Sunday, 8 June 2008

Open call for choreographers, psychoanalysts and dramaturgs


Interesting choreographers and dramaturgs of any age/experience/gender/sexuality are needed for a project through internet. Reward guaranteed. Here is the task:

I want to approach singing as a choreographer, not as a musician (I am not a musician either way)
  • a choreographer makes a wooden sculpture. Is is really a sculpture or maybe a choreography?
  • a sculptor makes a choreography. Is it realy a choreography or is it maybe a statue?
So, what I need to work on now is
  1. what kind of "steps" (= words) do I use
  2. dynamics of each "step" (singing, screaming, hissing, whispering, breathing etc),
  3. dynamics of the overall composition (immediate accumulation, how fast, how slow etc)
  4. presence on stage (do I allow myself to dance, to be mesmerised, am I standing, do I go to the floor, am I on my world, do I look at the audience, do I reply to the song as if I have a dialogue?)
  5. How synchronized with the music I should make it (do I try to say things rythmically or not?)
  6. emotions?
  7. overall duration ? (3 mins, 6 minutes, 1 minute?)
  8. put it live? just record it and let it play as a video ?
I really want to take some decisions on these issues (and many more) but I don't know when it looks interesting to decide accordingly. Since I haven't received any replies on that, I kindly ask you again to

I am not going to go on begging for your help, but here you are you have every chance to practice your choreographic and dramaturgic skills through an innovative medium (=internet blogging). Take your chances.
I therefore have uploaded two different (I believe) versions of m rehearsals and of my experimentations (I am trying out everything). Can you pick up 2-3 things you like and suggest them? Or if you are kind enough can you tell me how you would "choreograph" the song?

When I started reading about self-pleasure, self-indulgence, masturbation, I realized that everything has to do with solipsism and I was really fascinated by the fact that I now return back to the sub-title I had arbitrarily given to my blog. At last I am going to address that issue, I thought.
But isn't it expected and predictable even that when someone is working for so many hours on his/her own to start having moments where he is starting to get lost in himself? In Greece we have a funny proverd that says "A lot of taka-taka and the kid becomes a wanker". Maybe it it is right for me too...

Focus on the pink for long time. Now, the image looks like the colours are correct.

The political correctness of self indulgence: Am I allowed a moment of masturbation during a performance? When ?

Now, once thing that I have realized whilst doing this exercise it that after some time, my eyes close, I feel sleepy. I don't know what is happening to me. I enter in a trance, in another world. I lose contact with this world. That's why I call it mental masturbation.

What happens to the political dimensions of a work of art when the artist shows signs of becoming lost, or of being lost, in the pleasures of creation?

Geoffrey Sanborn, writing about Sandra Cisneros' novel The Mango House (the most widely read and taught novel by US Latino author) says the following:
"She does it because she likes it, and she likes it because it transports her experience into another space, a space that is intimate, private, and under her control. She associates the sensation of belonging to spaces with the sensation of being possessed by a ghost, an internal alien entity; she associates the sensation of not belonging to those spaces with a feeling of freedom and relief from pain. "
Relief from pain, relief from pain, relief from pain, relief from pain...

Geoffrey Sanborn believes that these are moments of self- indulgence and solipsism. But he goes on explaining that the book is dedicated to
"the women in the community who cannot, as yet, make themselves the subjects and objects of their own enjoyment. [...] The spectacle of her enjoyment is offered [...]as an object of identification. Under these conditions of representation, the break introduced by solitary pleasure heralds not the end of interpersonal commitments and socially transformative acts but the beginning of alliances on new grounds. [...] Cisneros treats the narcissistic selfregard of these women not as the death knell of political consciousness but as the way in which they keep from being framed as spectacles, captured by the gaze of others. The effect is to encourage our identification "not with the ideal imago which the women [. . .] so dramatically fail to approximate, but rather with the women themselves."
In my own words, such an act where I am lost in my own world could be useful for two reasons:
- it is the narcissistic moment of the "choreographer" (I am performing a famous choreographer who has just made a piece) who enjoys TOO much his piece and is lost in it.
- But, a bit like Cindy Sherman and Cisneros, I hope to provide for a new approach to the way of looking at photos and being looked at when looking at photos. The whole lecture is about the non-sanctity of war photography and so a return to real subject of the gaze is the best means for me to have a political stance on the issue.

But to be able to do this , I think I need to be a master of my own self-hallunication, I need to be able to control it. Therefore many times, I say to myself, "get off the ground", open your eyes, wake up... You can show mesmerized but be sure you can control it. Just like Sherman. Difficult task.

On repetition: psychoanalyzing the spectator, the choreographer and me

Repetitive music has often been linked with Freudian Thanatos. According to Freud, humans have a life instinct - which he named 'Eros' - and a death drive, which is commonly called (though not by Freud himself) 'Thanatos'. Death drive is "an urge inherent in all organic life to restore an earlier state of things". Freud begins the work considering the experience of trauma and traumatic events (particularly the trauma experienced by soldiers returning from WWI). The most curious feature of highly unpleasant experiences for Freud was that subjects often tended to repeat or re-enact them. This postulated death drive allegedly compels humans to engage in risky and self-destructive acts that could lead to their own death. Behaviors such as thrill seeking, aggression, and risk taking are viewed as actions which stem from this Thanatos instinct.
I approach repetition on three distinct actions:
- people wanting to see over and over again (the same) photos of people suffering in wars. There is thus a repetition compulsion by the spectator of war photography and it is exactly that what I am trying to pass through the texts of Susan Sontag and Caroline Brothers and that is what the choreographer is claiming to do (=I, the choreographer, show you the death drive of the spectator of war photography)
- the "famous choreographer" repeating over and over again myself as a moment of reliving and hallucinating the trauma of his not so socially accepted, controversial choreography (I, Pavlos, show you the death drive of a choreographer)
- Pavlos, who repeats his own voice, in order to make the rehearsal and the performance a more social event than a solipsistic moment. It is a death drive though because it refers to the repetition of a trauma, that of loneliness. I relive over and over my own loneliness and solipsism.

The image below is very beautiful... It is made out of four angles of the same element and then stitched together. Somehow resembling the 3 actions mentioned above. Click on it to see large scale.

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