, the director for the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, commented of the process of understanding through the process of making, the creative process as an act of recognition or understanding. This ties directly into the lecture Noë, and adds another layer, taking consciousness as action into an area in which context for understanding is constructed through the process of making. This was a consensus across the panel, many of whom had very little experience with dance previous to this project, that is doing this work, in creating about this choreography, the choreography became legible for them. The hope is that these points of entry that emerged during their creative work are then transmitted into the objects offered on the new site. It raises new ideas (or new to me) concerning the development of audience literacy in our field. Beyond the incredible work that has been done on this project, what is the potential for making dance legible through creative activities? An obvious application is that once people take dance classes, they understand dance further, but what are other creative (by which I mean generative, making) activities in which might audiences in order to make this art form more accessible? In order to establish a context in which understanding might thrive?

This relates to ideas that are coming up in my graduate teaching seminar with Susan Hadley about the relationship between content, the organization of material, and methods of communicating. What are the ways in which we transmit information?

Which connects to ideas I have been pondering surrounding the application of Labanotation to adjacent dance studies. I am finding my research profile situating itself somewhere between choreography/composition and history/theory; notation serves as a ready link between the two. In Labanotation, choreography becomes a written history, and a written history becomes choreography. I am becoming more and more interested in how this system might lend itself to embodying what is essential an embodied history. Far too often I find that we read, write, view and listen to our dancing history. It is transmitted textually, orally, and visually, but rarely corporeally. I am curious about the potential for notation to lend itself to the study of history, giving students the opportunity to embody seminal dance works that have previously only ever existed for them in disembodied translations. I am considering taking a Labanotation Teacher Certification Course this summer to these ends, to fuel this inquiry. 

Amidst much of this other thought there is the constellation of Somatics. I am taking a course this quarter with Abby Yager that surveys various somatic forms and methods. It may reveal itself to be one of the most significant (to my own interests and research) courses that I have taken thus far at OSU (and I have taken some incredible courses). Among its goals are:
-to cultivate deep listening
-to awaken awareness and clarify a sense of Self 

These are essentially my primary research interests in dance. I am fascinated by how awareness comes from movement of the body and how awareness then affects the way in which the body moves. Ever since I experienced the work of Pauline Oliveros (who has developed a musical/meditation technique described as “Deep Listening”) I have been interested in what a “listening body” might be, and more specifically, how it might move, and how choreography might arise out of that movement. I have felt a resonance of this idea in the somatic fields, but having it so explicitly stated in the syllabus excites me to know end (I am also in a course with Bebe Miller entitled “Creative Processes” exploring the process by which we make dances; I am interested to see how this research interest might be addressed in this composition course, supported by the work I am doing in Somatics with Yager).

My larger research interest has been evolving into something like “the choreography of identity,” the ways in which we come to recognize ourselves and others through the ways in which we move, and how we participate in the formation of who we are through these same processes. Clearly this relates to awareness. It also relates to issues of gender representation, queer theory, gaze theory, relational politics, social conditioning, etc. And it addresses another larger issue, that of the individuals connection to their body. I am interested in resisting the dualistic Cartesian model in which the body is merely the vehicle for the mind, the mind being the essence of the individual. The individual is composed of a mind-body, a body-mind, a cohesive, holistic, inseparable unit. A person is as much their body as they are their mind, and in honoring this fact, we discover that part of knowing ourselves and knowing one another is through an awareness and investigation of the body. This was illustrated in a piece that I designed in my seminar with Ann Hamilton and Michael Mercil last quarter but have yet to enact entitled KNOW(TOUCH)ME(YOU)(MY/YOUR BODY) in which participants engage in a physical conversation with one another, directing one another in a dialogue of physically exploring one another’s bodies.

And perhaps here is where this post comes full orbit and finds its pause: beginning with cognition/consciousness as more than the brain and ending with the person as more than the mind. The essence is that it is through the body that we come to know. Through dancing, through making, through embodying history through a practice of Labanotation, through somatic study, etc. we come to know ourselves and the context that makes up that concept of Self.

Other subjects that deserve attention but must wait for some other time: seeing the performance of “Monster Partitur.” Twice. The process of continuing work of this new piece “Red Monster,” and how it relates to the subject of identity and a sense of Self. The potential for “Synchronous Objects” to inspire further investigations into the representation and exposition of dance and choreographic knowledge. Briefly, this relates to a conversation I had with a friend this evening after the symposium. He raised the question of how this work might be continued. Forsythe has expressed interest in developing a Motion Bank, a library of these sorts of investigations, and while he is currently pursuing funding for the next addition to this “library,” one wonders how else this continuum of information my evolve. Partly, I see it as present in endeavors such as this blog (in the most basic and fundamental of ways): by this blog serving as a public creative platform, I am contributing to the exposition of the internal information of my dancing/choreographing life. I think the more interesting potential evolution of this “library” is one that emerges from public culture, embedded in public culture, rather than continuing to develop out of the work of a single (admittedly remarkable) choreographer. That is yet one more potential development for “Synchronous Objects,” how it my inspire and provoke additional investigations of a similar nature . . . 

