Maybe it’s because I am an inclusive practitioner, working in the moment improvising, but attending a day of dance training in Japan didn’t phase me. I was actually very comfortable seeing what I could understand, despite only having a basic grasp of the language. Of course the instructions from Cecilia MacFarlane (one of two UK Dance Artists leading, the other was Diane Amans) came in English, but in the afternoon participants took over, leading short choreographic tasks.
And how much do we have to say anyway? Well that depends how physical you want to be in your demonstrations, and of course the learning styles of your students. The afternoon contained the full spectrum, from a high energy, follow me style to word intensive, 2 minute explanations.
I’ve been mulling this theme over for a few weeks now. In August I popped in to see Marina Abramovics’ 512 hours, very few instructions were given, that was the point. But over the course of the 64 days the space began to embody the instructions. Of course duration is the key.
A couple of days later I went to the ‘Lost Room‘ by the Art Of Disappearing. Here we were overwhelmed with instructions, the piece was too short to allow for tangents. Shame.
Somewhere along the line the instructions meet with a receiver. In my case I brought with me 7 years dance experience, so filling in the gaps was easy. I sometimes wish I could leave my experience at the door to truly experience what some of my participants do. Maybe next time I will wear ear protectors, as we did in 512 Hours. For a bigger experience of ‘gap’.
A conference room with a view