24 Eylül 2018 Pazartesi

we’r’dansöz


Tümay Kılınçel, Baly Nguyen, Berna Kurt, Hiba Shammout
14.07-10.08.18, theater im ballsaal, Bonn


We’R’Dansöz” is a research project dealing with the ‘belly dance’ which has always been a subject of orientalist approaches. But since that ‘female dance’ genre has a very different tradition in itself, it can also be a medium of self-empowerment for women. Some basic departure points of this research can be considered as the creation of an individual movement language based on belly dance technique, deconstruction of orientalist – erotic and exotic- female body images, sound improvisations based on silencing or cry -victimization or activism. Dealing with the power relations in artistic and social spheres, this collective women’s project can be medium of breaking some stereotypes and presenting a process outside the “normal” choreographic production framework.



Açık Radyo - Çıplak Ayaklar'la Dans programı ses kaydı için bkz. 
https://m.soundcloud.com/ciplak-ayaklarla-dans/ciplakayaklarla-dans-berna-kurt-werdansoz-05092018

23 Eylül 2018 Pazar

Dance Criticism: A Dialogue Between Art and Understanding



Berna Kurt[*] 
February, 2018


(Paper presented at ADD-IST Theory in Art and Design Symposium & Exhibition. For the proceedings booklet please see: https://www.aydin.edu.tr/tr-tr/akademik/fakulteler/guzelsanatlar/Documents/addist.pdf)



ABSTRACT

Dance criticism searches for an understanding of dance and creates a language for understanding dance. It opens a dialogue between art and understanding. Giving feedback to the artists, creating a discourse, creating and chronicling dance history, it also contributes to the development of the dance field itself. In Turkish context, where contemporary dance has a very short and complex history, we need dance criticism to “exist” on the cultural and artistic agenda.

Introducing the historical development and the contemporary practices of dance criticism, this paper takes the case of a dance and performance workshop organized in Istanbul and seeks for recommendations for better practices.

Keywords: Dance criticism, art criticism, choreography, collective writing


Dans Eleştirisi: Sanat ile Zihinsel Algının Diyaloğu
ÖZET

Dans eleştirisi, dansı algılayabilmemizi sağlayacak bir dil inşa etme çabasıdır. Sanat ile zihinsel algının diyaloğa girmesine katkıda bulunur. Sanatçılara geri dönüş yaparak, söylem inşa ederek, dans tarihi yazımına katkı sağlayarak, dans alanının gelişimine de katkıda bulunur. Çağdaş dansın Türkiye’deki kısa süreli ve gelgitli tarihsel bağlamında, bu sanat türünün kültür-sanat gündeminde kendini “var edebilmesi” için ihtiyaç duyduğu bir alandır.

Dans eleştirisinin tarihsel arka planını ve günümüzdeki uygulamalarını tartışarak başlayan bu çalışma, İstanbul’da yürütülen bir dans ve performans yazım atölyesinden hareketle, uygulamada ortaya çıkan sorunlar ile alanı geliştirmeye yönelik olası önerileri tartışmaktadır.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Dans eleştirisi, sanat eleştirisi, koreografi, kolektif yazım

…………………………………………………………

1.      Dance Criticism in Theory and History

1.1. Why (Do We Need) Art Criticism?
Art criticism gives rise to an elaborated aesthetic experience of artworks and contributes to the development of a theoretical discourse on arts. Sometimes pointing out to new artistic developments, it broadens art followers’, the audiences’, participants of artistic events’ perspectives. Building a ‘knowledge’ or theory by making definitions, categorisations and judgements, it also implies its power upon the artistic fields.

1.2. Why (Do We Need) Dance Criticism?
“Criticism in its ideal form would create discourse, translate the discourse created in and by dance into “the public”, and open a continuous dialogue between art and understanding. It would be less about taste and its hierarchies, and more about viewing and contextualizing.” (Cramer, 2004.)

