Willing to be forced* – about “60’ state of“ by Kadri Noormets and Kadi Maria Vooglaid

04/27/2013

* obtained or imposed by coercion or physical power

Laura Vesele*

Performance started by setting the rules for audience: you can feel free to move or leave the room whenever you like without turning the lights on. But in few minutes it was clear that performers – two young Estonian dancers – are setting the rules for themselves as well. They put themselves into definite conditions – restricted space – about 10 square meters big stage and time – limited by 60 minutes long music track.

Power of Rhythm

It seemed to me more like an experiment than performance at first. It was clear from the very beginning, that the movements weren’t strictly choreographed; performers were willing to be forced by power of rhythm, asking: What would happen if I let myself get carried away by the power of rhythm? The main role of the performance was rhythm in music, which constantly transmitted in bodily movements. Power of music affected their bodies deeply and consistently, at some point it seemed like performers lose the position to be in charge of their body’s reactions.

Concept of the UUS TANTS 2013 Estonian New Dance Platform

The performance was part of UUS TANTS 2013 Estonian New Dance Platform, whose concept this year is based on presence in performance. Presence of the artist in performance; artist as a human, a real person, an individuality on stage. This is the case where audience experienced presence on stage in its higher level. I would say that dancing in this performance was not an act, it was not choreographed, it was not an illustration – it was pure two women’s improvisation influenced by music. Purity, consistence and determination to concept made this performance so sympathetic. Only thing that was a bit disturbing were costumes. To achieve absolute presence of the artists I would suggest to wear casual clothing, because costumes, that performers were wearing still gave them an opportunity to hide in a role of dancer.

States of perception in audience

To be more clear about my suggestion, I should offer a little sneaking into my associations while watching. I was invited to imagine that situation, when you are in discotheque, but don’t feel like dancing tonight, but you stay there no matter what and watch all the others having good time. That’s why I would rather see them wearing daily clothes – to feel more engaged with the fact that they are real persons experimenting, not acting.

As I already started to discuss a process in myself as a part of audience, I would like to continue with characterizing states of perception that each member of audience might be dealing with. It came to me as a surprise, that this energetic, but still homogenous action on stage can cause such an wide range of processes. For example, questioning, dealing with the rules, seeking for a detail, testing patience, being bored, keeping attention, avoiding disturbance from audience, as well as – trance, and even meditation. It was quiet shocking for me, that I wasn’t bored at all, even if I consider myself as a not-hard-to-lose-attention person.

I would say that there are times when there is no need to dig deep and force yourself to seek for storyline, there are times like this when you can let yourself get carried away by power of rhythm.

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Performance work-in-progress „60’ state of“ by Kadri Noormets and Kadi Maria Vooglaid took place in Haapsalu Cultural Centre’s black hall in 12th of April, 21:00.

*Laura Vesele was one of the Latvian participants of the international seminar for students of theater studies “nu_dnc.txt” which took place during the festival Uus Tants 2013. Young dance critics from Estonia, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania participated in a three day long workshop and search for novel ways to present new dance, to keep up with the constantly changing object of their research and to update their tools. The seminar is organized by Tartu University Lodge of Theater Studies Students and keðja Writing Movement (DANCE.LV Journal is Latvian partner of the project).