Documentation of a live performance of Writing Dancing presented by Ismo Dance Company on 21st November 2015 in Helsinki, Finland.
Writing Dancing is a performance which deals with the relationship between dance and text. The work brings together a dancer and a philosopher on stage, and is based on their dialogue. The performance consists of choreographed dance and real-time writing projected onto the wall. The stage presentation is technically stripped down, and uses no music or speech. The journey shared by a professional dancer and a professional thinker has been directed and choreographed by Ismo-Pekka Heikinheimo. The performers are the dancer Tanja Illukka and philosopher Max Ryynänen.
Some say that dance is a language among languages, while others say that it is not a language at all. Does the grammar of the body exist? Is the body a mind? If the body screams or whispers in movement, if it jerks or flows within a choreography, does this physical outlet to the world truly reflect and comply with linguistic conventions? Can one express something in full or perfectly by dancing, or by writing?
Dance is not verbal language based on mutual agreement, since it does not have the kind of structure or vocabulary as in language. Still, in this work one seeks to translate and interpret a visual performance into words, and on the other hand a linguistic representation evokes an image in the reader's imagination. Movement can become a word - a series of movements a phrase. Movement composition becomes a sentence. Dance a text. Dancing may change into writing. Choreography may become the structure of the text.
Cultural terrain, conventions of looking, and shared history direct our experience and ability to identify with something new and unexpected. Writing Dancing is bold and open-minded. It challenges the audience with sensual articulation and a viewing experience that demands alertness. When the performance is over, when the dance, the ephemeral form of art fades away, is one left with a book, a poem, or a philosophical text?
The choreography of Writing Dancing is based on new methods developed by Heikinheimo in his Master's thesis in Visual Culture at Aalto University. Visual observation is directly transformed into real-time movement, which is gradually processed into a complete choreography. The accumulation of bodily knowledge for the show has been vital to the dancer in developing herself, her skills, and the understanding of her body’s kinesphere and cognitive access to the world at large.
Duration: 50 min.
This performance is supported by The National Council for the Performing Arts and The City of Helsinki Cultural Office.