The how of the what or: the how of defining…

March 1, 2010

Do I really want to define what is happening? Does defining sometimes take away from the power of the dance itself? Of the language of dance and its imagination? I use the word defining as clarifying. Does defining clarify? Or in some cases yes and in others not?

I worked with text as a way of ‘defining’ while dancing. Defining while the imagination of the dancing seems to stay intact and there seems to be some sense to it but not necessarily definable…

“i never meant to say goodbye – but here it is – ciao…”


I love this question and what it evokes in the work, the creative space of possibilities it opens. Something else seems to happen than the defining, eventhough that’s what started it. This excites me. When this happens I always get the sense that i am on the right track…or at least moving on…


‘moments in time’ becomes: ‘times in moment’

February 21, 2010


In dancing different times simultaneously and in the same space there is initially a sense of urgency;

Then the sense that nothing stays and everything passes, including times (but not this moment);


Then there is nothing to hold on to so we are back to the nature of dance. And to my ever returning question: How general or how specific is it what i am doing? 

What happens in the space of time, in which the singing is there to use the waiting, is that:

Fatalistic or Freeing…?

Dancing and the Dutch writer

February 18, 2010

I did not mention this yet: this whole year 2010 i will be working on this project. After the Summer i plan to work with writer Michiel Klein Nulent, whose first novel has been released in September 2009, ‘De tram van half zeven’, at ‘Uitgeverij Contact’.  I love his writing. It has a clarity and simplicity in the sense of spaciousness that i deeply appreciate. It leaves me being invited into the story while having a sense of stillness and space throughout the whole book or every story i have read of him so far. When Michiel talks about writing it is as if i hear myself talk about dancing. In essence we meet directly. This is exciting and inspiring. And so we are very curious about a possible collaboration and plan to work on it later in the year. It is also a welcoming challenge for me as i have never worked with text written by somebody else, and i have never worked with text in Dutch. I will let you know what is happening… meanwhile here is the blog of Michiel the writer (his debut is nominated for the Academia Debutantenprijs in the Netherlands):

What is happening, really?

February 18, 2010

When I tell myself to dance different times at once, then what is really happening? This is what I wish to find out about and define and refine somehow, whether in words or images or direction or attention… Then I am curious to see what happens if I go into that and then into that and then into that. Not do all different kinds of things, but to see what layers I may come to meet and to find what is inside of what i am doing. Like peeling an onion. To find nothing perhaps… but then I will deal with that then…

Lately when i dance the assignment, there is an immediate connection between times happening inside the body and times happening in space, other than either one or the other. I experience it as a direct, immediate meeting, a happening of these two points of view at once. It opens up whole other areas to tap into.

This week i describe what i am experiencing, what is happening, as this: i am placing actions that are in the body, actions of space of time (in the body), in space.  At the same time times in space are inviting the dance to move in and on.

I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone. Ha! I am curious to find out more about these happenings as well as my dealing with these happenings, and possibilities of handling them. Images of singing. The way Cat Power is singing ‘I found a reason’. Images of images as in photos. Imaginations of spare use of text. All of this with lots of spaciousness. Space of time. I don’t know yet what piece i want to make. And i don’t want to step ahead of myself or the finding and the making. I enjoy making decisions in a different way this time, in a different direction. But i like and welcome these imaginings.

swaiting and winging

January 24, 2010


I watched a class by Julyen Hamilton earlier this month and took direct inspiration from the palimpsest notice. Hips and Spine it was in the class. Singing and Waiting here. I am taking it as it has been presented in the class, just with different words. It resounded so immediately with the sense of ‘many’ at once in the project (many times dancing, dancing different times in the same space) . It took me a bit to get both words clear. I think that is allright now, but not sure yet about the oneness of the two words. I keep looking at it…I must say i love looking at it and printed it out to be able to look at it unexpectedly and often.


January 7, 2010

I listen to the stillness of freshly fallen snow…

2010 / silence, stillness and listening

January 5, 2010

Singing to use the waiting is a performance in process, reflecting on the possibility of dancing different times at once and experiencing time as space. How can the audience be invited into this space of time, as a stillness in which anything can take place?

The title of the piece Singing to use the waiting derives from an essay about the poetry of Jorie Graham and Emily Dickinson, by Thomas Gardner. It comes from a line in one of Emily Dickinson’s poems, in which stillness is approached as a kind of waiting. In this ‘waiting’ anything could happen. I see it as a moment of suspension and tension, an exciting magic moment, also of expectation; all can collapse, be lost and fall apart, or aliveness thrives through precise and accurate events.

I wonder these days if perhaps what I really am doing is working on a piece about the wish to live with(in) stillness and to experience stillness everywhere and always – and to see what may cause ‘disturbances’ of stillness, but more than that, how time and again I/we handle sound, movement, seems to disturb silence, and sometimes stillness.

I mostly use the words silence as in: no sound, and stillness being underneath all actions and sound, while this is all happening. Stillness is always present. Silence as space of time. Stillness as spacious attention. Stillness as spaciousness.

So, a lot of my practise is in listening. i listen to sounds, i listen to timing of sounds, i listen to music, i listen to timing of words spoken, i listen to how people speak, i listen to what is not said, i listen to the gaps between words, to the space of time between one sentence and the next, i listen to movement, i listen to breathing, i listen to the timing of a sound finishing, to the resonance and the space of time after the resonance has ended, i listen to the ships passing my house, when they enter my awareness and when they are gone, i listen to my own thoughts and listen to the moment i don’t listen to them anymore, so i can get on with (other) things, i listen to the stillness in a busy city like Athens or Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon, i listen to my neighbour stamping her feet, but more to when she is not stamping her feet, i listen to the ducks, i listen to the space around sounds and actions,  i listen to what i listen, i listen to the dance when i am dancing and whether i listen in in time, in action, in sequence, or in stillness…

interview as inspired dialogue

November 27, 2009

This blog I treat as if I interview myself, mostly without writing down the questions. A way to take myself further into and through the project that I am making. I like reading interviews. I enjoy questions that inspire conversation and moving further into a subject and sometimes open up whole other areas that you then find are relating. I am intrigued by the way people answer.

With being interviewed I have always found it frustrating that interviewers would quote me with things I have never said and would never put in words the way they did. And I still get somewhat nervous, wishing I could treat it more like an inspiring and inspired  conversation, other than some kind of interrogation with an immediate deadline.

So I’d like to use this blog to create it while writing;  imagine an inspired dialogue of some kind – or else, sing, to use the waiting…