HELLO
Here are some things I worked with while at a.pass, if you have questions, comments or corrections you can reach me on adrianowj (at) gmail (dot) com or (plus)4525344321.
We are doing a reprint of the letter for the end presentation, please send me an email with your address if you would like to receive one by post (for free).
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CONSPIRALING”^* ́

2-999 dancers
2-999 spectators

Protocol:

- Dancers can be in any position except sitting crosslegged.

- The dancer aligns the rhythm of their breathing to that of singular spectators, meanwhile they spiral their chest in that same rythm.

- Conspiralling shouldn’t hurt, if it does, make the movement smaller or stop.

- Dancers can change which spectators whose breathing they align with at any moment, and if they loose track of the breathing or if it becomes fast and irregular (spectator laughing or coughing) they slow down and try to reconnect (with the same or a different spectators breathing).

- It can help for the dancer to imagine that they are a doctor working at a hospital where the machine showing the breathing of the patient has broken and that instead they got asked to represent the breathing of the patient with their chest.

- Dancers avoid looking the spectators in the eyes.

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” Conspire: Andrea Rodrigo and Ainhoa Hernández made me aware of the etymology of conspiring: late Middle English: from Old French conspirer, from Latin conspirare ‘agree, plot’, from con- ‘together with’ + spirare ‘breathe’. (Oxford/ Apple dictionary). An ongoing interest for me is to find ways to think empathy beyond interpersonal identification (I feel what you feel), breathing together points to a different relationality and–potentially–solidarity.

^ Conspiraling was developed after I saw Flamenco for the first time. It happened
in Granada, I don’t know the name of the space or the artists. I was deeply touched and basically thought polyrhythm is the answer. Conspiralling was also informed
by ways I have been taught to mobilize breating in dance and dancepreperation, within my training at School for New Dance Development. Here breathing in Kundalini Yoga and various psychosomatic forms of improvisation was used to ”channel” desire and sexuality for each student to become recognizable as a distinct individual.

*Done in a group conspiraling generates a polyrhythmic pulsing dance in which the spectators are implicated. Meanwhile the spectators can rarely circumscribe their involvement, they sense that their bodies matter for the situation, there is a non- intrusive sense of implication, and indeed their breathing conducts the baton(s) of the dance. Given the dancers’ strict
focus on the breathing of the spectators the address never appears interpersonal. As such the dance makes a polyrhythmic pulse, a non-personal intimacy and an opaque implication available for the spectatorial practice.

́Chloe Chignell, Flavio Rodrigo, Anapaula Camargo, the participants, mentors and curators of the a.pass blocks “A looming score - we share your politics of damage” and “Zone Public”, the dancers of “Behavings” from ISAC, Andrea Zavala Folache, Simon Asencio, Amanda Barrio Charmelo and Stefan Govaart have performed, spectated or otherwise contributed to the development of this dance.
LETTER↓ - AUTUMN 2019-SPRING 2020
SCORES→
Blind entry and exit^* ́

2-999 dancers
2-999 spectators

Protocol:

- The Spectators are gathered outside the performance space (lobby, street or garden etc.)

- The spectators are told, that they will be asked to close their eyes, and that someone will guide them to their seat, and that the guiding involves light touch, and that if they don’t want to be touched or guided or close their eyes they can just keep their eyes open, and that if they close their eyes they can open them again when they hear music.

- Once the spectators have closed their eyes the dancers enter the lobby/garden/street and guide the spectators to their seat one- by-one. First gently taking the hand of the spectator in one hand, and placing the other hand behind the heart of the spectator. This can be modified for different bodies. The intention is to guide in a gentle way: being patient and clear in the touch, staying silent to give space and never rushing.

- At the end of the performance the dancers go to spectators one-by-one and offer to lead them out–again with closed eyes if they agree, or if not with open eyes.

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^Blind entry and exit was developed with the intention to frame the spectatorial practice; temporally as starting before and finishing after the performance, and spatially as taking place through the body of the spectator and its touches (the glowing spots behind the closed eyelids, the neck tension gaining definition without visual distractions, breath(s), the touch of the hand behind the heart, the touch of the seat, the latent touch of the (for now) anonymous people sitting nearby, the smell of that other room/body). At the same time the score intended to make a play on expectation (you will take me somewhere and show me something surprising) and sought to activate and highlight anticipating and erotic engagements at the initiation of a session of spectatorial practice.

*Blind entry and exit does seem to condition a kind of erotic landing into (embodied?) spectatorship as intended. But it also marks the edge of my research into practice-based spectatorship, as it spills into participatory spectatorship. I think that practice-based spectatorship necessitate a formal difference between spectated and spectator to be maintained, that practice- based spectatorship is about zooming into processes, engagements and habbits that are already present in spectatorship. The spectator might introduce new ones, but if a representative of the work asks the spectator to participate differently than ”what is already going on”, we step out of practice- based spectatorship and into participatory spectatorship.

́All the participants and mentors of the a.pass blocks “A looming score - we share your politics of damage” and “Zone Public” in particular Chloe Chignell, Flavio Rodrigo and Anapaula Camargo, aswell as mentors Kristien Van den Brande, Sara Manente, curator Lilia Mestre, and the dancers of “Behavings” from ISAC and many more, have contributed to the development of and experimentation with this dance.
Pelvis in common^* ́

2-999 dancers
2-999 spectators

Protocol:

Before getting into Pelvis in Common the dancer must acquaint themselves with principles of Malkowsky’s dance libre in particular;

A: accumulation in the ”center”
The pelvis is considered the center of the body in this dance, and all movements are initiated from an accumulation of energy there.

