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Ariel and Rosa Dance

The Unknown's picture


Anne Dalke's picture

Ariel, Rosa--
could you re-post this as a collaborative post, with both your names? Then it will show up in each of your portfolios, as well it should. Thanks!

It is such a delight for me to see all these experiments—especially a delight in the case of you two, since you’ve each been working hard, over the past two months, to organize large amounts of written material into shapely wholes. Trying to speak instead, in dance, is a lovely step “beyond” both Ariel’s elaborate course design for incorporating AIDS in a biology class, and Rosa’s attempt to trace the migration of El Salvadoreans and their relation to their land.

There’s much I enjoyed in watching, and re-watching, the video you’ve composed of your “ecological dancing.” I love the way it sequeways, often seamlessly, from one of you to the other—your different bodies, each with your hair long and loose, wearing similar clothing, moving sometimes in the same, sometimes in different spaces, cohering in part because of the continuous music, but also because of the continuity of your movements.

Twice we see Ariel walk away; I think I’d edit out that motion. Otherwise, the whole strikes me as quite coherent and evocative….I like especially the motion of the cars passing behind the trees, which frame the field on which you move

I’d like to hear about all the decisions you made in creating this video: your selection of sites, for instance—why did you both dance in the field, only Rose in the cloisters? About your selection of music—why that particular tape, that particular tonality? And also especially about your decision to use commentary. I decided, the third time through, that you probably didn’t need that dimension in this creation; I think the movement alone beautifully tells your story, invites us all outside into a restorative  enjoyment of the space. So I think you could have “lost language” altogether….

Though I am intrigued by some of your phrases—especially “unnatural artistry and natural thought” and “genre of tragedy.” Maybe you could just cut the commentary down to a couple of the more poetic lines (“cultivating a love of wild place,” “what is free and forgotten,” “humming of mystery,”  “not even the rain has such small hands,”  “no child left inside,” “young in a future without wilderness…”)? But I’d cut, for sure, the couple of “preachy” lines (“our entitlement misguided, wrong intentionally selfishly asking forgiveness,” “unconsciounable to sacrifice,” etc.).  More generally, however, I’d like to explore with you whether using these words suggests that you’re not feeling that you can rely on the dance to say what you have to say—when I think you most emphatically can!