dance

Where Were We, documentation

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This year, I’ve established a project together with Israeli choreographer Uri Turkenich. The project went through different forms. First, we played games with Inana, then we had a Derridian episode at Skogen, after that we danced with the cool kids in Berlin at 3AM and now in October we went physical in Weld. The project deals with intimate conversations as a performative practice. During the coming year we will tour a bit and we would like to tour more (so ask us to come by writing to me!).

Here is a documentation of the performance – a part of me learning to video edit, by the way. Above is an image from the performance (snapped by Marika Troili or Sofie Anderson; unsure) and here is a link to the festival we were part of at Weld. The project was supported by The Swedish Arts Grant Committee, but also by c.off, who made an interview with us here.

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The ambivalence of being identified with resistance is totally not bothering me right now

A text from a small solo project I recently run in the context of a residency at the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm.Skärmavbild 2015-09-01 kl. 16.52.52

I was pulled back into this Lithuanian bowling hall from Soviet times. The party organizers had filled it with a thousand balloons popping in irregular outbursts as the feet of the dancers hit them. The soundscape was a divider. I had already spent some time out on the porch with a girl who had flashbacks from air raids. Others just hated balloons. And then there were the drinkers who would never opt for a dance floor in the first place.

I made a toast with pickles and cheese at the post midnight snack table. I was sincerely considering putting ham in despite my vegetarianism, but in the end I was being put off by the sweet and fleshy smell. I experienced some kind of vague relation between that and the fact that someone who was maybe flirting with me earlier (maybe?) seemed to be busy with something else. I didn’t know if I was mostly relieved or disappointed that I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore. Balloons were still popping, messing up the beat of some techno remix. My head then started playing a third beat; I was invaded by Lady Gagas Just Dance like some kind of prophetic voice.

I started by shutting out the welcoming smiles. I felt my deep tissue, the pressure of damp air against my skin and the slight movement of the old wooden floor as I gave my weight to it. It was not a question of enjoying it or not. It was just what was at hand, the only reasonable thing that I could give myself in this situation. As the sweat started running I had no questions to myself anymore, just an ongoing imagination of movement in space. I could not be interrupted, because there was no sequence, just the necessary grip of my body around the circumstances. And then I spotted the hopscotch.

Identity in and out of Time

I wrote this text for The Black The Box The Theatre – Texting Textures, that was a series of events programmed by Pontus Pettersson at the stage Weld in Stockholm 11-15 mars 2014. The text was part of an ongoing exhibition, originally edited in a font made by Pontus and written about the piece Preparing for Battle.

mopa

MOPA, My Own Private Army, is a triology. This text is about the first part of that triology, MOPA – Preparing for Battle. Pontus once told me that he thinks of the triology as a series where the last part is a preparation for the preceding, and the middle one a preparation for the first. I find this description meaningful, also because each part in itself does something with time – letting the history, the now and the future of an individual body mingle, addressing experiences of being out of time in different senses.

I saw MOPA – Preparing for Battle at Dansens Hus (Stockholm) in early 2012. To come back to the alternative chronology of MOPA, it is strictly speaking the last part of the triology; the one that concludes the two following. However, I think it is fair to say that that this show also had a past outside its future, that the battle it was preparing for in a sense already took place. The battle that I am referring to is one about the timing of identity – what it takes in order to be perceived as consistent and readable subjects over time. For me, MOPA – Preparing for Battle was very much a work about precisely that.

Before I continue analyzing my experience of this piece, I wish to use myself and my route to writing this text as an example of why the question of identity in time can have conflictual aspects, also in the most mundane social situations – that is, not only in the dramatic transfer between carnivalesque explosive parties and the-day-after confessions/discoveries. It seems reasonable to not think so much of who I was in early 2012. It does not seem reasonable to hold myself in 2012 accountable to any higher degree for what I do now, and even less reasonable to hold myself in 2014 accountable for what I did in 2012. Retrospectively, however, it seems like I was in some sense preparing for writing this text about MOPA – Preparing for Battle already that night when I spoke with Pontus after the show, even though none of us knew it back then. Because I got the question to write this text now two years later, I have the possibility to establish a reassuring line of coherency in my self-narration, introduce a sense of meaningfulness between now and past. Who I was that night two years ago obviously has useful consequences for what I become now. At the same time, the very thought that reassures me of the meaningfulness and consistency of my identity can turn into a worrying potential of losing control of my self-narration. What other things did I do on different nights two years ago? What are the lines, consequences and coherencies that I cannot identify between then and now? What am I forgetting? What am I remembering? Why? In this way, my identity constantly remembers and recognizes itself as other. If the goal of identity is to stay the same, to be identical, then it is indeed very easily thrown into conflict with itself in relation to time.