B: ”causality”
The dancer plays that a shift in tilt, gravity or direction sets in motion a causal chain of movements; from the pelvis rippling through the spine, flowing through the arm, extending out of the hands.

C: ”surge and bounce” / ”play”
The heels are slightly lifted of the floor and the dancers are constantly a bit off balance, this facilitate the accumulation and flow of energy into and out of the pelvis, which is kind of like a play for a body and gravity.

These principles aimed to achieve a ”natural” and ”free” expression of the individual dancer. It is helpful to remember
that this dance was developed in the early 20th century in Paris, and that it was inspire by Isadora Duncan, who was inspired by Francois Delsarte. Imagining how it might have felt like to dance like this at this moment, can be helpful in getting acquainted with the dance. The process of getting acquainted with the dance is not about historical perfection. Rather each dancer needs to have a sense of these principle, which admittedly are selected for the purpose of this other dance which we are about to do.

For different dancers improvising with the principles, watching documentation online, or imagining how the particular liberation of this dance might have felt can all be useful methods for the end of getting a sense of the principles described above. Once we get so far we are ready ”Pelvis in Common”:

- To dance “Pelvis in Common” a group
of dancers have to do two things at the same time. They follow the principles of Malkowsky’s ”danse libre” while they imagine having a pelvis in common, which takes the place of the previously established ”center”.

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^ Following dance histories where individualism has been cultivated through mediation of interiority led me to Malkovsky’s “free dance”. Deciding on a supposed universal center and a supposed natural causality of movements in and out of this center is a very efficient way of making a body look like an individual– desiring and rejecting exterior (invisible) objects from a clear center located in a vertical body. While this dance was no doubt liberating for some in its time– through rejecting the artificiality of Ballet in favor of an investigation of “natural” forces and articulations, the liberation it proposes is based on individualist and universalist presuppositions of natural movement and freedom. I think traces of this dance and its presuppositions are still present in dance today.

* Pelvis in common is an attempt to interfere in the structure of the dance and to shift the presuppositions. “Pelvis in Common” replaces the ”natural” center of the body with an imaginary shared bodypart, while retaining the other structuring principles of the dance. This generates an ambivalent embodiment the universality of causality is undermined and replaced with situated encounters with causality–shaped by the idiosyncratic yet impersonal formation of each body: That is each bodies history, materiality, state and training.

́Pelvis in common was developed with Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Chloe Chignell, Simon Asencio and Stefan Govaart.
Scenography^"* ́

2-999 dancers
2-999 spectators

Protocol:

- One dancer says >scenography< at some point during another dance, one or several other dancers join in dancing “Scenography”.

- To dance scenography: offer your body– where it is–as scenography for whatever is going on, especially for whatever the spectators might be up to.

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^ The methodology of many dances I have been working on could be summarized like this:

1: Choose a dance that try to mediate self or self-relation by making the translation between “impulse” and “expression” disappear in order to make the expression of interiority seem immediate (rather than mediated) and universal (rather than cultural).

2: Insert an abstraction between “impulse” and “expression”: a doubling, inversion, delay...
The working hypothesis here is that in such rupture culturally specific formations of each dancing body are exposed and thus depersonalized.
“Scenography” came about out of a frustration that the abstraction would often be relying on visual(izable) form: For instance the dancer visualizing what a spectator would see if they would look at that dancer, or visualizing their anatomy and performing a mirrored or otherwise alternative version of a movement.
I am increasingly interested in pushing this methodology into other forms of abstraction and with “Scenography” I try to approach a spacial abstraction closer to architecture than to image.

"When I use the word abstraction I have the last years been informed by Reza Negarestanis essay “Torture Concrete”: >In its most rudimentary or perhaps least consequential form, abstraction
is the cutting of form from matter. It is quantitative compression through the taking away {apheresis) of determinations. It is a primitive cruelty that mutilates or deprives the sensible. By imposing arbitrary rules, one can both take away and add determinations, rendering something abstract or sensible.<

* My thinking about spacial abstractions on the part of both spectators and dancers in “Scenography” is inspired by Jill Stoners “Toward a minor architecture”, which I was introduced to by Simon Asencio. In the book Jill Stoner takes inspiration from Deleuze and Guattari’s “Toward a minor literature” and narrates different ways that minor architecture can happen from within major architecture, she writes with and through examples and quotes, one that I keep returning to is from Walter Benjamin: >Among the nightshirts, aprons and undershirts which were kept there in the back was the thing that turned the wardrobe into an adventure for me. I had to clear a way for myself to its farthest corner. There i would come upon my socks, which lay piled in traditional fashion—that is to say, rolled up and turned inside out. every pair had the appearance of a little pocket. For me, nothing surpassed the pleasure of thrusting my hand as deeply as possible into its interior. i did not do this for the sake of the pocket’s warmth . . . but when i had brought out “the present,” “the pocket” in which it had lain was no longer there. i could not repeat the experiment on this phenomenon often enough. it taught me that form and content, veil and what is veiled, are the same.<
—Walter Benjamin, A Berlin Childhood

́ Scenography was developed in collaboration with Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Chloe Chignell, Simon Asencio and Stefan Govaart.