No doubt that the question whether to “work with audience” or not is not a matter of choice. It is not a matter of choice in the case of an artist who wants to be something more than a shopwindow mannequin. Who wants to intentionally install him/herself between this or that way invited ones. The key is, however, in the very quality of that multitude (whilst its massiveness is not crucial), the quality-in-making, emanating there and then, though the multitude that I am—on my own initiative—incorporating in as a performer. The multitude that I understand as an aggregation of potential performers in certain and always unique temporary ambience. If I consider that every individual has certain energy, a unique energy field, I cannot overpass the fact that each and every different energy interacts, relates to one another, exchange and enrich themselves, make flows and, under specific preconditions, also grow. In every case they communicate. And communication, in the field that melts on-the-far-side of visible reality (such communication is art), must be grounded in tenderness in order to allow reaching of the final aim (or, better, condition) of an artistic situation—a loving relationship between all who are present in the space.
Katedrala, the hall of Kino Šiška in Ljubljana, with those low and wide stairs that are constructed to carry rows of auditorium seats, has eventually experienced a renaissance of the movement in its space (made almost empty for this occasion). By merit of the artist who somehow understands/feels the meaning of the relationship with the audience and who also establishes it in an openly active and beloving way. He is Dario Bardam. His one hour dancing solo seguir moviendo is based on non stopping, seemingly never-ending moving through space, the moving that is permanently related to everybody who surrounds him. His presence is so to say not at all theatrical, and exactly this achievement is an excellent foundation for the task he set for himself. In monolithic costume that contributes to an impression of angelic, animal-electric, space-related, and at the same time totally human, even sporty sexualized image, Dario makes moves that simply wish to resonate with everybody. The whole appearance is conceived on hypnotic need to establish mini resonances with everyone who he approaches, that way or another, by dancing. His desire for individual resonances and spatial connections is readable, clear, it does not provoke any need for interpreting or any kind of revealing of something wrapped in a concept, direction, or text. We simply experience a transfer of a chthonic (personal) impulse in the present moment, in the assemblage of present moments. The transcendence.
That resonance dance has a lot in-common with the idea of Deborah Hay on engaging every body cell in the transfer, development and communication of what we call body movement, (contemporary) dance movement, language of movement, and also a gesture. The language that Hay develops her whole life in a non canonic way, being conscious that she should never be caught in a trap of her own routine. That she could not afford the blindness caused by the logic of the fourth wall. After listening to live conversation with her and watching a sharp styled documentary on her creative approach, it was clear that the key is not so much in rejecting artistic, production- and contemporary dance related conventions, but rather in a permanent searching for comfortable way of communicating oneself (one’s creativity as one’s life, body, appearance, voice, personality, sensibility, excessiveness), the way being re-invented again and again, always intended to serve the certain opening of (collective) energy field between whoever present in space. Deborah Hay reminded us of the great danger that destroys the power of creativity and therefore the very joy of every creation: the uncritical accepting and implementing of certain scholasticism, aesthetics, trend and fortified constellation of performance space. At the same time she reminded us of the unexpected possibilities of opening towards influences of unknown, with stress on importance of supportive community in which we are able to establish safe and sensual ambiences as a condition of implementing (of craving toward) limitlessness.
During the three days lab Come together, right now, over Ljubljana, coordinated by Céline Larrère, we had an opportunity to practically free our somatic patterns and impulses in a group. By nature of approach, the lab was interrelated to Hay’s practice. The bases of these dynamic trainings is conscious letting down the rational factor of moving (or, in general, behaving in a space) in order to reach its subconscious dimension and implement, dance and communicate it as soon as possible. Which is a great ground not only for development of (self) performative expression, but also for building active relations between all the present, between performer and space, exterior and interior, between an emotional condition, each emotion, and movement. With pleasure in front.
The seventh Choreographic Turn organized by Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia managed to find an organic way—which is especially important, not only on level of event production, but also on a level of active opening of relations between all invitees—to enlighten the power of choreography that is not choreography. It pointed out the big power of managing (the dancing with) oneself, always with and between others, hence it stressed the power of such choreography that is able to play with borders and limits, the choreography based on hospitality and defiance of the decay of the common, not in sense of resisting it, but rather through unconditional acceptance and playful processing of the accepted. For only the one that is completely decentralized is truly autonomous. That’s the magic.
Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia: Choreographic Turn #7: Encounter with Deborah Hay. Ljubljana, Španski borci, Stara mestna elektrarna and Kino Šiška, 17–19 Apr. 2023. Program curated by Dragana Alfirević in co-operation with Jana Jevtović, Dejan Srhoj and Jasmina Založnik.
—Deborah Hay: my choreographed body… revisited (2019), dance performance
—Darío Bardam: seguir moviendo, dance performance
—Ellen Bromberg: Deborah Hay, not as Deborah Hay (2011), documentary film
—Deborah Hay: Exit (1999), dance performance
—Laurent Pichaud & Deborah Hay: Practical Talk On Practice, talk
—Céline Larrère: Come together, right now, over Ljubljana, lab