dancethoughberlin - Dance With Me, the Post-Watch Me Dance
Do you guys remember in the last post where I said that I got somehow addicted to dance, and I wondered how it was going to be without watch me dance?
So after all the 30 days' experience, I decided to take a couple of days to myself. That was hard! I felt a bit confused and without orientation. I understood that after being in such a rather and routine it takes a bit of an effort to break it. It was a habit that was in my system, and like a said before, I need it for my day to make sense. Also, I feel that I had an identity as Dance Watcher which I needed to let go now and move on. That was also complicated. Eventually, towards the end of the week, I found my balance again, and then I decided to go watch a dance piece! You guys recall that I promised myself to be more involved, and honesty, why stop, right?
My first Post-Watch Me Dance piece was “The Intervention of Loneliness” by Ming Poon at Uferstudios. When I felt myself sat again in the audience's place, everything fell back into place. I got a fresh feeling of enthusiasm, positive and curious energy. I was motivated and ready to be inspired!
The piece started with a person holding a sign, far back on the stage, where we could read ‘dance with me’. Was this an invitation? Or just an illustration of a narrative? These questions, and others, that start to appear on my head were brought to space by a voice that was to represent our thoughts. She would say, for example: what is he doing there? Does he want us to dance with him? With the presence of this voice, it became clear that we and the performer where part of the same universe, we coexisted and therefore we could interact and influence each other.
Even though I am a performer, and I have watched many dance pieces and performance art, I find it always hard to know when to intervene or participate. I have experienced this before in the “DDR: Was Bleibt?” and “Chora”. In both pieces I wanted to be part, I wanted to explore and feel it from a different perspective but I first waited for others to take the first step or reinsure me that it was ok.
This can be a great challenge for the next time. I will be more proactive and follow my instant will an instinct. What can I encounter, gain and experience differently when I take the initiative?
“The Intervention of Loneliness” is an interactive performance inspired in a real intervention made by Ming himself. With the intention of questioning our social behavior, the artists went on the streets of different countries with his ‘dance with me’ sign and waited for someone to approach him, just like it happened in the performance. From the street to the stage the context is very different. Last weekend, we were expecting and we were open to the possibility of an interaction. We knew beforehand that we were going to be challenged and inspired. We were ready to be guided in a body-mind experience. The people in the street that encounter Ming didn’t. When he told us some stories of his experience performing in the streets I was truly fascinated. I kept imagining myself in that situation, both as the person holding the board and the person spontaneously encountering him.
This is actually a great question, if I may say. We are so open to receive and experience art when we take the time for it. When we buy the ticket and we precisely choose according to our taste what we want to be experiencing. That’s why I found Watch Me Dance so fascinating, I never chose what I watched.
It is great to take the time and to go to watch a piece, a performance, whatever artistic and mindful event - you guys know that I always advocate in favor of that. But, how do we truly react when this artistic moment is brought to us spontaneously? Have I stopped to watch a singer on the subway? Did I seat and contemplated a painter doing its art on the streets? What if, I took the time to soak in those moments when they randomly appear? Really give it time to sink in and to grow. I might have just discovered a free, unique and spontaneous way of mindfully watch art. Take note!
Resuming the theme of the performance, I want to write about the experience that was for me to be on that stage and to dance with - I danced with so many people, and I am truly grateful for it. Without spoiling much of it, I can say that at some point most of the audience was on the performative space dancing with each other. Personally, it was a great feeling to recognize someone else’s present through touch. The warmth and the kindness of the slow dancing brought a very happy and empathic feeling to me. I felt safe and nourished, but at the same time, it was still a stranger which also made me in needed to be more aware for myself as well as not disrespect or hurt the other. We walk in our daily life busy with our thoughts and to-dos and we don’t really recognize who is around us. Many times we don’t even have this care and we bump into each other and cross over.
In the end, we had the pleasure of having a short talk with the artist provided by the theatre scouts. During the conversation, I stepped in to express how actually lonely I felt when left on stage in the role of the cardholder. Although I was in such a vulnerable position, in my eyes, I didn’t want to and was too shy to ask someone else to come dance with me. I closed myself and avoid eye contact. While, on the other hand, when I was just passively watching the others holding the cardboards I truly and happily wanted to dance with them. Why do I see the act 'of asking for' a weakness for me? This was a good question that I took home with me for personal inquiring.
I enjoy how art can make me question the life around me, and my own behaviors. Therefore, I believe that interactive performance can have such a great impact on the audience by putting us physically experiencing the moment.
Thank you so much for reading guys. Please be free to comment, I would love to hear from you. I wish you a beautiful time and See you for the next post! Xau!
*Art by Ruby Bouwmeester inspired by @chirstiandirksfoto photo of @shewhodances.