Having a sophisticated historical and theoretical background on dance, the dance critics or dance writers analyze the artworks from a broader perspective –i.e. evaluating them in the context of the historical, choreographic or artistic tradition, making connections and comparisons... etc.

In a methodological order; observing, describing, analyzing, interpreting and evaluating a dance piece and sometimes adding more information about the artists, the company, the relevant style, school or genre… etc, they provide a detailed account to the reader. Broadening the reader’s viewing, experiencing and evaluating possibilities; they contribute to the knowledge and discourse on dance. Producing written documents, they also contribute to the dance historiography and archiving.

1.3. Dance Writing in Historical Context
Dance writing can be traced back to pre-Renaissance period, but ‘dance criticism’ -in the form of a review published in journals or newspapers, evaluating some elements of staged performances- began in 17th century.

In 18th and 19th centuries’ Western world, some dance writers -generally having no dancing experience and also writing in other artistic fields- published their reviews.
After the 20th century, the dancers’ and choreographers’ accounts on dance have been proliferated and dance criticism began to be a much more ‘professional’ work in terms of expertise and financial benefit. Increased numbers of choreographer-critics published dance reviews. Dancers, choreographers, producers, managers, dramaturgs, critics, scholars and audiences / participants collaborated more than the past. (Theodores, 1979).
For example, the dance critics / writers aren’t considered as the first hand creators of dance pieces but recently some of them are also taking part in the choreographic processes. Attending rehearsals, undertaking the role of ‘outsider’s eye’ or first spectator’, commenting on the early phases of the work and giving feedback to the artists, they contribute to the aesthetic development of individual dance pieces. Some of them work in the preparatory phases of a work and undertake the needed documentary research; meanwhile reflecting and commenting on the orientation of the artistic work in progress. This summer, I will do a similar (dramaturgical) work during a residiency in Bonn with Tümay Kılınçel and Baly Nguyen. Our choreographic research project We’R’Dansöz” will be based on the ‘belly dance’ and contemporary dance to be (re)constructed as a medium of self-empowerment for women (http://www.theaterwrede.de/flausen/werdansoez/)
In recent historical context of inter-disciplinarity, the dance critic’s / writer’s function becomes multiple and varied. Historical and theoretical knowledge and -if possible- kinesthetical, physical or technical experience are needed to make a critical reflection on dance.

As long as the ‘author’ is a subject in question, considering the artist’s intention and priorities rather than the writer’s / critic’s personal judgements takes precedence.

The dance writer / critic is considered as a kind of mediator between the choreographer and its follower / audience, the creator of a dialogue between art and understanding. If the dance piece is designed to deconstruct such artist-audience relation, s / he can also contribute to the creative process with his/her feedbacks. Such sense of ‘creativity’ can also be applied in the very act of writing a dance review. Producing a sophisticated as much as creative and accessible account is always possible (Theodores, 1979).

2. (My) Dance Criticism in Practice

2.1. My Background as a “Critic” or “Dance Writer”
Since the mid 1990’s, I have been involved in various contexts as performer, choreographer, translator, editor, dance researcher and instructor. In my studies, I combine various disciplines like dance history, ethnochoreology, performance studies, political theory and gender studies.

My first attempts of dance writing began in 2006. My short dance reviews have been published in newspapers, theatre journals, some performing art portals etc. Then I began to collect and publish all my writings in a personal blog called “dansyazıları” (http://dansyazilari.blogspot.com.tr/) in 2010.

The critical point in my interest in dance criticism was the Summer of 2008: I have been selected as the “emergent dance writer from Turkey” by Bimeras Cultural Foundation. Therefore, I have been granted to participate in Critical Endeavour educational and workshop programme for emerging dance and performance journalists, organized in the framework of ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival. This project was realized in the frame of the multi-annual cooperation project Jardin d’Europe, funded by the Culture Programme of the European Union.

