PIECES OF STORIES MEET PIECES OF VIOLINS AT A GALLERY
Among all arts, dance is likely the most ephemeral. Without a widely accessible meaning of notation––before video––dance lives mostly in the body of the dancer and the memory of the viewer. Folkloric social dances stand out as the most non-compostable exemplar, passed from generation to generation, they survive as testaments of circumstances of a time and place, and often as acclamation of heritage. Can we create new ones to leave behind? If so, how shall we make them into a testament of our here and now?
The Dance We Leave Behind is a workshop-based performance project through which Alessandro Magania will be creating a series of new “traditional” dances in collaboration with a variety of groups, from a wide spectrum of communities, in different cities. The project seeks to explore ways in which the singularities of our everyday life might be looked at as pieces of heritage, proposing a notion of folklore in which it identifies micro communities rather than nationality.
Over the course of four sessions, each workshop proposes the creation of one dance together as a group––an act of crafting a piece of heritage particular to that community. During the workshops the group are asked to share dances they might have learned in the past, as well as aspects of their everyday lives, collective experiences that could be translated into a set of moves and patterns, or that might prompt a celebratory rite. Switching from pre-paid to a contract, for our cell phone, can be a rite of passage worthy of a dance. Signaling that physical contact is not allowed by someone’s religious code can shape our movement vocabulary, as well as moves seen in music videos or street dancing. Each workshop aims to arrive at a dance that can be easily shared and imparted to outsiders. The project itself culminates with a performance-cum-group class in which all dances will be taught and danced with the audiences.
This project germinates from an interest in folk dances I have cultivated in recent years, fascinated by how their different codes, movement languages, patterns, and relationship to gravity and space tell stories about the time and place in which they came to be.
What ultimately connects all social dances, from all around the world, is a necessity to create a platform for human interaction. That is also the ultimate goal of The Dance We Leave Behind.