Sunday, February 21, 2010

Of Bodies in Motion

Yesterday was art-magical in Columbia, SC. Not only was it 68 degrees and sunny (thank you, latitude!), but an inspired collaboration occurred between dancers and draw-ers, yielding sparky insights and open declarations of mutual love.

On the dance side, high school dance students and their teachers joined up with USC dance students and professors to learn a 3-minute etude that the HS folks will take back to their schools to perform and teach to other students. On the drawing side, three of my students and I spent three hours recording, through drawn gestural line, this experience of dancers learning the etude. What emerged were drawn signatures of danced phrases - 10 - 20 body positions conspiring into single figures.

The linkage between drawing and dance is in many ways easy and obvious - one makes a physical move that conveys direction, speed, intensity, pressure, duration and space. But it was truly exciting to have dancers look at abstracted marks on the page and recognize themselves in them; as well, for those drawing to feel like we were dancing as we moved and left material traces of vision. The immediacy and intimacy of the experience was inspiring (and thus highly recommended - go draw dancers! Hurry!!!).

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