dance training with no teacher

Text by Irina Raskin

Right after the morning meeting Dejan Srhoj invited the others to join him on his project “dance training with no teacher”, which is a proposal for trying out an alternative way of warming-up, where you are free to do anything you need, but do not have to do anything. Though observing the dance training with no teacher only took place during the last five or ten minutes, there were al lot of issues raised.

Gudrun Lange, Jean-Jacques Sanchez and Tian Rotteveel were attending.

They spread in the room and dealt with different possibilities, or probably they were all stretching, but just in different areas and in diverse ways. There could be felt a certain tension in the space, a dynamic between the four, but the tempo was slow, the atmosphere calm and unhurried. After a ring tone signalised the end of the session, Dejan invited everyone into a round meeting for reflecting, to share each ones’ thoughts and feelings about that training. At some point, Douglas Bateman re-joined the group. It was a rich conversation, which touched many different issues, observations and points of interest. Here are just a few aspects for posterior memory:

–       Doing such a warm-up means dealing with questions of being in, or sharing, one’s space and the ways of communication possible in that circumstances

–       Encountering the others on the level of physicality and maintaining an affective engagement, which makes a certain kind of intersubjectivity noticeable or rather perceptipable through entanglement with the others, while simultaneously remaining a subject with one’s own

rhythms – becoming an assemblage

–       Differentiation between “what I want” and “what I need”

–        Sensitize oneself for complex body textures, like warming up the spine and inner throat system through breath techniques

–        Noticing of how it opens up oneself and sharpens the awareness just by taking the conscious decision of warming-up

–       Questions of how the qualities of engagement change through the observation of different sensorial levels and movement materializations

–        The impossibility of passivity

–        Having on the one hand the freedom to do whatever you want, and on the other hand having just the circumstances of the place already provoking simultaneously openings and exclusions; it proposes new as well as it restricts certain spaces of possibilities

–       Moments when people entered the warm-up group from the outside were precarious, because those moments insisted on a reformulation of the emerging society, so it became an experiment on their ability to continue harmoniously (especially when Jean-Jacques joined, while the others were about to get wild, loud and crazy, they had to find out whether they still were able to behave like that together or if they should have experienced some limitations), which arose questions of ethical implications and emphasises on the switch from movement, interaction and communication, to behaviour

–       The impossibility of disturbance in a not pre-definite evolving process

–       A gentle and effortless way of tune-in yourself into a process without any pressure of production

–       Remapping the pathways during the warm-up, noticing the emergence of composition elements

–       Distinguishing different kinds of products and its processes – for example between warm-up, rehearsal, research and a piece – becomes obsolete

–       The need for transition between places, where you can distinguish your home and your working place, is necessary for structuring life

–       Warm-up as a model of continuous state of being, like threshold phases from one thing to the other

–       Where does the warm-up begin?

–        Warm-up as a special issue for artists, because it implies the question of how to structure the day, how to tune-in with oneself in relation to the world

–       The necessity of a cool-down after a warm-up

–        The impossibility of documenting from an outside perspective, because only the presence of documenting people or technique already transforms the situation

–       Reflections on altering approaches of documentation

On the first day the activities of the warm-up opened up the space for lots of possibilities.