Let me thus bring this conflictual knowledge of remembering it differently into my relating of what happened that night in 2012. When I saw MOPA – Preparing for Battle, it was the second show of two the same night. The one before was Between Dog and Wolf by Frédéric Alstadt, Kajsa Sandström and Ulrika Berg. During the course of this text, I will get deeper into the fact that shows lined up after each other always influence each other (no matter who is the choreographer). But I will now leave Between Dog and Wolf  behind.

MOPA – Preparing for Battle consists of solos, almost like a set of separate shows within the frame of one performance. Each dancer – the night when I was watching, it was Pontus Pettersson, Bosmat Nossan, Linnea Martinsson and Robert Malmborg, but on other occasions also Anna Pehrsson and Joe Moran – has their own stylized characteristics in terms of both costume, scenography and movement. Generally employing one signature color (blue, red, yellow, green, grey…) and one signature object (clothes, spoons, pearls, metal, boots…), as well as directing open gazes and striking poses towards the audience, the solos give an impression of presenting individual identities as readymade commercial units, like a series of warrior dolls or boy band members.

At the same time, the cuteness, sexiness (in the sense of presenting a lustful carnal quality to, or even for, the gaze of the audience) and general accessibility of these solos have an aspect that withdraws from being locked by the frames of identity. Or rather, if identity has a strive towards sameness, the solos insist that any sameness will inevitably negate itself. This, identity reveals itself as a process or action rather than an object: a constant movement between recognition and lack of recognition. In the solo where Pontus dances himself, timing in its most concrete sense is a part of that withdrawal from sameness. Movements can speed up or slow down in a way that connotes both fast forward, slow motion and the twitchy speed of silent films. This cinematic physicality inserts a certain unpredictability in the commercial unit of identity, something uncanny. Also the other characters presented in the series of solos have different uncanny qualities inserted in what first seems to be a solid, sellable frame. In Bosmat’s solo, the glittering pattern on a bright red cardigan reveals itself to be tea spoons that fall out of the knitwork, giving an image of metal splinters or splitter on the floor, which is also somehow consistent with the sense of inside pouring out that permeates her movement. In Linnea’s solo, she is busy with eating, spitting and spreading pearls all over the space, insisting on it until it changes meaning from fun to compulsive and back again. Robert in his turn engages with the isolation techniques and stop motion aesthetics of street dance in a way that completely overrules the established commercial identity of these styles, and taps into a very human, sulky, and messed up doll-likeness. In this sense, the solos are not only connected by their respective claim to specific and distinguishable salability, but also by how they insist on attacking themselves from within. My Own Private Army thus gets a double meaning in relation to the subtitle/module title Preparing for Battle. It is not only question of a neat collection of war dolls, but also a question of launching war on oneself, breaking down the exact thing that commodifies or locks identity into objecthood.

This said, I think MOPA – Preparing for Battle should not be understood as a piece that presents a critique towards commercialism in a polemic sense. Rather, it proposes an examination of the commercial as an aesthetic category, thus getting the audience hooked through playing on the basic desires and fears of having and losing identity. ”Commercial” becomes a language with versability and adaption as defining features, since its goal is to grab the guts of the consumers and keep them hooked, with whatever means at hand – but also to keep a healthy parasitic balance through refraining form consuming the consumers. Otherwise, the consumers have no chance of regenerating themselves and return for more. With this abstinence oriented way of addressing the audience, MOPA – Preparing for Battle does not have to argue for its own discursive usefulness, cultural importance or political urgency – or at least not anymore than a cup of bubbly dark brown soft drink with a red and white logo does.