During this three weeks’ festival, under the mentorship of the German dance critic Franz Anton Cramer, eleven dance writers from different countries participated in workshops from four dance critics (Tiago Bartolomeu Costa, Gérard Mayen, Gia Kourlas and Peter T’Jonck). We also saw choreographic work programmed during ImPulsTanz and acted as a jury for the Ö1 Prix Jardin d’Europe award. (ImPulsTanz-Vienna International Dance Festival’s e-archive, https://www.impulstanz.com/en/archive/2008/proscene/id1925/). Thanks to that experience; I had the opportunity to “question, challenge and expand the boundaries of what constitutes the ‘choreographic’” (http://www.jardindeurope.eu/index.php?id=39) And two years later, I also get involved as a co-coach in the same workshop’s edition in my native country, in the framework of iDANS04 (Istanbul 4th International Contemporary Dance & Performance Festival).

As such, getting a much larger viewpoint on choreography and continuing to write on dance, I had a different international opportunity in 2013: an invitation from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Poland –organizing the 600th year of Turkish-Polish diplomatic relationship celebrations’ cultural program. Related to their aim of cultural cooperation and exchange between professionals writing about art, I made a four days’ study visit in Poland; participated in dance festivals in two different cities: Varsaw Dance Days and International Dance Theatres Festival in Lublin. I watched many dance performances and participated in the conference entitled: “Image of the Polish Dance Throughout the World”. Finally I summed up my impressions in a feature to be published in their culture.pl website, TEB Oyun Turkish theatre journal and my personal blog.

I also get participated in Orsolya Bálint’s and Evren Erbatur’s workshops organized by DansYazım in 2016, the initiative who invited me to do my first workshop on dance criticism that I will mention below in detail.

2.2. My First Workshop on Dance Criticism
My first professional experience as a mentor of a dance criticism workshop happened in October 2016, during the second edition of the A Corner in the World performing arts festival in Istanbul.

The Dance and Performance Writing Workshop within A Corner in the World Festival was a part of a bigger project aiming at establishing a platform of dance writers who, by their different backgrounds and experience, would start a fresh discourse about contemporary dance in Istanbul. It was the second event organised within the Dans Yazım Project. (http://www.acornerintheworld.com/dance-writing-workshop/)

During the festival, ten workshop participants were required to attend three performances out of the five I had previously chosen. They were also required to attend panel discusssions with the artists after the performances -enhancing closer understanding and collaboration between critics and artists themselves. They were expected to hand in at least one review.

Our meetings were organized as three hours of intensive workshop throughout three days in two weeks and a feedback and discussion session at the end. I firstly gave an introductory lecture about dance research, then tried to summarize the Western theatrical dance history and the Turkish dance scene. Last part of my theoretical lectures was about the different approaches and styles of dance criticism. During the workshops, we made quick personal writings and collective feedbacks. We also shared our impressions about our pre-selected performances and made little group discussions. In the last session, we gave feedback on each othersreviews, I facilitated a collective writing and we evaluated the workshop itself to better organize similar ones in future.

A blog is created by the organisers of the project where all the participant reviews have been published. The blog was bilingual -Turkish and English. Some of those writings were based on very personal impressions and had poetic languages; few others were more analytical. The reviews of Mine Söyler, Ömer Uysal, Lale Madenoğlu, Elif Ekinci and Müge Olacak on the pieces of Nancy Naous ‘These Shoes Are Made For Walking’; Ceren Oran’s ‘Heimat... Los!’, Gizem Aksu’s ‘Yu’ and Mokhallad Rasem’s ‘Body Revolution’ were published as a result of the two week programme. And the collective writing of Lale Madenoğlu, Elif Ekinci, Didem Gökay and Ömer Uysal about the festival’s event “Walk around the Corner” showed a new approach to art writing by emphasising collective creativity and production. This last one was based on four participants’ personal sentences, adjectives, definitions, impressions etc. organized by me and re-written by a volunteer among them  (Dans Yazım - Festival Edition, p.7)


3. Concluding Remarks: Further Concerns for Dance Criticism

I learned so much from that experience as both dance writer and lecturer/researcher in performance studies. During the workshop, I tried to give much oral and written feedback to writers as a mentor, I facilitated collective feedbacks and works in small groups. I think that the mentors are there for experience sharing that’s why they mustn’intervene in the wordings and writing styles of the writers. I just tried to make very few and simple contributions to make the writings more accesible/easy-to-read -like subtitling, changing the places of some paragraphs, opening and simplifying some complex discussions… etc.

