Transient Identities: Between Stillness and Motion

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This paper examines relationship between the body – seen and perceived – and ways we think imagine and construct the conceptual body in time and space. Deborah Hay, improvisational dancer and choreographer, talks about ‘being seen not being fixed’ in a unique, three-dimensional body. When the spectator meets the solo dancer, he/she rediscovers his/her momentary reality through the process of observing and interpreting dancer’s shifting identity. I am looking at the solo performers, working alone or in isolation within a group, in order to investigate the subtle shifts in the body/ mind, and re-examine dominant preconceptions about unity between the performer’s body, and the performance act.
Solo dancers form intimate connection to their body of memories, and meet the implicit expectation of intimacy between the performer and the viewer.
Uses of stillness, repetition, shadowing, distortion of the body and the release from the compositional hierarchy, invite questioning of the silent contract implicit in everyday meaning construction and the habitual reading of the bodily movement in life and performance.
I will analyze excerpts from works by three authors/choreographers: Kazuo Ohno, Meredith Monk and Pina Bausch. I am interested in how the solo body can open space and challenge narrative interpretation through following creative devices: stillness accompanied by slow motion, repetition with alteration and shadowing, and distortion of the body in relationship to the release from the compositional hierarchy.


Keywords: Body, Body of Memories, Visceral Body, Conceptual Body, Distortion of the Body, Repetition with alteration, Stillness and Slow Motion, Compositional Hierarchy, Narrative Interpretations of Dance
Stream: Performing Arts Practices: Theatre, Dance, Music
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Transient Identities, , , , , , , ,


Marija R. Krtolica

Independent Performer and Choreographer, Member of Dance Theater Workshop
New York City, New York, USA

Marija Krtolica holds MFA in choreography from UC Davis and BFA in dance from Tisch School of the Arts (NYU). Marija’s work was presented in alternative venues in NYC, Belgrade, California and Colorado and at festivals in London, Edinburgh, New York, and Belgrade. Marija is a recipient of SOROS Foundation Performance grant and Open Society Performance Grant. She plans to pursue her studies at the performance studies department at NYU. She is a certified yoga teacher and a Buddhist meditation practitioner. Marija explores idiosyncratic, highly subjective realities as ways of creating social commentary, and deconstructing dominant ideologies. Marija’s interest in altered states of consciousness – forms of madness and mysticism bound to the European-American romantic myths, t have recently led her to investigate the historical determinations and social frameworks connected to the conceptual categories of sanity (rationality, ideals of reason beyond emotion) and insanity (mental illness or disability).
In her dance work, intense, personal emotion escapes its own environment and creates the surreal landscape where dream-like symbolism and nonlinear, dramatic narrative meet. In her writing factual and fictional are intertwined while she stays aware of historical and cultural frames within which given artist or group of artists are/were creating work.

Ref: A09P0173