In 2012 two choreographers, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, set out on a physical and mental journey in order to answer some of the existential questions that permeate our age. How can we break through the general sense of unease? Is it possible organise a world without limits? How do you convince people to once again take responsibility for each other?
Prologue In 2012, together with our dance company ICK Amsterdam we started a journey. Like captains of a ship, we invited the audience on board for a proper farewell. The end was not the final destination but the starting point. This new beginning does not come naturally. We find ourselves with a group of people (maybe the last species of the human race!) in a liquid space. We ask them to let go of everything. This is the only way to reach a common void from where we can depart. It is upsetting. We ask people to cross a border. Still, disruption and detuning are prerequisites for an encounter with the unexpected. And it is precisely in the unexpected, that one can discover the wonder. We let the body guide us.
AND (synchronize the body)
The world may perish. We brush aside that possible end. We navigate between dreams, illusions and confront a complex reality, which the government and the market can no longer deal with. It is up to us now, to the individual and the community. We are moving and breathing together on our planet. Sharing an environment and resources that are limited. Time to restructure the offensive. We propose a bodily revolution, opposed to the dualism that still defines our view of the world (Fe – male/ active – passive / Life – death / truth – intuition / centrifugal – centripetal). Which is why we, and you, are regrouping for an indefinite period. We lay out the gangway, board the ship and set out on a journey. We say farewell and take our leave.
AND (track the body)
We look beyond the end. For there is no end. There is no actual end to this journey. There isn’t even a single fatal shipwreck. We are underway and sailing. We’re not arriving anywhere. One thing is clear: the destination is not the place to be. We do not look back, but ahead to the dawning of a new day. Our feet have a memory; they know and recognise the path which we project with our steps. The memory of that path is our personal road map. Indeed, our feet are already there. They have always been there and have always pointed ahead.
AND (feed the body)
We are on a journey and we are hungry. We feed the body with intuition. It will prevent us from analysing things in artificial ways. Intuition gives the body back its magic, its strength and sincerity; it shapes the link between two movements. We are lost. A species in exile. Intuition will let the body know where it is positioned inside the space. Driven by intuition we can break away from social conventions, culture and civilization.
AND (gather the body)
We are, for the time being, a community of individuals and we create our own enclave. Away with the zig-zagging. We plot a course, in simple terms, made up of: lighting, sound, dance and words. The eye can focus briefly on a different reality and incite us to think about a ‘we’ in society. Order cannot be explained from the behaviour of individuals, but it can be gleaned from their simultaneous interactivity. We all have knowledge stored under our skin. It is time for an exchange.
AND (melt the body)
We face the task of identifying with a multitude of roles, positions and relationships. Where obvious forms of identity are absent, we must find our own box (without a label). We are liquid. In that temporary state of fluidity we generate possibilities and room for memories, awareness of new associations, desires and choices. With these, we can distance ourselves from old shapes in order to adopt them anew. Revolving about our core, our arms and legs, are the memories of old shapes. When the core has temporarily melted, we can hold on to it though our memories of our own contours, so as not to slip away completely and drown in our liquid core. On this trip, we take matters into our own hands.
AND (sustain the body)
There’s a whole lot of improvising involved. And then there’s the rhinoceros, the threatened species that signifies the strength of vulnerability. By crossing the boundaries of possibility, we lose control of the overall image of the movement. We get in touch with the vulnerability of body and mind. There is no such thing as the Übermensch. It is in failure that we understand each other and can get closer to each other.
AND (throw the body in the battle)
Now for the marbles and the game. Enjoy your fellow passengers, the chords, the motifs, the riffs, the frictions and the determinate infinity. The rhythm is our cadence, the structure, our game. We let our bodies sing, we embody the rhythm, we are the rhythm! We let go. We don’t understand it but we feel it is right. We encounter the wonder.
Epilogue And rest assured that the only certainty lies in the necessity to keep starting over.
AND now you.
Emio Greco | Pieter C. Scholten
Photo: Alwin Poiana. Courtesy of the artist