Coming more from a bboy approach to dance, I’m used to the thinking of rhythm as “hitting notes”. These dancers demonstrate rhythm without necessarily hitting notes. In fact, much of the music wasn’t providing a clear note to hit. This is something I’ve been grappling with a bit lately, and it was good timing that I saw this performance when I did: I was able to much better let go of my need for clear note-hitting movement and try and find a more subtle sense of rhythm underlying the performers’ movements (and it did fit the music, even when there wasn’t a distinct beat).
But if rhythm ISN’T hitting a note, what is it? It’s a much more complicated topic than I realized, and I’m working on it. For now, I’ll say that I’m differentiating between general rhythm (which includes both repetitive sounds and non repetitive sounds), and some of the specific repetitive rhythms such as musician’s rhythm (which can be annotated), and dancer’s rhythm (which is kinesthetic, and can’t be written down).
We had a chance to take a class the next day with Victor Quijada, the director/choreographer of the performance. Check out our class notes.