Yet, MOPA – Preparing for Battle can never be that bubbly soft drink completely. It breaks out of its own salable category, inscribed as it is in a cultural economy of giving things away for free, and working as it does on and with live dancers that also embody different kinds of resistance to the reduction that commercial unification demands. Thus, the piece becomes a game where the audience can try out different experiences of both selling and buying into the longing, yearning and anticipation that is at the core of commercial exchange, which in its turn leads us back to a three-fold relation to time. To be able to wish for something implies both a feeling of having missed something in the past, of wanting to have it now and of being able to project it as a possible thing to have in the future. Longing is thus a promise of getting control over time – but it is a promise that cannot really be fulfilled. The history and the future is always out of control; the now always cracks, explodes into something unexpected. And this is how MOPA – Preparing for Battle operates: Inviting its audience to mirror both its strive for controllable identities and its capacity of letting go of control.

To move is to touch

Yet again something I wrote for the festival Dans ❤ Stockholm in early December 2013 – this time about On Orientations: Untimely Encounters by An Kaler.

There is a desire in reaching out to the world or letting the world come to you. It can be as great or as small as what we feel for a coffee cup, the caress of the wind or something half unknown. But this desire is also compulsive. But one that is also compulsive. We need points of orientation to move. Without knowing what constitutes space, the body or how the body moves in space, it is impossible to make sense of the movements, to tell the difference between point a and point b, to be able to distinguish the wind, the coffee and the rest. On some days, the necessity of expriencing the world through your body can seem excessively heavy. Why this particular body? Why this particular world?
In Untimely Encounters, one of several works in which Kaler explores orientation in various respects, there is an unusual ease in relation to the constraints of the points of orientation. Since the work comes into being precisely where the intention arises, in movements that precede touching, each direction retains more of its many possibilities. Where a completed movement always risks being tied to its meaning, culturally and relationally, the uncompleted movement leaves an openness as to where it is going. Is it on its way to a cheek, to a wall, into thin air? What will it do there, what will it create? It is undefined and therefore unlocked.
In some ways, Untimely Encounters is a duet – there are two bodies on stage, relating to each other. Disrobing the obligatory love story of the duet is no easy task. The very idea of two bodies on stage asks the question of how they belong together. But precisely because the work consists of a game of directions where the negotiation of each gesture is still open, where one’s own body or the other’s body, as well as the floor, walls and air, are all objects of the same open intentionality, it is also not a duet. The space and its attributes become an additional dance partner, appears in its own function as the bodies turn towards it. Distance and proximity become relative categories: Distance from what? Proximity to what?
These questions should not be mistaken for being an attempt by Untimely Encounters to disorientate the audience by assimilating the movements, rendering them meaningless beside each other. Rather, meaning is created in the relativity of direction. There is an intimacy in the incompleteness that invites those who encounter it to add bit of themselves or mirror a movement in order to understand it, to discover its origin. In this way, Untimely Encounters also involves the audience in the ostensible duet.
On certain days you can feel the friction from every direction taken. It is here the relationship between the body and surroundings is unlocked. The face touches the wind just as much as the wind touches the face, the coffee cup reaches for your hand just as much as the other way around. Such days do not alter the fact that all movement is conditioned by physical and spatial constraints. Yet, they can reveale how movements always touch something bigger than themselves, something that can never be fully overviewed, pinpointed or finished. Untimely Encounters could be an excerpt from such a day.

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Social and political soundscapes

I wrote this text (Niki Woods translated) to the festival Dans ❤ Stockholm in early December 2013, where Band by Ingri Fiksdal and Atlantic by Juli Reinartz  were performing in a double bill.

Fiksdal and Reinartz present two in many ways different works on the same evening. Band is a quartet, Atlantic is a solo. The dancers in Band are quiet with covered heads, while Reinartz turns to address the audience. At the same time, the two performances share a common theme. They both explore concert moments – not the type of concert moments that occur in controlled, bright, state-funded places, but those that happen in cramped and unpredictable club environments. Such concerts alter or direct a nocturnal collective state, injecting rhythm to social and chemical movements in people’s bodies.

