Es un mans ?ermenis. Foto: Dzintars Kr?mi?š

Real bodies, unseen people

04/19/2011

Inta BALODE

After the 40 minute performance there are couple thoughts. First, it seems admirable that all the members of the show are interesting, are convincing, and are worth watching not only as short term research subjects but as powerful performers. Everybody knows what they are doing and why and they are not shy to reveal annoyed and unsecure sides of their personalities. Some girls seem to be unmovable without a way to unlock in the beginning, but as time passes suddenly surprise us with expression and an ability to dominate. It is not surprising that the majority are women. Though it is interesting that, judging from the visual and bodily impressions, they are not of the same age, type or world views. Also the only male volunteer doesn’t seem to be pushed here by force and doesn’t speculate about his unique status. Together with Vilnis Biri?š, experienced member of ARKT, men’s strength and seldom seen self-reflection enters the stage.

Another thought is about stepping over the border between a simple showing and a performance. As the choreographer stresses, this is not the performance, the performances will emerge from the results of the research. However while watching I had to admit that very often this kind of showing is called a performance. But as it fits to the contemporary processes, – everybody chooses how to define themselves. And the performance is ready when the artists feel that they succeeded to encode her message in the stage language or when the date of premiere arrived too early. And even if it seems that the elements haven’t grown together yet, it doesn’t say that the performance cannot serve for audience as significant source of experience and thought.

Next to the considerations about the structures, the interesting question is – what and how the Project participants felt during the process and what became visible to the audience? Do we see the questions posed by individuals about their body experience? The simple answer is that it is impossible to separate a live person’s „ ego” from her body. If we see a person, we see a body. Another question is whether it is possible to see a „ real” body on the stage. i.e., such body expression, which characterizes the individual in the conditions without the watcher? I believe, many contemporary dance choreographers have posed the lack of pretence as their goal and the peak of their art. But again it is well known that authenticity or the illusion of authenticity is reachable only through outstanding mastery, perfect knowledge and control of own body. Following on from that, if we see something real performed by amateurs, then is it possible only as chance, as unconscious episodes among controlled realness?

However if all the project participants perform in dresses which are not worn these days for real, then the aim of choreographer was to present the research in a stage package. This seems to be a trick with pretending – a funny dress is a safe cover for my real identity and this lets the real body act more freely. And the fact that audience members (unless they are participants families and friends) see unseen bodies, provides the distance from personalities and as a result lets us experience the uniqueness of the individuals and their bodily manifestations within this space and time.