I also tried to remind the problem of power relations when we write; the need to refrain from imposing of power upon the artistic fields.

I think that getting the feedback of the participants for better workshops in future is very important. At the last meeting of our workshop, we discussed on the evaluation criteria and methods for the dance artistic pieces. We also questioned the function of our writings –for the choreographers, writers, performers, audience and festival organizators etc. Is it:

-Giving a feedback for artists?
-Opening a dialogue between art and understanding? (Cramer, 2013).
-Giving rise to an elaborated aesthetic experience of artworks?
-Creating a discourse or translating the discourse created in and by dance into “the public”/audience?
-Creating a language for understanding dance and searching for an understanding of dance (which is the purpose of dance criticism) (Theodores, 1979).
-Creating and chronicling dance history… producing written documents, contributing to the dance historiography and archiving/documentation in the long term? (Theodores, 1979).

When we prepare similar workshops, we need to practice as much as possible, especially to overcome the fear of writing most of us -especially the artists- have. We must open a space for much shorter, creative, maybe videographic feedback styles for artists –like the one we defined as “collective writing” in the workshop designed to overcome such fear of some participants or the “quick scan” style that I learned from Orsolya Bálint in her workshop.

In a country where contemporary dance has a very short history with ups and downs, Cramer’s concern below becomes much more meaningful:

Our artistic genre –dance- had been considered of little value compared to some established ones (painting in the middle ages, theatre in the age of enlightenment, architecture in the late 19th century)”, we “need discourse in order to impose ourself on the cultural agenda” (Cramer, 2003).

Therefore, “paying particular attention to facilitating an informed yet accessible discourse and writing on contemporary dance and performance practices” (Critical Endeavour 2010) is always an important endeavour both for audience development and the development of the dance field itself. We have to fight to “exist” in long term and I think that dance writing is one of those attempts of such “existence” or “survival”.



REFERENCES:

Cramer, Franz Anton. (03.02.2003). “Dance Criticism: Negotiating Knowledge, Taste and Power”, Sarma, http://sarma.be/docs/1037, [16.08.2013].

Cramer, Franz Anton. (16.11.2004). “Dance Criticism in Berlin / A Critic’s Perspective: Franz Anton Cramer”, Sarma, http://sarma.be/docs/968, [16.08.2013].

“Critical Endeavour 2008”, ImPulsTanz-Vienna International Dance Festival’s e-archive, https://www.impulstanz.com/en/archive/2008/proscene/id1925/, [18.12.2017].

“Critical Endeavour 2010”, http://www.jardindeurope.eu/index.php?id=39, [18.12.2017].

“Dans ve Performans Yazım Atölyesi”, A Corner in the World Festival web site, http://www.acornerintheworld.com/dance-writing-workshop/, [18.12.2017].

Dans Yazım (Dance and Performance Writing Workshop), A Corner in the World Festival festival edition (2016). https://dansyazimcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/dans-yazim-a-corner-in-the-world-festival-edition-oct-2016.pdf, [19.11.2016].

Kurt, Berna, personal blog: “Dans Yazıları-Berna Kurt” (http://dansyazilari.blogspot.com.tr/)

Theodores, Diana. “On Critics and Criticism of Dance”, New Directions on Dance, 1979. Sarma, http://sarma.be/docs/707, [12.08.2013].

We’R’Dansöz” Project, Flausen Young Artist in Residence web site, http://www.theaterwrede.de/flausen/werdansoez/




[*] Assoc. Prof. Dr. İstanbul Aydın University, Fine Arts Faculty, Arts Management Department, bernakurt@aydin.edu.tr.

