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Beyond words

After observing a few rehearsals today, I began to see the challenges of bilingual verbal communication as well as emerging intricacies and complexities of interpretation. I also noticed the patience required and employed to deal with the accompanying frustrations in imparting desires, questions, expectations or ideas to someone who does not speak your native tongue. Luckily I think the body ultimately always grants us some level of understanding for one another. The body acts as its own interpreter providing a genuine expression of deep truths beyond language. I tried to imagine what it would be like if the choreographers rehearsed without speaking for part of the time. I wondered how that would affect the fluidity of the rehearsal process. No matter how many challenges language presents, laughter and a mutual optimism between dancers and choreographers seems to be the best remedy.

Quote of the day: ‘I felt that when you hit the point of exhausting the movement, you stopped demonstrating, stopped presenting, stopped worrying about what I was thinking. It became human. I want that.’ – Khamlane Halsackda

Video Clip of the day: Alexander Whitley Playing with Falling and Catching

3 comments to Beyond words

  • Donald Hutera

    Yen-Fang has also asked or reminded her dancers not to perform something but – and this is probably me embellishing her words – rather to go so deeply into whatever it was they were about to do that they became it. I guess that’s one possible definition of embodiment: becoming it rather than only performing it.

    Ironically, even after she said that, one of her dancers started clowning around in an improv in a way that I read as forced or phony. Different, in that the dancer was smiling rather than looking all sober and intense and beleaguered by the potentially threatening people around him. And sometimes being the goof is a way of coping with threat. But it looked like it was being more acted than felt.

    How do choreographs recognise ‘the truth’ when they see it? How can it be encouraged or captured? When is movement onstage and in a public context ‘authentic’ and when is it false, and how do you tell the difference either as a maker or even an audience member?

    I’m asking myself this, too, as a professional watcher. I don’t know that I have an immediate answer.

    Who was it who said something along the lines of ‘the body doesn’t lie’?

    Is that true?

  • Yatin

    Kham’s comments are well taken into account, thanks to Kate’s daily quotes!

    Just to add to Kate’s title “Beyond Words”, the fact that Kham’s assistant is our MFA graduate student from Hong Kong and having him translate into Mandarin, instead of his mother tongue Cantonese, presents a further challenge! From what i observed the first day though, he did fine!

    Perhaps as these rehearsals progress, more shared understanding will grow amongst them!

  • Khamlane

    It’s good for me to read that quote Kate, thank you, seeing it written down somehow clarifies further what I am looking for.

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