Maya Dalinksy: Maya will be researching here for a new solo that taps into the present moment in order to create itself. "All I need is here" will be an improvised piece that makes visible every shift in the body and in the dancer's awareness. Over time, these small bits combine to create a compelling movement portrait of the extremely personal and subjective experience of living in the present.
25 May 12:44
A self-interrogation on choreography I've defined my emotional and intellectual context for this piece. My aim is to choreograph a situation in which the performer's authenticity is made visible. Like running over text with a cursor, a little magnifying glass appears and words jump out at the reader. If you click on it, you can edit. I'd like this to be possible with the body. And in this situation I consider the body as a mind-body, so the little magnifying glass enlarges both the curve of the letters and the content of the word. It magnifies how a person questions herself and how this question takes physical shape. It also magnifies how the physical shape affects the questioning. A method that will be applied from here on out: Have I defined the emotional and intellectual context for this piece? How can the performer's authenticity be made visible? Is it possible for the body to be magnified the way a cursor magnifies text when you run it over words on a computer screen? What do I magnify when it comes to the mind-body? Is there a visible relationship between a person's mental activity and her physical body? I consider myself a methodological, self-conscious, nervous and intuitive performer. I can concentrate on a task for a long time (high endurance) but it requires mental effort to fight my urge to stray, to go elsewhere, to judge my actions. How can a methodological, self-conscious performer structure a score so that her natural instinct to stray and judge herself feeds the performance? In the earlier stages of this process I wrote out a set of instructions. The piece is a score, a very complex one that engages the performer's attention in specific ways at specific moments. I return to this list to start my interrogation. The activity for performing is clear, but how can I develop it further, how can I communicate it? And how can I craft this choreography so that it remains consistent? The movements are inconsistent. But the process should remain the same no matter who the performer is or what he or she is going through. And this process should magnify the "selfhood" of the performer so that the audience experiences the performance in a heightened state of authenticity. Step 1: Come onto stage, face and look at the audience. Allow self to be seen. When you feel ready, allow this moment of readiness to be acknowledged by taking a bow. Practice 10 minutes, write 10 minutes. Writing result: So many questions even before I enter. Do I score how I feel before performing? Until now I "go with the feeling I have" because the work is ultimately about highlighting the present moment as authentically as possible. But is this even possible in a performance? I enter, instinctively I enter efficiently and directly, going to a spot but noticing th space along the way. I stand and "ready" myself emotionally-physically. I stand upright, frontal, and imagine my whole body is a visible surface. Now comes a strange series of fluctuations in awareness. I concentrate on seeing, if I see the public, I see them. I notice the sensation in my eyeballs as I look. Here I see a wall and chairs. But I also do an internal scan. Is this "allowing myself to be seen"? Scan sensation, a proprioceptive scan to somehow make a sensorial and visual composite of myself now, here. I've chosent this time to allow all natural responses to manifest themselfes. A smile, a shift of weight. I try not to pay attention to them. Is it my divided attention that enables my body to move naturally, "authentically"? How often do I switch back and forth between noticing what I see, seeing the (imaginary) audience, and sensing my own body? What do I feel as I do this? I feel myself searching, I feel somehow attentive but also unsure. I feel ideas about composition rising into the forefront of my mind. I analyze what I've done so far. I realize I'm analyzing and wonder if the shift in intellectual activity is visible. I get self-conscious and return to the "basic tasks" to re-focus myself and stay on track. I wonder if someone would be bored or angry watching this. I feel apologetic. I get antsy about starting, I feel the urge to start before the moment becomes stale. I identify this as a state of readiness. I'm going to bow, but I wonder if my body is also "ready"? I need to check the looseness of my knees, neck, face. All there? A surge of energy hits my fingertips. I'm checking to make sure the connections are ready to receive. Body on stand-by, at attention, ready for command. How long can I truly live this state? What happens if it passes and I still don't start? Areas of further research and practice for the first step, aka the beginning: -Whatever I feel prior to reaching the place where the performance begins is my beginning. This can be scored but only in the moment. I must therefore identify my state and accept it. -How do I stand? -What do I do with the information I have about fluctuations in attention? -If I suppose that I'm always ready, what changes when I channel that readiness into the score? The movements that come up are already the dance. The dancing begins before I engage with the score. This is important to show, so that the audience can follow what happens next. I can live this state as long as it feels true. But even if it feels artificial, I can allow the artificiality of the state to be seen, as long as something follows. Choreographically I'm creating an overlapping of time, the now and the next. If the moment passes and I don't begin, I must accept that I begin artificially. Because the piece is not just about this moment but how the body develops over time, it is important to acknowledge the truth about the present because that is what I will develop as I engage with the score.