JOURNAL is a process diary, monthly digest of choreographic work as well as containing reflections, dialogs, notes and contemplations. It subscribes itself to diverse formats and forms, changing as it goes along, and shaping itself out of the requirements of the moment at hand.
Eikṓnic Memoire of Dance

A second part of a 3-part essay about structure & process of a ballet work DARK LANDSCAPES, premiered in November 2016, that I created with and for Ballet of Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. Creation of that piece started in July last year, so there is an interesting a-year-after memory of a rehearsals process. A first part of the essay is HERE.

“Iconic, from Latin icon, from Ancient Greek εἰκών (eikṓn):
a sense of a visual representation (of an object or scene or person
or abstraction) produced on a surface

A central mechanism of the floating structure of Dark Landscapes is the recognition of ballet as rooted in the eikṓnic apparatus. That means that there is this deep sense of a form that is defined as a representative of something. Now, the most interesting thing for me is opening that interpretative space, so that this very something can be defined or recognizable – but it can also be left unrecognizable, open, in a process of becoming. A potential of that interpretative and cognitive flexibility that is emerging out of the contours of the eikṓn is for me the strongest driving force of artistic interest for this kind of choreographic structuring. Again, it is not that the significance of the form is dissolving, on the contrary, a form is affirming its inherited substance, but the meaning of the form is perpetually transmutable. If the meaning of the form is then transmutable and convertible, that means that the very plasticity of the eikṓn transfers to the plasticity of time and plasticity of relations in space. The centralistic perspective of the singular-point-attention in space is disintegrating for a multitude of attention points that are navigated from within the fabric of structure that is permanently floating.

That opens a several strong questions: where is the point of reference in space; how to embrace a flow of music; what is anchoring movements that are arriving. Instead of exploding in to the expression, this structure is imploding towards the intense simultaneous attention. On many levels, movement that is arriving is opening up a spatial structure as well as creating the reference point in space, where then other movements can temporarily organize themselves. Next arriving forms, dynamics and relations are creating then a new referential point in space and that is then providing a next wave of movement-ideas, impulses and resolutions. On another level, breathing of this structure as a whole is shaping a correlated architecture comprised of form, form-ideas, dynamics, relations, strong and soft decisions, transformations, holdings and reachings, observing and offering, resolving and opposing, assembling and dissolving, passing through and remodeling – all while continuously listening and emotionally holding this inner space for oneself and for the others. Depending on the momentum, music contributes, punctuates or softens diverse tensions and potentials that are culminating along the way, creating sometimes not more then a soft time-container and sometimes a strong framework that has to be conquered.

This grounding of the texture and the inner logic of movement is necessarily happening in many overlaid phases. First rehearsals started with one or two clear propositions in medium-long dance sessions that are allowing uninterrupted flow of time. In experiencing that first grids of floating structure, exchanged ideas and shared moments have gradually build legacy of mutual responsiveness that created a foundation for next explorations. Parallelly, my choreographic manual of propositions was narrowing down from a very wide field of possible activations to a certain area that seems sparkly. In paying close attention to the kinaesthetic explorations in the rehearsal, I was constructing my own new insights that are linked to specific singular persons in front of me. In this mutual dialog of observing and proposing, choreography was gradually being refined further, defining itself from this mutable and transformable process.

This dance that leaps into the void to encounter The Other (other bodies, other dynamics and forms) transforms clusters of some long forgotten memory of dance and crystalizes itself in an ever-present eikṓn of dance, introducing precision and articulation that is carrying another kind of strength of meaning. A myriad of relations are being constructed along the way: dynamic that follows impact of the form, form that follows openings in space, space that recreates itself from traces of the form-impact, music that grounds a machine of atmospheric traces, body that encompasses translations of sound and time, emotional impact that creates urgency in rhythm, the built and resolved relations between the bodies that are navigating through the form – are all shaping an understanding of a mutual choreographic desire.

Aspiration of this kind of choreographic architecture is the zeal for extended avenues of the choreographic focus. For another text that I wrote, an identical theme emerged between the lines: in 1912, Anton Giulio Bragaglia declared in his Manifesto Fotodinamica Futurista:
The picture therefore can be invaded and pervaded by the essence of the subject. It can be obsessed by the subject to the extent that it energetically invades and obsesses the audience with its own values.”
So Bragaglia is here firmly occupied with exactly that, phases of the in-between of the appearance, or even more, the essence of the moving matter that reshapes itself as it progresses or shifts through the time-space. Bragaglia articulates this as the essence, meaning: the core of the value or the value itself. So the matter-in-progress could be of stronger interest for us then the moment at which a presence is peaking (which is just a peak event of the ever-folding movement in progress).

So the final vision of what this choreographic structure is allocating, is simultaneously a compendium of how to dance it, how to embody it, how to deepen it, how to grasp it cognitively and practically – how to burn from within, allowing each dancer to go through the kaleidoscope of form-imagination, in sometimes visible and other times invisible process.

This procedure of floating structure constructed the main grid of the work, and all other upcoming elements of it were integrated in to it. It is as if the floatness of the structure has devoured the singularities and still carved out each and everyone’s luminosity. Dancers that are autonomously navigating saturation, tincture and intensity of the choreographic flow are in possession of the strong sense of vibrancy and undertones of it. There are moments in that experience from within that are solely theirs, intimate and exposed at the same time.

At the end, let me mention all dancers involved in this part: Iva Vitić Gameiro, Natalia Horsnell, Asuka Maruo, Miruna Miciu, Cristiana Rotolo, Lucija Radić, Rieka Suzuki and Valentina Štrok. Thank you ladies – much love.

/// More about the final shape of DARK LANDSCAPESHERE

Published: 16/08/17

A second part of a 3-part essay about structure & process of a ballet work DARK LANDSCAPES, premiered in November 2016, that I created with and for Ballet of Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. Written by: Marjana Krajač