Most of us – many more than those who have ever seen a dance performance on stage financed by public funds – have had such a concert experience. Some of us have also had pivotal political and social experiences in such rooms. Identity and relations may emerge in the fandom. And the darkness of the club incites stepping outside the norm, with the potential of both strengthening and undermining the prevailing order.

Fiksdal and Reinartz approach the concert each in their own way as a cultural artefact, relation and sensation. Reinartz’s work with the socio-politics of music forms a piece that likens a concert, not least in the way it paraphrases the “between-song banter”. But this talk is not there to provide an answer as to what the piece portrays. Rather, it aims to establish another type of presence among the audience, getting them ready for what is to come, from the dance or from themselves. Atlantic is on the cusp of the kind of concert moment where many different bodies find their own inner swing, together, and are surprised by it.

Fiksdal’s Band can be described as an almost silent psychedelic concert. The audience sit close to each other by the stage, mostly in the dark, inciting listening with ears and skin. How do the dancing bodies sound? How does the synchronised breathing of audience sound? How does the warmth that radiates from one body to another feel? In the darkness, with the rhythmic repetition of movement, the audience is given the chance to sink back into sensory impressions, blurring the contours of identity.

Band and Atlantic are being performed at MDT, a scene that incites other forms of existence than the singular, unpredictable pulse of the club concert. Nonetheless, this pulse is perceptible in the dance works, explored and offered both as a memory and possibilty for the audience.”And so, watching Band and Atlantic can be like seeing two dance works and two concerts at the same time, but it can also be way of finding new tools for interpreting the so-called regular concert happenings that break into our (night) life, move us and bring us together.

PS.
In preparation for the double-bill show, Reinartz and Fiksdal interviewed each other about their respective works. Their dialogue is published in the MDT program. Not to be missed by those interested in immersing themselves into the two pieces and learning more about the encounter between the choreographic domain and various concert experiences!

The Fake Survey

More stuff on the neutral theme and The 90°! This was back in 2011.

In Mexico DF, we had the bright idea to make a survey with people to see if they felt the same as us about neutral:

We called it The Fake Survey in honour of Liz Lemon.

This is some of the results we got. We might fill in more answers later: they sort of spread themselves all over social media and international harddrives and were difficult to collect. All answers that were given in Spanish and Swedish has here very neutrally been translated to English.

The conclusions drawn from this survey are mostly that neutral varies a lot and that all of our friends disapproves of neutrality – it seems almost neutral to do so. Anyway, we disapprove, too, there’s no breaking out of this flocking exercise. And we had a great time reading these answers. Thanks everyone for answering!

Random answer outside questions
– I think neutral is that which makes no fuss, leaves no prints or impressions. Guess it has to do with impersonality and non-identification somehow. Thus it feels contradictory to *identify* something, such as a single colour (that is made up of a multitude of lights and such), and then point to it as neutral. If it makes sense.

– Somewhere after the first few questions, I started thinking pretty seriously about neutrality and I sort of realized that it’s a concept that doesn’t really seem feasible when I try to situate it inside of my perception of things. I don’t see how it’s possible to not take a position, to not be demarcated and cast into a kind of “otherness”/”separateness.’

What is a neutral colour?
beige
all other than white. if you mix every colour you see its brown.
grey
Black
White
White
Black
Grey
White
white or light yellow (hospital neutral)
A self-well-known one.
grey

What is neutral food?
non spicy food and poatoes
food speaks of shared memories. loose your sense of taste by smoking for several years, then swollow fast: its neutral.
porridge.
Hot soup. water.
Pasta, rise
water
Without salt
Rice and sallad grown by farmers with the help from EU-money and state funds.
carrot
mashed potatoe and brown sauce
Some that you pick yourself after patiently been awaiting (you) to do so.
rice or tofu
an apple
meat

Give an example of a neutral music score for contemporary dance performance (CDP)
c c c c
Brian Eno
arvo pärt.
Silence.
steve reich
silence
ambient sound
voices and noises
sounds without a melody, wind like
Accordning to question 1: (for me) Feist. Following the second question: instant music-making.
maybe one of Erik Satie’s furniture music pieces?

