PARALLEL PRACTICES OF BODY BUILDING

Parallel Practices of Body Building (PP of BB) investigates choreography through placing different learning practices parallel to each other. The overall theme is the socially and politically constructed body and its well-being, with the parallel idea of building a body as well as building a society.

Background

Rosalind Goldberg (NO/SE/DE), Sandra Lolax (FI/SE) and Stina Nyberg (SE) started working together in 2008. Since then we have completed the projects A Section of Falling (2008), A White Rhythm Section (2009), Weapons of Mass Production (2010) and Fake Somatic Practice (2011). We have presented work at Tanztage Berlin, Lofft in Leipzig, Schauspielhaus Chemnitz, Uferstudios in Berlin, Tou Scene in Stavanger, Weld and MDT in Stockholm.

Our work is built on a shared friendship with certain subjects, on certain shared outspoken ambitions and on a continuous revision of these ambitions.

In our latest work, Fake Somatic Practice (2011) we focused on the body in relation to practice, on what kind of bodies certain practices promote and produce. We took inspiration from well known holistic physical practices, so called “somatic practices”, but wanted to favour fantasy and speculation over science and anatomy. Therefore we invented our own “fake” somatic practices in order to make new claims as to what an apt body could be, as well as to investigate the choreographic potential of these bodies. This approach enabled us to think differently about what a body could do.

We now want to combine our interests into a shared project again. This time, the project focuses on the socially and politically constructed image of the body and its well-being.

Parallel Practices

PP of BB departs from the standpoint that knowledges are of different kinds, but not hierarchically positioned towards each other. We want to focus especially on the relations between different kinds of practices highlighting that all activities require physical and intellectual engagement, although of different kinds.

Emerging from our long term engagement in the relationship between theoretical and practical activity within the field of choreography we often find situations when one practice is (ab)used to justify another. Sometimes critical writing is developed as a justification for the dance, or dance is described as being a “language in itself” which does not need another (oral or written) language. We find different practices equally important on the choreographic scene, but acknowledge that is not always possible or even desirable to translate in between them.

Thus, this is a proposal for engaging differently in a discourse on learning. We want to look past a way of thinking that creates a binary split between body and mind. The method of PP of BB is built on the parallel execution of different kinds of physical and intellectual engagements as a way of working with choreography. Here we are not aiming to first and foremost separate the different practices nor to translate in between them, but rather de-hierarchise in between them.

This will be a way for us to think choreography through, dancing, storytelling, listening, writing, reading, moving, discussing etc. The aim is to avoid compromise and translation in favour of difference and co-existence and to create a milieu where we can dwell in complexity rather than direct translation or reduction. We think it is important to consider that a choreographic event can have an expression that does not need to be univocal or pure or true to the ”nature of its medium”. We want to think of choreography as a fluid notion that through intricate arrangements of practices can come into being in many different ways.

PP of BB is also a conscious attempt to pair the question How to work together? with What do we work on?, built on the acknowledgement of the inseparable intertwining of these two questions.

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