“Inventories of Bodies in Movement: Dance is a Weapon” Sunday September 7th 5pm at ContainR Tuesday September 9th 5pm at the University of Calgary outside the Taylor Digital Library
This has been a collaborative project between the Division of Dance and W&M Dance Projects of Calgary. It was offered as a Block Course (5 days) at the University of Calgary.
More detailed course/performance information:
Inventories of Bodies in Movement is an interactive dance project that speaks to the identity of one’s self and to the cultural and social constructs that define how a universal subject (i.e., the body) is perceived in our modern, multi-cultural society. Inventories of Bodies in Movement is a humanist project that focuses on the values and concerns between people of different backgrounds, cultural groups, and experiences in life, and the similarities and differences in their perceptions of the body. The goal of the project is to explore and address the body as “self,” as social and cultural construct, as a vessel for personal history. The project seeks to bring, through the beauty of the movement arts, awareness of the ideas we hold both commonly and differently. Through this process we will engage in the search for a commonality of understanding of our society, and an acknowledgement of the differences.
Mochniej and Fricker bring together people of different ages, social classes, cultures, and body types in a celebration of these differences. This project’s ambition is to reveal commonalities and impart understanding of our differences by exposing, exploring, and sharing our perceptions of the body. The theme of Inventories of Bodies in Movement is Dance is a Weapon. Dance is a Weapon is the slogan of the New Dance Group, created in 1931 in the US and close to the American far-left. These dancers and choreographers have shown that dance is not only part of the entertainment industry or an aesthetic, but it can also be an ideological vector, a form of social struggle in the fight helping minority groups.
Through the direction Fricker and Mochniej , each performer has explored and created movement utilizing various stimuli (visual, tactile, sound, text, literal) to create their own movement score and the discovery of a ‘body story’ or ‘body song’. The rehearsal process attempts to allow the creation of movement that is closely related to each participant’s story and imagination. As cultural ideas around the body and beauty are profoundly different between culture, social class and age group, we feel that the integration of differing types of participants in this piece allows a rich exploration of the subject matter.
Audience members are invited to let their gaze wander and create their own point of view. One can be moved by an everyday gesture, or empathize with a corporal signature; in any case one can return to the essence of the body as a medium. By discovering the untrained mover, the recreational mover, as well as professional dancers, audience members can recognize aspects of themselves in these dancing bodies. Much like the process that happens during the workshop/rehearsals of the piece, when presented to the public it is meant to make the audience explore and investigate their own notions of “the body” and how the constructs of culture and social norms influence their perceptions.