Still in the clouds from Movement Camp! What an adventure the whole trip was – for bringing along a one year old homo sapien, for the incredible experience of the camp itself, and for the two day layover in Hong Kong. Some thoughts that came up during the trip… (photos below)
- We ask too much of Free Will – that it grant omnipotence. “Free” doesn’t mean infinite in all directions. It means that there’s a “will” that is unconstrained. That means the discursive mind, the thing you think of as yourself, is NOT in control. You are NOT the discursive mind, so why should that aspect of yourself be what is free, in the conceptualization of Free will? Free will is not that I can pick from infinite choices – free will is what happens when the discursive mind steps aside and something nebulous but distinct (the djinn) manifests. Completely counter-intuitive, that free will means you are not in control. But not so counter-intuitive, when you realize that control is order, and order is… everything free will is not. Chaos neither is free will. It’s in the interplay between two polar opposites that something logically impossible (free will) arises.
- The improviser is a person who trusts their djinn, has developed a relationship to it. If you insist on being in control, you will not be improvising.
- Dance is a collection of cousins, descending from a thing which was not divided, which was experienced as the whole, but then fractured with complexity and evolution – we start with dance, but now we have two main descendants – “dance-as-art” and “dance-as-celebration”. This is a near perfect analogue to the evolution of species… And just as species are imaginary categories, just as EACH PERSON IS A SPECIES. We only realized it when the intermixing overwhelmed the categories (it’s always been clear to diaspora populations that cultures and ethnicities cannot be easily demarcated…)
- When I go to party on the weekend, I start dancing by referring to specific systems and movement vocabularies, in which I am in control and shifting between. But that simply sets the conditions… soon after, something else takes over, and it feels like that’s where my real creativity is. Not when I’m working inside systems, but when I let myself be possessed – the djinn takes over. I can’t voluntarily do it – I can only set the invitation. And in the long term, practically I can only gradually improve my recognition of the conditions in which it occurs, and recreate them.
- Just like you don’t directly create anything, but rather something involuntary but still distinctly you, does the work… Insights don’t come when engaged in hard thinking; they come when you’re 1/2 asleep, or showering, after the fact of hard thinking. Even when you think your hard thinking directly yielded some fruit, what happened was that you had a short mental lapse and during that brief rest, your djinn-mind found an its answer.
- There’s this evolution of both the idea of dance, and the functions it performs, from a point where it is at its most simplest, not existing for any other purpose. But over time, it undergoes increases in complexity, transforming it – from the sacred to the religious to the secular, through a role of being subservient to pantomime, then elevated to existing for its own sake, and now presently undergoing what I suppose we consider post modern and beyond. But it’s not a full circle thing – it’s evolution – dance now fulfills functions it could not in its infancy. When I look at movement, it seems that there’s a similar trajectory, where movement just was, and eventually was reduced and broken up, and then subjected to subservience of disciplines, and now through Ido’s work, can evolve similarly.
- Just as other arts progressed from concrete to abstract representations, dancing seems to be moving from lions to… sylphs and fauns… to concepts like “dissonance” as a concept (which is the word Shai used to describe the underlying theme in some of the work she was sharing). I think this can be reconciled with Noverre’s demand that dance imitate nature – who said nature is trees and birds, or 1 specific thing at all? It seems more likely that nature is things as they happen, however that may be. As our own nature evolves, as we become more complex, we move from beings that dealt with the concrete literal world, to a more interpretive world, to one where concepts like dissonance become central themes of our lives.