And finally an announcement for my readership:
For those of you at OSU or in Columbus:

This Sunday, 5 April, I am restaging “About.” The cast and I had a particular interest is re-contextualizing the work site-specifically. We were interested is how it might be experienced in a circular space, and also how its choreographic structures might be further revealed when seen from above. So this Sunday we are going to explore the piece in these contexts by performing it in both Sullivant Hall rotundas, first in the one next to Studio 6 (the entrance faces Mershon Auditorium) around 5pm, followed by the High Street rotunda (the entrance faces High Street, between Sullivant Library and the Music and Dance Library). The first rotunda offers a circular, domed space with seating in the round, the second has a full mezzanine, from which the piece can be viewed in the round and from above.

I am not particularly advertising this event; it is less about a public performance and more about exploring the nature of this choreography in a different space. It will be informal, and there is no pressure to be in attendance. I simply wanted you to know that this was happening in the event that you had an interest in experiencing the work in this context. 

 

 



So much happening

As I look out over the calendar for the next few weeks, it’s more of the same: art event after art event, with so much to see. I hope I get a chance to see it all. I hope you do too.

This week, 1 April, is the long anticipated launch of “Synchronous Objects for One Flat Things, Reproduced” (you can read more about it in the New York Times, featured in my previous post). This is in conjunction with many other exciting events related to Forsythe’s work.

forsythe_suspense

william forsythe

The Wexner Center for the Arts and the Department of Dance at OSU is hosting the “William Forsythe Symposium: Choreographic Objects.” Here is the official description of this event:

“You’ll hear about how this idea takes form in the works on view in the exhibition William Forsythe: Transfigurations and inSynchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced by William Forsythe, an ambitious new web project created by Forsythe with Ohio State’s Maria Palazzi (Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design and Department of Design) and Norah Zuniga Shaw (Department of Dance) and an interdisciplinary team of collaborators from across the arts and sciences. To celebrate the launch of the web project, invited outside experts contextualize the project in terms of its relevance to current trends in the philosophy of cognition and architecture.

A celebrated roster of special guests joins Forsythe for these talks: Mark Goulthorpe of MIT’s School of Architecture; Alva Noë, professor of philosophy at the University of California Berkeley; Synchronous Objects creative directors Maria Palazzi, director of ACCAD and associate professor in the Department of Industrial, Interior, and Visual Communication Design, and Norah Zuniga Shaw, the director of the dance and technology program and assistant professor in the Department of Dance; and Charles Helm, the Wexner Center’s director of performing arts and curator for the Forsythe exhibition.”

If you are not in the Columbus area, or if you are and are unable to be in attendance, follow the link above to watch a live stream of the symposium on Wednesday.

 

The previous day, 31 March, Alva Noë, professor of philosophy at the University of California Berkeley, will be giving a lecture and book signing at OSU in the Sullivant Theater from 12pm-1pm. He is a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the author of Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain and Other Lessons From The Biology of Consciousness and Action in Perception, both of which explore the idea that “consciousness is not something that happens inside of us–not in our brains, or anywhere else; it is something we do.” It sounds like a riveting lecture, and extremely relevant to dance as well as human existence.

 

This week will also host the performances of “Monster Partitur.” Here is the official statement from the Wexner concerning this event:

“Dancer Alessio Silvestrin delivers a mesmerizing performance against a backdrop of sculptural elements created from life-size models of human skeletons and line drawings traced from these gnarled forms, which also serve as cues in the performer’s score (the word “partitur” in the title is a reference to the musical scores utilized by orchestra conductors).Monster Partitur is a condensation of and companion to Forsythe’s Bessie Award–winning You made me a monster

Show Times
Wed, Apr 1 | 2:30, 5:30, 6:30, & 7:30 PM
Thu, Apr 2 | 12, 12:30, & 7 PM
Fri, Apr 3 | 11:30 AM; 12, 12:30, & 7 PM
Sat, Apr 4 | 12, 12:30, 1, & 7 PM
Sun, Apr 5 | 12, 12:30, 2:30, & 3 PM

Please arrive early to see the performance. Performances are free, but audience size is limited to approximately 50-60 viewers per performance, who will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. The performance is approximately 20-25 mins. in length (and seating is not provided).”

You can read more about my experience in contributing to the production of this piece here.

 

Hixon Dance is presenting “Airs and Dances: An Evening of Live Music and Dance” starting next week.  Here is their official description:

“In our upcoming concert, Hixon Dance will present 4 new works, all accompanied by live music!

Featured music includes Claude Debussy’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano,”
Francis Poulenc’s “Sonata for Clarinet and Paino,” and two works by local composer Jacob Reed.”

Continue reading