What is a neutral light setting in a CDP?
warms lights from the side
none?
sort of light everywhere on stage.
Frontal lights
Yellow or white light directed from above in different directions so that it doesn’t blind the audience nor casts sharp shadows on the dancer.
white yellow
natural light from above
rehearsal lamps
blue spots and cold white anti-shadows
Daylight.
i can’t think of lighting that would be neutral. maybe none?

What is neutral body temperature?
37 – 38
38 c
37.
37,5 celcius
35?
37
32 C. Nor hot nor cold.
Boring.
30
37 C
65 is the number that came into my head but it doesn’t make sense in either fahrenheit or celsius.

What is a neutral make up in a CDP?
foundation
none?
no make up.
No make up or make up that cover bad skin/pimples.
skin colour
no make up
mascara and red lipstick
black eyeliner
No make up at all
A smile of friend.
no make up, really. maybe some chapstick and foundation.

What is a neutral country?
one that others orient around? usa?
sweden.
a country not involved in a specific conflict.
antarctic
india
Switzerland
San Marino
Switzerland
no
A country that no one notice (could be a closed country as well, with a opressing leader. Hm…)
Unknown country.
switzerland

What is a neutral language?
a mix?
english.
english
english
english
silence
english
Sign language
English
A boring language
no such thing
spanish
spanish
spanish
spanish

What is a neutral first name?
kai
female names ending on an A.
An
“My name is nobody” – Ulysses
Juan
Juan
Maria
Ingemar
Luis
ben anna
A european wide name without provocative hints, as Anna or Maria or Charles
no such thing

– What is a neutral use of the space in a CDP?
non appearing?
To move and relate to the space as if it is up to me to create. To play with a high social status against the room, like the room is mine, not dangerous or otherwise charged. The room feels self-evident.
Black box
flying through it
Like in Italy
open space no wings or legs
the whole space almost all the time
An empty space
oh, i must sound like such a curmudgeon, but i’m not sure i think that neutrality truly exists (partly because i don’t think of things as existing on a linear spectrum). even defining a space is, for me,the act of taking a position/a side/stance and so it can’t really be neutral in that sense.

What is a neutral way of being on stage for a contemporary dancer?
To be yourself, be neutral to yourself.
moving sort of slowly, undesignedly
to breathe
in training outfit
no movement
in parallell
walking from side to side throwing castañuelas
Sitting
To have a conversation with the audience and to be open about what is happening
…a break? pause-alike turnarounds?
being on stage and having a body, for me, means creating a position in a very literal sense, but also in an interpretative sense.

What is a neutral way to use gaze in a CDP?
Gaze straight forward, about three meters ahead of yourself.
to look where one has to in order to perform the dance
sunglasses
a la brechtienne without any emotion
not looking at the audience
not sure if it’s what i really think, but the first thing that came to mind was a kind of blank stare where it would be difficult for the viewer to see what the dancer(s) were looking at.

What is a neutral way of standing in a CDP?
Parallell straight forward. perhaps legs a little bit bent.
feet down
just standing with arms along the sides
parallell feet
In parallell and a bit diagonally
Like a fox on it’s way to run

What is a neutral duration of a CDP?
60 minutes
a neutral risk
50 minutes
1hour
like Beckett did with theatre, “a breath”
a couple of weeks
25 minutes
20 minutes
not possible, since average durations of performances are so culturally and contextually variant that picking any length of time would either be understandable as conforming to some sort of norm (i.e. average lengths like 45 minutes, 1 hour and a half, etc.) or as deviating substantially from those norms.

