I transpose the practice of unknowing in a journey towards the textures of the body. Going back to textures means to be present and use our instrument though all its inner qualities.
There is huge literature studying the transmission of knowledge embedded within movement practices and modes of creating. For the purpose of my research I refer to a selection of sources that somehow can help me in situating and organizing this phase of the work. An inspiring approach is the pre-choreographic kit by Emio Greco and Peter C. Scholten where the two choreographers define methodologies for the articulation of dance experiences using intuitive images for transmission of material. Particularly meaningful appears to me their work on extracting the intention, the mental state and potential definition that could inspire the reader to understand how movement is generated (Bermudez and Ziegler, 2014). Similarly, few years before Steve Paxton developed his “material for the spine” as a way to guide and shape improvisation, followed later by William Forsythe “Improvisation Technology” and Wayne Mc Gregor’s “Choreography and Cognition” (Bleeker, 2016). I have noticed that despite being overarchingly present in the nature of their work, these latter were more focus in discerning the choreographic process rather than bringing to surface specific qualities of movement material.
A similar approach was brought forward by Anne Teresa De Keersmaker in her research project “A choreographic score” born with a specific interest in writing choreography. What seems to me particularly relevant for this stage of my research are two of the choreographic parameters she identifies in her work. The chosen choreographic parameters are “genesis of the movement”, where she explains how her vocabulary was devised - in her case first with a blend of daily movements and formal abstract dancing and secondly through the rearticulation of bodily schema according to three centers of motion (head, torso and pelvis) - and the second called “Syntax” on how movement connects and what determines its flow (De Keersmaeker & Cvejić, 2012).
While I consider the researches mentioned above as a precious source for the organization of practice led material, I recognize that my practice detaches from the formalism and the geometric organization highly present in most of the choreographic languages listed above.
This is why I find meaningful to bring in this context an example of different approach in the creation of a toolbox for dancers, that is Gaga technique, a movement practice developed by the Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin.
His approach deepens dancers’ awareness of physical sensations, expanding their palette of available movement options, enhancing their ability to modulate their energy and engaging their power. The result is an enrichment of their movement quality with a wide range of textures and the ability to be available for intuition to modulate the body and influence movement choices (Vassileva, 2016). I want to specify that I don’t consider Gaga a universalistic approach to movement like many of its tireless followers: it is a practice that I have been in contact with during the last years and I consider it valid for the way Naharin was able to frame some basic somatic principles into a flow of sensation-guided improvisation in a legible manner, developing a shared awareness from which to start his choreographic work.
Starting from the awareness that movements are initiated anatomically, but also informed by thoughts and intuitive processes, my guiding approach for this research phase is their description and classification connected with sensations and their peculiar anatomical focus.