I was at Zhou Liang’s rehearsal today, and saw exactly what Rebecca Loukes calls the “cat’s cradle”: a long length of elastic that the dancers weave and interweave into changing patterns that correspond exactly to the spatial relations between them.
The geometric patterns in space, anchored to particular reaches and orientations of the body, reminded me of Rudolf Laban’s “kinesphere”, a graphic mapping of movement within personal space. Here are some images of the Laban kinesphere:
Laban’s kinesphere has the body as its axis. In his
It struck me that Zhou Liang’s use of elastic creates an image of a different kind of kinesphere. Not only is the individual body not at its centre, but there is no central body. The dynamic, morphing geometries are a property of the group, not of any body within it. Like a kind of social kinesphere.
[To see what I mean, check this video of Zhao Liang’s rehearsal]