16 Kasım 2017 Perşembe

Hayaller… Karşı Çıkışlar… Alternatifler… Dans Ütopyaları?

Berna Kurt
Kasım 2017

Eğer ütopya bir çeşit daha iyi bir dünyatasavvuru ise,başka bir dünyanın mümkün olduğunudüşünenlerin ilk yapacağı şey hayal etmek… İdeal yerleri/halleri/durumları, bir çeşit düşler ülkesiniSadece hayal kurmak da, o hayali gerçekleştirmeye çalışmak da; var olana karşı çıkmak da, onun yerine başka birşey koymaya çalışmak da mümkün

Ütopya ve dans dendiğinde, ben de hemen bir hayal kurmaya başladım… Tabii ki kişisel deneyimlerimle, benimle bağlantılı idi bu hayaller: dans yazmışlığım/koreografi yapmışlığımla, dans etmişliğim/sahneye çıkmışlığımla, dans araştırmışlığım/yazmışlığımla, dans çevirmişliğimle, dans seyretmişliğimle/dans eleştirisi yazmışlığımla mışlığımla da mışlığımla

Kafamda oluşan ilk imge fazlasıyla yerel”di: hem yereldanslar uğraşımla hem de isyan etmişliğimle/isyan görmüşlüğümle ilgili: el ele, omuz omuza bedenler… çok farklı bedenlerkadını erkeği, güzeli çirkini, yaşlısı genci, sağlıklısı sağlıksızı vd. yokkarşı koyuşunu bedenselleştireninsanlar, bir çeşit kolektivite?”… ekip başı-sonu yokkomut veren ve onu takip eden yok… herkes farklılıklarının farkında, yine de eşithoron da olur, halay da, hora dayeri-yöresi vs. önemli değil
Bir başka imge de, akış halinde bir görseller şeridi: dans tarihinin “devrimci?” isimlerinin fotoğrafları, video’ları… ne gördüysem ben, ne gösterdiysem derslerde… tabii ki görsel sanatlarda olduğu gibi dans sanatında da, tarihi yazanlar/yazılmış olanlar “muktedirler”…muktedir dünyaların dansçıları akıyor zihnimde çünkü dans tarihi Batılı tiyatral dansların; balenin, modern dansın, çağdaş dansın tarihi… Ne siyahların sokak dansları ne de yerlilerin ritüelleri var bu anlatı(lar)da… Zihnimdekiler ise “karşı çıkanlar”... Yvonne Rainer’ın No Manifestosu mesela… Gösteriye hayır… virtüoziteye hayır… star imgesine hayır…kahramana hayır… hayır da hayır…

No Manifesto’da “manifest” edilen ya da ortaya konan meseleleri düşündükçe soruyorum: peki benim meselelerim/dertlerim ne? ne(lere) karşı çıkıyor da, ne(leri) istiyorum? Eh tabii düş ülkem dertlerimle alakalı biraz da: ben yine hayır demeyeyim de, düş kurmaya devam edeyim… bilinç akışı, “… olsa, hayat bayram olsa” kıvamında… ilk aklıma gelenleri “manifest” edeyim ben de, manifesto yazmasam da düşlerimi şöyle bir alt alta dizeyim:


Bütün bedenler özgür olsa…
Her tür beden sahneye (daha da çok) çıksa…
Kimse dans etmekten utanmasa… Mesela danstır, tayttır erkeği “bozmasa”…

Kadın-erkek dansı-hareketi gibi anlamsız ayrımlar olmasa…
Kadınlar da ekip başı olsa… yok yok kimse ekip başı olmasa, ya da ekip başı hep değişse, kimse birbirinden rol kapmasa…

Sahnede merkez olmasa, herkes seyredilebilse… Aslında keşke “seyretme”den çok katılma olsa…

Dansçılar aç kalmasa, her türlü işini kendi yapmak durumunda kalmasa…
Dans stüdyoları, bağımsız dans sanatçıları sürekli artsa… dayanışsalar, birlikte hareket etseler…