What is a neutral dance technique?
shake your butt
contemporary dance
free techniques
Tai Chi
shake but whilst lifting the leg
Improvised

Explain the neutral feeling of a performer in a CDP.
like being dead
focused and relaxed.
light, sexy, able to move, very aware of everything
without intention
melting and floating
Muscle relaxed in hips and face, Deep breating, body ready, mind empty
no fealing
Curoius

What is a neutral shape?
sphere
always new, in motion
a square
a loose line
plie
circle
any form that is not mixed up with another form is neutral. A sole line. A sole circle.
circle
a circle, i guess, since it just continues and continues, never breaking up into sides and angles. although there is an inside and an outside of a circle, so i guess it’s not really
neutral/beyond ‘positions’ either

What is a neutral venue to perform a CDP?
a venue built for a CPD
theatre black box
in a building that wasn’t build for theatre purposes. a ols factory place out garage.
any stage
a square
An empty space without history or referencies… I don’t think it exists.
at home
any place that has a big floor and space for audience

What is a neutral age?
over 80 when you’ve done the earlier ones.
26
there is none
12
Stoneage
From 10 to 20
25
28,5

Give an example of neutral costumes in a CDP.
grey
sweatpants, t-shirts and hoodies
cotton
naked
Pants. Like I’m a dancer but not that much.
long sleveed cotton t-shirt and loose pants
your own normal clothes
T-shirt and different kind of normal trousers

What’s a neutral font?
times new roman
this one or times new roman
times new roman
Times New Roman
Arial
gothic
times new roman

What does a neutral contemporary dancer look like?
open spirit generous on stage, soft.
slim, white, young, girl, short hair
a dance that does not resemble any dance
without sweat or muscular pain
autistic
he/she is not very tall, has short hair and a small mouth
as if she or he is not a dancer, but maybe an art student

What is a neutral fund for financing a CDP?
Parents wallets
To work for yourself, not asking money by anyone
money from a university
a european based fund that takes a lot of time an effort to gain
any state-sponsored fund. Everybody = nobody = neutrality

When do you encounter the term neutral in your life?
never
never before!
in board games (neutral = unpassable square/zone)
Nothing is neutral if I think of it. Things that belong to basic physical functions feel more neutral, breathing, body temperature, drinking water and so on. On stage it would be what I don’t notice. Maybe I’m mixing it up with natural? Natural is also in the food store, advocating for good health, and in school.
9-5
The seconds after orgasm
When I have a shower
when I talk about yoghurt. otherwise never.
Unfortunetly mostly in a negative way. In a positive way about artists when they seem to be able to clean their own toilet.
I think I encounter it the most in discussions of contemporary US politics, where self-ID’ed political moderates claim their views are somehow beyond the polarizing discourses of the Democrats and the Republicans. Maybe this is why I am resistant/skeptical to the concept of
neutrality?

A Neutral Manifesto

The Neutral Manifesto was written in 2011 by Tova Gerge, Josefine Larson Olin, Magdalena Leite, Juan Francisco Maldonado and Helena Stenkvist as a part of the process with The 90° Project in Mexico City (see film below). Please use it to mess with dance. Thank you.

