Archive for December, 2011

The Studies Project

Jimmy’s back room was empty and somewhat hollow when I arrived at 6 p.m. last night for the pre-project meeting.  By 7 p.m. it was becoming full of bodies and minds to listen to and engage with the words of Jody Melnick, Danielle Goldman, Miguel Gutierrez, Julie Carr and Julyen Hamilton.  Their names are in the order of how they sat right to left on the small stage as the audience sat really close to them and to each other.   Sondra Loring and I moderated the discussion that began with Sondra speaking of how it was when she and Julie began the Improvisation Festival New York, now known as Movement Research Festival, in 1992.  Immediately we were in the topics of this year’s festival that Sondra and I are co-curating, Devotion/Rigor/Sustainability, as reflections and impressions from the very first festival were brought up from the depths of memory and what is still held in the body, like when Julie spoke of a duet from the early days that she will never forget.  Where do we hold these performance images we absorb?  Is it what we continue to reach towards or back to, or we don’t even think about them until we are in a situation that provokes their appearance?  20 years later and we are still in a room together moving the physics of language around, rearranging the furniture of academia, architecture, poetry, myth, success, escape, body not body, utopian ideas and pragmatic utilitarian approaches to perceptions and design,avoiding conflict, colliding into what enters -what exits, inner/outer, evolution, sleeping, eating, self consciousness or the other…

Those are just a few of the topics that got stirred up and stirred around last night at the Studies Project to speak about the subject of Dance.  I believe we were there for that.  The resonation or not with the word Devotion, Rigor or Sustainability  for or towards or with Dance.  So much about the words, and then there is, there really IS, the action of these words that apply directly to the body and how it is what we are in on this earth, that really says we are alive in a certain way then if we were not (in the body).

The Studies Project has always been a place of provocation for me, as a curator which I was in 1984 – 86 I believe (some things are not directly in the memory), as a moderator, as a panelist.  Panelist.  I wonder if that word is really the most apt for this event.  I can’t help seeing wood panels on a wall, lined side by side, creating beauty perhaps and covering something else.  These “panelists” last night were side by side and their closeness only accented how not flat they are, how dimensional they are, how hard they work to expand into the momentary challenges of revealings and revelations.

I think 2 hours is not enough.  We were just getting under the panels to something.  But then, I always feel something is just about to start just as it ends.

K.J. Holmes, Co-Curator of MR Fall Festival, dance artist, songstress, seeker.

  • December 1st, 2011
  • Fall Fest2011

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