Dans türleri arasında hiyerarşi kalmasa…
Herkesin dansları/bütün danslar araştırılsa, yazılsa, çizilse… hepsinin tarihi yazılsa…
Danslara etnisite, kimlik vb. atfedilmese…

Üniversitelerde dans, müziğin, tiyatronun vb. alt dalı olmasa…
Memleketimde dans araştırmacısı iş bulabilse/değer görebilse… dans bölümleri kapanmasa…
Hocalar enerjilerini kendilerine ya da birbirlerine karşı değil de bu sınırlı alanı geliştirmek için harcasa…

Dansı yapmak gibi yazmak da değer görse…
Bana kimse artık dans, tarih, siyaset ne alaka?demese… Kendimi tekrar tekrar anlatmaktan kurtulsam…
Dans araştırmaya vaktim kalsa… Ya da dans etmek, okumak, yazmak, paylaşmak şimdiki gibi lüksüm ya da hobim değil de, mesleğim olsa…

Ya evet… keşke hayat bayram olsa… ya da biz(ler) hayatı bayram kılsak…😊


(*) Artist 2017 / 27. İstanbul Sanat Fuarı kapsamında, 4-12 Kasım 2017 tarihleri arasında gerçekleşen ve küratörlüğünü Fırat Arapoğlu'nun yaptığı "Düşleyebileceğin Tek Yer" sergisinin kataloğunda yayımlanan yazı. Sergi blog'u ve kataloğu için bkz. https://tuyaputopya.wordpress.com/

Dreams… Objections… Alternatives… Dance Utopias? (*)

Berna Kurt
November, 2017

If utopia is a kind of “better world” conception, first thing to do by people who think that “another world is possible” is dreaming of ideal places/situations /states, imagining a kind of dreamland... It’s both possible to just imagine or try to realize the dream; just oppose the existing situation or try to put something else in its place...

When I was asked to do something about utopia and dance, I immediately began dreaming... Of course, those dreams were related to “me” or my personal experiences: my experiences of making choreographies, performing/dancing on stage, dance writing/criticism, making research on dance, translating dance writings, watching dance pieces… so on and so forth…

The first image in my mind was a more “local” one: related to my experiences of both performing “local” dances and participating in/seeing of revolts: multiple bodies… all together hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder... very different ones ... male or female, beautiful or ugly, old or young, healthy or unhealthy… doesn’t matter... people “embodying” their resistance, people building a kind of “collectivity”? ... no dance leader/“command”er and his/her followers… everyone is aware of their differences, still equal ... horon, halay, hora ... place-region etc. of the dance does not matter at all…

Another image is a flow of visual images: photographs and videos of the “revolutionary?” people of dance history ... those that I have seen/read or shown in my courses... very similar with the situation in visual arts, whoever has the “power” write “their” dances... the dancers of the ruling world are flowing in my mind because the dance history is the history of Western theatrical dances like ballet, modern dance and  contemporary dance ... neither the street dances of blacks nor the rituals of the indigenous people
are included in those narratives ... The ones in my mind are the “dissidents” ... Yvonne Rainer’s “No Manifesto” for example ... No to spectacleno to virtuosity ... no to the star image… no to the heroic… no to… so on and so forth…

When contemplating about the issues “manifested” in No Manifesto, I’m asking to myself: what about my issues/concerns? What do I oppose and what do I want? Well, my dreamland is of course related to my real life issues: But I don’t say “no to…”, I just keep dreaming ... even if not writing a manifesto, I put in line or “manifest” my first thoughts/dreams coming into my mind… as a stream of consciousness…   I dream:

-All bodies being free...
-All kind of bodies performing (much more) on the dance scene...
-No one being ashamed of dancing ... For example, no one thinking that the dance or the leotards may “break up” the manhood…

-Having no meaningless distinctions like male/female dance/movement ...
-Women being dance leaders... no, it’s better to have no dance leader at all… or s/he can always change during the collective dance… or nobody takes the role of another one to be more “visible” on stage ...