  • Neutral does not take sides, it is not a political statement because it only works with pure matters of fact. Artists are like activists but neutral. If they wanted to be political they would have chosen another field of activity, because what is political it is not really art.
  • Dance is the most neutral art form because its main means of expression is the body, and the body does not represent anything, it is just real.
  • It is neutral to have a body that is soft to hug, yet can make a handstand and an arabesque. A body that can mold into anything, but quickly return to its own neutral shape. Neutral is the open body school concept, the humble middle class, the body that has not been hurt or that heals quickly.
  • The neutral body has trained a lot of release technique, which is present in its appearance and in its calm, yet very hearable, breathing.
  • A neutral dancer does not exaggerate. S/he stays close to the point 0 in Laban technique and has the expression of a Berlin dancer.
  • A neutral body is clean, without tattoos, piercings or scars. Or if there is, it must be discrete enough to pass as a small variation from a clear standard. The body is often off-white, but not so blond, with the hair-colour cendré/gris. No make-up of course.
  • The body doesn’t need clothes to be neutral as long as it presents a clear gender without pushing sexual aspects. It is neutral to be a man or a woman, or everybody shave and wear all covering leotards.
  • Neutral dancers can also come like they are, in ponytails and a sloppy outgrown what-used-to-be a proper haircut for men, in white or off-white t-shirts, in the whole collection of Lacoste colors for t-shirts, in sneakers nikers and blue jeans because its the uniform of normality, because its the symbol of a casual imperium, and last but not least because its not what you would primarily choose to move in since the cloth is not flexible. This makes it more neutral: the dancer is just like everybody else, almost a non-dancer (but not quite).
  • Even a black dress can be neutral to wear. Everything goes with black; “the little black” is a manifestation of neutrality within the world of fashion since it impersonates the clean femininity without stating anything about class background, ethnicity or sexual preferences.
  • It is neutral when the performers fix the performance space by themselves while the audience is entering. The fixing should give an urban feeling.
  • The neutral space for theatre and dance is the black box, but used in a casual way, showing that the users are aware of the criticism towards it and thus entitled to keep it the way it is. After all, the least implying and most allowing space is the classical theatre space, since it has been used so many times it is practically emptied of meaning.
  • The neutral space for art is the white cube, and as with theatre, tradition has emptied it from disturbing political implications. The white cube is just a discrete institutional frame that makes art accessible as such. It is there in order to not create any misunderstanding about what is what, because neutral doesn’t like misunderstandings.
  • The neutral does not show any history. The neutral doesn’t express anything, but in a very clear way. It appears simultaneously as the first of something and as one in an endless mass. The neutral action is an action that has been executed so many times, ie. is so dense with history, that it cannot be distinguished as a specific historical phenomena unless if you watch it from some uncomfortable angle that no-one really wants to watch anything from.
  • Tasks involved in a neutral performance can be for example the neutral walk, the neutral position, the neutral water-drinking on stage or the neutral throw of a neutral ball; a throw that has no history and tells nothing about the thrower. On the level of physical engagement, this could mean relaxed hard work or hardworking relaxation, like having relaxed but working feet with no point and no flex.
  • It is neutral to be oneself, especially on at the front of the stage. To be oneself is to be neutral, staring into the audience with slightly horny ‘n cool looking gaze, expressing very little other emotion. It is also neutral to not exactly look but not exactly avoid them either, as if they where an unidentifiable wall of jelly.
  • It is neutral to find very organic movement phrases that are repeated without any fault, working in the oxymoron between robotic and organic: organic robot, robotic organity.
  • Making dances from the Fibonacci numbers is neutral, because it reproduces beauty that anyone can see, even if they do not know about the golden ratio. It is as neutral as it is natural, like shells and snowflakes. Consequently, it is neutral to canonize Rosas’ principles of work, but without letting it show in terms of repertory because you don’t want to be entangled in that dirty capitalist Beyonce Countdown conflict.
  • It is neutral to not feel anything specific or to not give any weight to whatever feeling might occur. To act neutral is to act without question or interpretation, postideologically and post identitically.
  • Neutral means no mysticism. There can be kitsch, but no belief in it. Charged symbols must be emptied before using.
  • Neutral doesn’t have climax, except in the case of playfully reappropriating Hollywood dramaturgy, but even then the climax happens more on the surface – the subjectivity of the performer is still kept safe, unmoved, untransformed.
  • A neutral lighting is a lightning that makes “everything” visible, yet not blinding. Just a general swash of white and yellow. It can also be neutral to let the light change in the rythm of sunset.
  • English is a neutral language and broken English is alright if it is not commented upon. It is neutral to assume that everybody speaks broken English. The vocabulary cannot include any patois, but possibly a bit of well assimilated slang. Neutral talk must have properly crossed the borders of integration: it resides where there is no longer provocation.
  • A neutral way to use English on stage is to call a practical instruction with a neutral voice tone. Like: “Jessica, can you put play to the sound? Thank you!” The sound that Jessica puts play to is hearable, still not dominating.
  • Silence can be neutral, but it is even more neutral not to insult people. The weather is the most neutral topic of conversation, it does not discriminate, this is why people love talking about the weather, they don’t want to insult anyone.
  • If there such a thing as talking neutrally to the audience, it should be done tenderly, as if the audience members were very close friends in an intimate moment. Being personal without being irreplaceable is neutral. There should be intimacy without implication, not stating, just saying…
  • The neutral performance starts around 7 pm. Welcome!