Aren’t we fortunate to be engaged in an art form which, by its very nature, cannot be solidified into thing-ness, possessed, encased as dead stuff? Even if occasionally it is difficult to argue the content and validity of such sheer activity, the non-material productiveness of live experience and performance. Even if a budget-worried Zeitgeist challenges our ressourcefulness and survival skills further, to sustain sparks of inspiration as an enduring active energy in our culture, toward wider perspectives and scales of coherence.

 

I love watching people – and other species – when they are physically absorbed in an activity. Their focused attention adds grace to the movement, to the unfolding dynamics in space and time. Even the hesitations and double-takes are not without charm, the slips and the recoveries, revealing a kind of courage and dignity inherent to the struggles, quests, and coping endeavours. Curiously, knowledge in motion – and innocence, at the same time.

From purposeful physical activity to the heightened momentum of dance: The impulse is the same life-affirming and knowing innocence, embodied expression of joy, and passionate interest to participate in this world. This – with its evocative, contageous potential - is, I believe, the core strength of dance, the heart of the art, whatever genre, style, theme, technique, or sophisticated subtext. The adventure can never be 100% under control, so we are forced to develop, along with perseverance toward a sublime approximation of the fullest possible Now, an ample sense of humor and generosity in order to survive the flights and failures, and renew the authentic effort.

 

To quote from Tanzkongress again its enticing motto „Knowledge in Motion“, I recall, among many stimulating moments, how Royston Maldoom categorically refused any categorizing and problem-based discussion (useless, he rightly says) - and made us laugh instead, holding us spellbound, convincing us to begin the thinking in terms of what connects, if we want to come to the realm of doing... so that’s experiential and moving knowledge, too.

And the key point here corresponds to the findings of neurological scientists:

Even before any specific thought arises, and crucial to its development, is the way of paying attention. A tone and tuning of the mind. Positively, literally, inter-esting yourself. Connecting. How to be present and involved. The key of choice lies in this gateway.

 

I’ve recently done a kind of spring-cleaning, examining my thoughts and opinions: Do I still need this? What does that idea do for me? Is it a useful tool? – And as you can imagine, it’s quite liberating to discard old baggage, to discover underneath the junk some lovely little tools and treasures, and make space for fresh views. Invigorating.

 

So I don’t intend to clutter your mindspace. I‘ve imagined you as my skillful collaborator in a choreography of words, perhaps finding a suggestion interesting, exploring a theme further. With the idea of shifting focus and discovering how we can think.

---- Imagine... !

 

Keep dancing – mirror neurons and all ;-)

Best, Iris

published in tanz  Theaterverlag

On Knowledge and Innocence in Motion