This article is dedicated to my grandparents who found it difficult to understand what is it that I’m doing.
What is dance?
While borders, definitions and separations get less and less popular in art in general and specifically in the field of contemporary dance, where a performance could be an event where you can see a group of people which behave casually, sitting on stage and talking for an hour. I found myself often needing to challenge my ideas and definitions concerning the question of what is dance.
So what is dance? Dance isn’t an object, and it only exists through our perception. Maybe it is better to ask, what do we perceive as dance?
So my first hippie impulse says: Dance is everything!
Well, deep inside, I believe it is true. It is all about how we read reality. But as my latest wish is to become less esoteric and more understood, I would try to be clear here and decide on few parameters which I consider crucial when we try to define dance.
The first parameter should probably be that dance is something which we should receive through our eyes. Meaning it has to be visual.
The second parameter would be, that it is something which we receive as happening in a space. So we can say: its here, it is there, up, down, in out around and so on…
The third one is, that those events should happen in a time frame. The frame I’m referring to can be a standard theater performance time- about one hour, it could also be a duration of a second, one day, one week, month, year, life time, forever and so on…
On top of those three broad concepts which can construct mostly everything, we can add bodies, musicality and movement, and spice it up with some Images and ideas. Bake it in the oven which I call “the spectator” with his own body sensations and personal history, and than we get close to what is dance.
An exercise: Go out! Choose a location. Decide on a time frame and stand still for this duration. Decide that for whatever will cross your visual sphere you will declare it as dance. Look for musicality, look for shapes, look for visual connections between those shapes, or between moving objects, look for drama, look for beauty, look for harmony, look for disharmony, look for memories, look for you own bodily sensations when you do it.
Option 2: Do the same, while listening to music.
So Mrs. Dance is an elusive persona. She wouldn’t just come to you. If you want to meet her, go ahead and look for her. She might be there right now waiting for you to stop looking at your computer.