-Having no focus point on stage, as everyone can be watched ... Actually, having more “participating in” than “watching” the dance…

-Dancers being able to earn their living and not having to do all the work -other than performing or making choreographies….
-The quantity and quality of dance studios and independent dance artists constantly increasing... all acting in solidarity...

-Having no hierarchy between dance genres ...
-Having research/writing/historiography on everyone’s dances / all dance genres...
-Having no attribution of ethnicity, national…etc. identity to the dances…

-Dance departments being no sub-units of music or theater departments at universities, but independent ones…
-Dance researchers being able to work and be appreciated in my country... dance departments being no more closed ...
-Dance teachers not focusing on getting personal victories or fighting against each other but on contributing to develop this limited space…

-Dance writing being as appreciated as dancing itself...
-Nobody asking me again: “But what’s the relation between dance, history and politics?”... Getting rid of telling myself again and again ...
-My “real” job being performing, reading about, writing on dance… having enough time for each of them…

Yes…some nice dreams… waiting to come true and make our world a better one… some nice dreams that we may make true... 😊

(*) Artist 2017 / 27. İstanbul Sanat Fuarı kapsamında, 4-12 Kasım 2017 tarihleri arasında gerçekleşen ve küratörlüğünü Fırat Arapoğlu'nun yaptığı "Düşleyebileceğin Tek Yer" sergisinin kataloğunda yayımlanan yazı. Sergi blog'u ve kataloğu için bkz. https://tuyaputopya.wordpress.com/

“QUICK SCAN”[1] for RE-LIC

Berna Kurt
February, 2017

Eight dancers on the performance space (one is hidden below a cover)… playing with Christmas ornaments making up the frontiers of the fictional ‘stage separating the performance and the audience spaces…. interaction with the audience…

Then the show begins… No more eye contact with the audience… Building of the fourth wall…

Solo dances, short and longer duets, trios, collective dances...

Usually a fixed rhythm and movements following it… Individual reaction(s) against some physical, psychological, social, political restraints?

Embracings… much more embracings… Some trials of moving, acting or becoming ‘together’?

Dancing in demi-point, following a syncopated rhythm: 123, 123, 12… 123, 123, 12…

Hitting the body and making sounds out of it… Screams, talks, breathing… Some ‘body music’ or ‘body percussion’ moments?

Repeating some movement phases with arms up and down… Dancing/walking in a moving circle, then moving in and out the fixed circle, touching the chests… reminding some ritualistic or folkloric-like scenes… for much of us, the audience from Turkey accustomed to see such representations…


The choreographic strategy looks like orienting the performers to act ‘together’ but not ‘synchronical’: individuality in collectivity is remarkable… An intelligent strategy especially when performers have very different backgrounds, experiences and physicalities and time for rehearsal is quite limited.

Easy to follow the performance, it doesn’t ‘demand’ so much from us... it doesn’t question the limits or the definitions of ‘dance’ or ‘performance’…

(Attention, the following part may include a spoiler!)

The ending is surprising: a video screening and a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “An Eye for an Eye Will Make the Whole World Blind”…
A little bit confused or not quite prepared for it? The ‘message’ looks like something ‘alien’, something ‘pasted’ to the performance: Christmas hopes for the ‘West’ but war, destruction, disaster, hunger for the ‘rest’ (of the world)?


…………………………………

R e - l i c after Re-Rau
a k a “burn’t”

16 December 2016, Akbank Sanat / İstanbul

Concept - Choreography: Korhan Başaran

Dancers: Beril Şenöz, Umut Sevgul, Melissa Ugolini, Evrim Akyay, Kamola Rashidova, Canan Yücel Pekiçten

“Re-lic asks audiences to examine what we find most important in our lives, what we truly care about and how can we pay better attention to the world surrounding us. Even though it’s not always easy, human beings must find a way of sharing hope and finding light.” (http://www.akbanksanat.com/en/detay/16-12-2016/modern-dans-gosterisi)




[1] Thank you Orsolya Bálint for the terminology J